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Projects on Iran

● About the project

Following the accomplishment of prior ISG-SUTA thesis award, Iranian Studies Group at MIT (ISG) and Sharif University Alumni Association (SUTA) cordially invite scholars and students across the globe working on contemporary Iranian society to submit their theses for the 2006 thesis competition.
We look for outstanding theses that address important issues related to contemporary Iranian society in the following priority fields:

Business Administration and Management
Civil Society and NGO Management
Disaster Management
Expatriate Communities
International Relations
Political Science and Sociology
Public Health
Regional Development
Sustainable Development and Environment
Women's Studies

Outstanding theses in other areas will be considered.

The emphasis of the awards is on graduate thesis (Master's and Doctoral), but outstanding undergraduate theses will be considered. Nominations should be submitted no earlier than midnight, August 1st, 2006, and no later than December 31st, 2006. For information on submissions, please see below.

ISG and SUTA will jointly administer the thesis competition, and forward theses in each category to a panel of judges that is comprised of outstanding faculty members in the field of thesis submission.


To be eligible for the 2006 ISG/SUTA Outstanding Thesis Competition, Master's or Doctoral-level theses must have been completed in the time period from May 1st, 2005 to December 30th, 2006. Authors must have successfully defended their thesis or received the final approval and all required sign-offs on their thesis document by the time of the application. There are no citizenship requirements for this award, although prize disbursement for applicants currently living in Iran will be subject to certain restrictions described later in this document.

Submission Process

All papers and supporting documents must be received by December 31st, 2006. Any documents received after that date and/or submissions without all of the appropriate documentation will not be reviewed.

ISG encourages submissions from all countries. However, theses must be submitted either in English or in Farsi (Persian). The following information and documentation should be submitted to by the due date. Completed application form include:

- Completed Application Form
- A 2-8 Page Summary of the Thesis in English (Microsoft Word Document)
- An electronic copy of the complete dissertation (in English or Persian) in Microsoft Word or Portable Document Format (PDF) with the applicants name and contact information clearly featured on the first page.
- A one page statement of purpose (in English) outlining why the applicant believes this thesis is an important contribution for a better understanding of contemporary Iranian society or expatriate communities should be attached as a word document (or PDF)

By submitting the application, applicants agree to give the Iranian Studies Group the permission to reproduce the dissertation abstracts in its publications.


Applicants will receive notification of the receipt of the application via email.

Reviewing Process

For each category, a panel of faculty members and experts will review each submitted thesis. Their evaluations will be used to select those papers that merit more detailed assessment as final candidates for the award. The dissertations of the finalist candidates will be reviewed by the Thesis Award Selection Committee, which will make the final choice. As this is an award competition, no reviews will be provided.

Announcement of Winners

The winners of the thesis award competition will be announced by May 2007. There will be no individual notification of the status of any competitor until the official announcement in June.


1st Prize $1,000 + ISG/SUTA Award Letter
2nd Prize $500+ ISG/SUTA Award Letter
3rd Prize $250 +ISG/SUTA Award Letter
4th and 5th Prizes ISG/SUTA Recognition Letters


ISG and SUTA are barred by the U.S. OFAC Iranian Transactions Regulations - 31 C.F.R. Part 560 from transferring any funds to persons or legal entities in Iran. As such prizes for applicants that currently reside in Iran cannot be sent to Iran and will be deposited in accounts of their choice.

For More Information Please Contact:

Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award Committee
Iranian Studies Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology