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BERA Announces 2023 Masters Dissertation and Doctoral Thesis Awards

Every year BERA recognises academic excellence and rigour in research by a Master of Education and Doctorate student. This underscores BERA’s commitment to developing capacity, advancing quality and methodological originality within the field of educational research. 

We are pleased to announce the BERA College of Reviewers alongside BERA’s Engagement Committee has completed the judging of the 2023 BERA Masters Dissertation and Doctoral Thesis awards and is awarding two prizes:

Dawn Cunningham Hall has been awarded the 2023 Masters Dissertation prize for her dissertation ““Indigenous Perspectives on Academic Integrity in Post-Secondary Institutions in British Columbia”

Balwant Kaur has been awarded the 2023 Doctoral Thesis Prize for her thesis “Education encounters, hybrid identities and spectral traces: contesting the myths of Aston through the accounts of South Asian Muslim Women

Both winners will recieve a £500 prize as well as  complimentary registration at BERA Conference 2023.

BERA 2023 Masters Dissertation Award Winner

Greetings from the unceded territories of the Musqueam (MUS-kwee-um), Squamish (SKWA-mish), and Tsleil-Waututh (tSLAY-wah-tooth) Nations, in the city now known as Vancouver.

I so wish I could be there with all of you today to celebrate another year of BERA activity, and to continue the many wonderful conversations that we started at the BERA conference in Birmingham earlier this year.

When I received word from my wonderful supervisor, Dr Kevin Proudfoot from the University of Glasgow, that I was the recipient of the 2023 Masters Dissertation award, I was quite surprised, then instantly grateful that no one else was in my office, as happy tears started streaming down my face. Of course, the personal validation was and will always be something I treasure, but more importantly, knowing that the perspectives of the participants had been recognised meant more to me than the award itself.

Thank you for hearing the voices of the participants in this research project, whose stories and artwork remind us that we are all connected. When we respectfully enter into that connected space, I believe we will find opportunities to reimagine academic integrity in a way that honours Indigenous knowledges, embraces different ways of knowing and being, and celebrates the complexity and diversity of our interconnected relationships.

Indigenous scholar Shawn Wilson quoted a friend who said, ‘If research doesn’t change you as a person, then you aren’t doing it right.’ I can’t say I did everything right, but I can certainly say that I’ve been changed. My hope for the future is that we will continue to embrace change in our academic institutions, to challenge colonial norms, and to put people, rather than policies, first.

BERA 2023 Doctoral Thesis Award Winner


Profile picture of Balwant Kaur
Balwant Kaur, Dr

Assistant Professor for Race, Social Justice and Education at University of Birmingham

I am an Assistant Professor of Race, Social Justice and Education at the University of Birmingham. My research interests include: exploring the experiences of women in diasporic communities; culture and migration through a hauntological and...