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The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize

Emeritus Professor Ian Davey

Emeritus Professor Ian Davey

The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize fund supports a prize to acknowledge the most outstanding research thesis by a University of South Australia research degree student leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree. The award aims to encourage the recipient to travel overseas and undertake research.


Prize criteria

The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize will be awarded to the most outstanding research thesis passed and leading to a Doctor of Philosophy in the preceding calendar year. The prize is a prestigious honour and may not be awarded in a year should the selection committee consider there is no meritorious candidate.

Candidates for the award will be nominated by institute directors, directors of research centres or deans research (or equivalent), by the end of December, for presentation at a graduation ceremony in the following year.

The prize will be normally awarded to a thesis of excellence that is:

  • passed without changes or only with minor changes of an editorial nature
  • noted for the quality, international standing and location of the examiners and the content of their reports
  • accepted or most likely to be accepted for publication
  • likely to have a significant impact on communities beyond the University

Selection committee and management of the award

The selection committee consists of the following members who will recommend the winner to the Vice Chancellor and provide a brief report to the Foundation Committee:

  • The Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President: Research and Innovation, or like member of the Senior Management Group
  • The Dean of Graduate Studies, or like member of the University
  • Emeritus Professor Ian Davey, or in the event of his unavailability, a senior respected University researcher from another Australian university as nominated by the Vice Chancellor

The selection committee is convened by the Graduate Research Manager.

The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize fund will be managed and administered by the Foundation Committee.


The Ian Davey Research Thesis prize is $5,000.

The Foundation Committee will determine the level of the prize recognising that the intention is for the prize to be awarded in perpetuity.

Contributions to the fund may be accepted from various sources but the name of the prize shall remain unchanged.

About Emeritus Professor Ian Davey

The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize fund exists thanks to the generosity of Emeritus Professor Ian Davey

Emeritus Professor Ian Davey retired from the University of South Australia in 2006, having served as Pro Vice Chancellor (Research & International) from 1994 to 2003 and Pro Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) from 2004 to 2006. Prior to joining UniSA, he was the inaugural Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Adelaide from 1991 to 1994 and Chair of its Research Committee from 1987 to 1990. 

His academic background is in social and demographic history with a particular interest in the impact of industrialisation on childhood experience. He was President of the Australian & New Zealand History of Education Society in 1987, Chair of the Deputy & Pro Vice Chancellors Research Committee in 1997 and a member of the Commonwealth Government's Research Quality Framework Development Advisory Group in 2006.  

Professor Davey was also an inaugural member of the South Australian Premier's Science & Research Council and has served on the boards, of both Luminis and ITEK, the commercial arms of the University of Adelaide and UniSA. He has also been on the boards of TGR Biosciences, the Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute, the History Trust of South Australia and numerous Cooperative Research Centres. 

He is currently a member of the Board of the CRC for Remote Economic Participation, the successor to the Desert Knowledge CRC, and chairs its Research Quality & Innovation Committee.


Approved by Research Degrees Committee, 4 May 2006
Approved by Academic Board