The Graduate School supports and administers several awards to celebrate the outstanding faculty and students involved in graduate education at ECU.

Distinguished Graduate Faculty Mentor Awards

The Faculty Mentor Awards are awarded each Spring at the Research & Creative Achievement Week award ceremony. Two faculty are chosen from student or peer nominations which undergo a robust application and review process.  The faculty mentor award committee includes the winners from the previous year. Nomination announcements are typically in October and November each year. Questions can be directed to Dr. Michelle Eble (

Thesis and Dissertation Awards

The Thesis and Dissertation Awards are given each year in coordination with the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools and the Council of Graduate Schools.   Each year, Colleges are asked to submit nominations for their best master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation to the Graduate School for review by the Thesis and Dissertation Award Committee. Faculty are invited to serve on this committee.  The disciplines considered for the award change each year on a rotating basis.  Nominations are typically requested during Fall semester each year and are submitted by the Associate Deans of each College. For 2024, the deadline is February 2, 2024. Questions can be directed to Dr. Michelle Eble (

3 Minute Thesis Awards

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an oral presentation contest where graduate students provide a summary of their research in 3 minutes or less using only one slide. Students across all disciplines are invited to present their work. Topics are not limited to thesis or dissertation work and students are encouraged to present any research they are completing as a part of their graduate program. Six finalists are identified and of them a Grand Champion is chosen. The audience also votes to select the People’s Choice Award.  The competition is held in October or November each year and students sign up in September.

Research & Creative Achievement Week

Research & Creative Achievement Week (RCAW) is a celebratory week of student presentations, both undergraduate and graduate, to highlight their research and creative works. Presentations take the form in many ways – podium, poster, exhibits, dances, shows, and performances. Graduate students are encouraged to speak with their mentors early to develop plans for participating in RCAW each year. Students submit their abstracts in January and February each year with the event typically held within the first 2 weeks of April.  Awards are given to outstanding presentation in multiple categories by discipline.