Commission D1 Gravitational Wave Astrophysics


GWIC-Braccini Thesis Prize for 2021: Call for Nominations

PLEASE NOTE: The nomination deadline is 31 January 2022.

The Gravitational Wave International Committee and the Friends of Stefano Braccini are pleased to announce the yearly prize recognising an outstanding Ph.D. thesis in the field of gravitational waves, the GWIC-Braccini Thesis Prize.  Nominations for the 2021 GWIC-Braccini Thesis Prize are now open.

Members of the gravitational wave community are invited to nominate students who have performed notable research on any aspect of gravitational wave science. Theses will be judged on 1) originality and creativity of the research, 2) importance to the field of gravitational waves and gravitational wave detection, broadly interpreted, and 3) clarity of presentation. The winner will receive a certificate of recognition and a prize of US$ 1,000. We aim to award the 2021 prize at a relevant conference in 2022. Depending on the situation, we may be able to offer support for travel (up to US$ 1,000) to receive the prize in person.

Eligibility:  In this cycle, the prize will be awarded on a calendar year basis for 2021. The theses should have been accepted by their institutions between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021. It is expected that many of the nominations will come from the member projects of GWIC, but this is not a requirement. Nominated theses may be in any language. A committee selected from the gravitational wave community will evaluate the nominations and select the winner. The selection committee will make all determinations about eligibility.

Nominations: Nominations should be submitted by 31st January 2022. The nomination package consists of (i) the thesis, (ii) a letter of nomination, preferably from the thesis advisor, and (iii) a supporting letter from another scientist familiar with the work, and iv) an 1-2 page abstract of the thesis written by the nominee. The nomination and supporting letters should describe the importance and novelty of the research and the student’s particular contribution.

Electronic submission of the thesis and letters is strongly preferred, with the thesis, abstract and the letters in separate pdf files (4 files in total). Electronic copies of the nomination materials may be sent to Martin Hewitson at All submissions will be acknowledged; if an acknowledgement is not received shortly after the deadline, please contact Martin Hewitson. Please also provide a contact email address, and current institution for the nominee in the nomination letter.

If electronic submission is impossible, please contact Martin Hewitson for instructions concerning paper submission, or for any other concerns or queries.

Finally, we are aware that due to COVID, it is highly possible that thesis plans could be delayed, and in some cases formal extensions to thesis submissions may be in place in certain institutions. Please let us know if such delays and extensions affect any students you would otherwise nominate. Our preference at the moment is to continue with the normal schedule for the prize, but if there is significant evidence that a delay to the process would be appropriate, we will consider it.

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