Posted on 11 Apr '23

Why You Should Apply for a Postgrad Award (And How to Win!)

Every year, our Postgrad Awards shine a spotlight on the people and projects that are making waves in the world of postgraduate study.

Nominations are now open for 2023, and we’ve added a new commercial category: Outstanding Contribution to Support & Wellbeing. This award recognises initiatives that focus on student welfare, inclusivity and widening participation.

Keep reading to find out why you should put forward your university’s project for an award – and for a behind-the-scenes peak at what our judges are looking for in a winning entry!

Why nominate?

We know that a tremendous amount of dedication, talent and passion goes into creating supportive university environments for postgraduate students – hard work that often flies under the radar. We created our commercial Postgrad Awards category to bring much-deserved attention to the initiatives that are making a real difference.

Working in higher education can be demanding, and it’s tempting to jump straight from one campaign to the next without taking the time to reflect on successes. Applying for an award is a great opportunity to analyse impacts, take note of key learnings and celebrate wins.

Not only will our winners and runners-up receive a physical trophy and certificate to commemorate their achievement (get sharing on social!), they will also benefit from invaluable exposure across our international platforms, and can use the award in their postgraduate marketing and recruitment messaging.

What are our judges looking for?

We’re looking for campaigns that have had a measurable, positive impact on the postgraduate community, and have a unique ‘X Factor’ that sets them apart from the rest.

Judge Rob Hardwick, Head of Skills at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, will be on the lookout for entries that are “clear, concise, and address the criteria of the competition with evidence”. You can add materials such as survey results and statistics in the ‘Supporting Evidence’ section. Show (don’t tell) us how your project has benefitted postgraduate students.

FindAUniversity Co-founder Andy Holliday agrees and adds that there should be “good (but not excessive!) supporting evidence”. Remember to be selective about the evidence you include (no more than one A4 page please!) and to provide context explaining why each piece is relevant.

Jenny Wilkinson, Director of Student Recruitment & Business Development at London Metropolitan University, is especially keen to hear about the real world impact of a project. “People often don’t know how important their contributions have been to others’ lives. I’ll be looking out for real life stories to put context around the work that’s going on.” Gathering testimonials from students whose postgraduate experience has been improved by your campaign will help set your nomination apart.

Finally, Andy will be drawn to “novel or unusual entries that catch the eye”. All universities will face similar challenges in the sphere of postgraduate wellbeing and student support, but we’re looking for campaigns that directly tackle the unique issues postgraduates face. If your university is taking an innovative approach to improving the student experience, we want to hear about it!

For more inspiration and guidance, check out our top tips and sample nomination and hear from our previous winners.

Our Postgrad Awards will be open until Tuesday 16 May 2023 – so get working on those nominations! We can’t wait to hear from you.

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