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Dean's Essay Prize

Schulich School of Music - Dean's Essay Prize


In order to encourage excellence in the art of writing about music, the Schulich School of Music offers two prizes each year to graduate students for essays that demonstrate skillful expression connected with the techniques of research in music.

Value:  First Prize $1000; Second Prize $500

Eligibility:  A music graduate student duly registered in the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office may submit any type of essay such as, for example, a contribution to a seminar, an unpublished article, or a work-in-progress based upon thesis research.  Professorial staff in the Faculty may also nominate essays for the competition.


  1. One essay per student per year may be submitted, and each should clearly indicate the author’s name and the date of writing.  A multi-authored paper may be submitted provided that each student’s contribution is clearly defined in an appendix. For multi-disciplinary or technology papers, one of the authors may be a student supervisor or faculty member provided that he or she is not first author and his or her contribution is also specifically detailed in the appendix[1]
  2. Only essays written in English or French will be accepted;
  3. Once a student has won first prize in one degree programme, they are not eligible to apply again, unless they have entered a new degree programme (i.e., having won first prize at the Master’s may re-enter the competition again at the doctoral level)
  4. Students who win second prize twice are no longer eligible.
  5. Each submission must be written while the student is registered at the Schulich School of Music.
  6. Essays should be written in a format suitable for submission for a Department of  Research graduate seminar (i.e., following recommended style guidelines for bibliographic and footnote references as appropriate to the content and form of the paper)[2];
  7. Where audio/visual materials may be required to complement the presentation, these materials must be submitted with the paper (3 copies);
  8. The author of a winning essay agrees to provide the Music Library with a copy of the work so that it can be put “on reserve” for consultation.

Deadline and Results:  Essays should be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office, Room A726A or B by Monday, March 2, 2015 at the latest.  Winners will be announced at the Graduate Symposium, with the winners of the Schulich School of Music Sound Recording Competition, on March 14, 2015.

Evaluation:  A reading sub-committee from the Department of Music Research will be appointed to review and evaluate submissions.  The announcement of the prize winners will be made during the annual Music Graduate Society Symposium.  Prize winners should be present for the announcement.  The sub-committee will later report its recommendations to the Scholarship Committee. Decisions will be based on the excellence of the papers as examples of the “best of their kind.” (journal article, semester paper, thesis chapter, conference presentation, etc.)  Both prizes do not need to be awarded.  There will be no ties.

[1] The award will be given only to students; students will be responsible for dividing the award on the basis of the work done by each student as listed in the appendix.

[2] Please see D: Thesis formatting:  http://www.mcgill.ca/gps/thesis/guidelines/preparation.