Best PhD Thesis in Psychology Award
Application Procedure



BAPS sponsors an award for the best PhD thesis in Psychology. The goal is to recognize outstanding scientific contributions in any area of research in psychology by recent PhD graduates in psychology in Belgium. This way, the BAPS wants to foster young scientists’ careers, inside as well as outside of academia.

The next BAPS best PhD thesis awards will be awarded in 2021 (submissions in the fall of 2020). In 2022, a best PhD thesis award will be awarded by the National Academy ( The 2023 and 2024 award will again be awarded by BAPS and the 2025 award will again be selected by the Academy. This cycle will repeat every three years.

Candidates must have obtained a PhD in psychology defended at any Belgian university, with an (expected) public defense date in 2018 or in 2017 if they did not apply to the 2018 award. All kinds of psychological research have an equal chance of receiving the award regardless of the specific psychological subdiscipline (e.g., biological, cognitive, developmental, personality, quantitative, social, etc.) or whether it is more basic or applied (e.g., clinical, health, organizational, personnel, school, sports, etc.) psychology. Candidates must be members of BAPS for 2 years, which means that for this call, candidates should be member in 2018 and 2019. Membership for 2018 is still possible if the membership request is submitted by December 5th at the latest. Please submit your 2018 membership request by email to   Eva Van den Bussche <> .Membership for 2019 can be requested from early January 2019 onwards via a new online system that is currently being constructed.

We expect the nominated PhD theses to be amongst the 10% best works conducted by the cohort of PhD students. The main criterion will be the scientific merits, judged by an expert panel.

Candidates are invited to submit

  • a PDF file of the thesis

  • a CV (maximum 5 pages)

  • a 2,000 words summary of the PhD in English, highlighting the theoretical framework, the main methods, and most important findings and conclusions

  • a one-page summary of the impact of the work (max. 500 words). Impact should be conceived broadly in terms of scientific advancement (publications, invitation for symposia, keynote lectures, …) and/or societal relevance including relevance for practice (tool development, training sessions for clinicians, …). Dissemination of the work amongst a broad audience (e.g., media coverage) can be mentioned too.

  • The decisions will be based on the quality of the thesis and its impact but not on criteria such as the sheer number of publications of the candidate or impact factors of the journals in which the papers were published.

Submissions are due before December 3rd 2018, 19h. The shortlisted candidates will be mentioned as “finalists”. The winner will be announced at the BAPS Annual Meeting in Liège on May 14th, 2019. He/she is expected to give a talk during the Award Ceremony at the BAPS Annual Meeting, will receive 1000€ and will be invited to submit an overview paper to Psychologica Belgica.


​For further information and correspondence, please contact:

Gilles Vannuscorps (

Evaluation Procedure

The evaluation will follow a two-step procedure. As a first step, each application will be evaluated on the basis of the summary of the PhD, the summary of the impact of the work, and the CV by three members of the BAPS executive committee. Members will not evaluate applications of candidates who are affiliated to the same University as them or when there is a conflict of interest (see below). As a second step, a shortlist will be evaluated by a jury composed of BAPS past-presidents and a number of experts who are well-acquainted with the research domains of the shortlisted candidates. All those involved in the evaluation and selection of the candidates are asked to confirm that they do not have common financial interests or a familial or substantial professional relationship (i.e., supervisor of PhD, co-author of a publication during the past 5 years, head of department, member of the same research unit) and to disclose any other possible reasons for a conflict of interest.

Past Winners

2019: Jasper Van Assche (UGent)

2018: Kobe Desender (VUB)