Former Kent Business School student Professor Fang Xu successfully competed in 2012 round, and chatted about her experience on a recent visit to the School. Read her top tips for applying for the EDAMBA thesis competition.
What is the EDAMBA Thesis Competition?
EDAMBA (European Doctoral programs Association in Management & Business Administration) run an annual thesis competition for theses in Business Administration and Management. Since the deadline for the 2018 competition is likely to be January 2018, I would recommend that students take the time to carefully plan their applications.
What was the focus of your thesis?
In our work, we are trying to develop quantitative methods to evaluate research output quality under the RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) framework suggested by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England). We started from the definition of ‘research’ and further developed a set of indicators and methods to evaluate research output quality from a labor theory of value. The empirical studies of individual researcher evaluation and journal evaluation show the superior advantage of the new proposed indicators and methods, which can be considered for practical application with well-developed technology and database.
What is the application process?
You are required to submit a paper of 5000 words (including all figures, tables and references) but this is a summary based on your thesis. This means you already have the content (your thesis) though you will have to tailor your application to make sure you are being explicit about how your thesis meets the competition criteria.
What are the benefits of entering?
The first prize for the 2017 competition was €2,500 and support for online publication, with additional cash prizes for the second and third places. My thesis was rated as ‘distinguished’ and I was placed in the top ten. I found the experience to be very useful and benefited from an additional mark of recognition to add to my CV. The competition is free to enter, so what do you have to lose?
Am I eligible to enter?
Although this is run by EDAMBA, I am not European, and there was no barrier to me winning the competition. To be eligible to apply you have to have successfully defended a thesis at an EDAMBA member institution in the previous academic year (Kent Business School is a member institution). There are no criteria around nationality, or whether or not you are a native English speaker. Applicants are assessed on a written paper and they do not have to present their work as part of the competition, although you may be invited to speak if you win. Being able to write clearly and communicate your ideas to readers who might not be experts in your field is a skill, and not a skill native English speakers automatically possess!
What is your best advice?
Having someone review your application and provide comments and suggestions is key to making sure it makes the best case for your work.
If you need help improving your writing skills, the University of Kent offers a variety of support to help you improve your writing skills:
For non-native speakers
- The Centre for English and World Languages (CEWL) run in-sessional workshops designed to provide additional training in English for Academic Purposes.
- CEWL also run individual writing tutorials and if you would like a tutorial, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.
For all students
- The Graduate School run ‘Academic Writing’ workshops, which focus on improving your ability to write both an excellent thesis and high-quality publications. The Graduate School also offer 1:1 Advisory Writing Tutorials.
- The Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) offer Writing Well Workshops and 1:1 appointments where you can get advice on a range of topics relevant to your PhD (project management, literature reviews) as well as academic writing.
Many thanks to Fang for her advice and guidance. Fang has generously offered to review applications from three Kent Business School students. If you would like to have your application reviewed, your application will need to be ready for review by the end of November. Please contact Kent Business School Research Manager Jess Cockell for further information.