Library:Circle/GSS Award

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IMPORTANT! The GSS (Graduate Student Society) cIRcle Open Scholar Award is no longer active. The GSS Award was a lottery based award for graduate students at UBC Vancouver which went live on July 9, 2012 and ended on May 1, 2017. The first two awards were presented on October 18, 2012.

As of May 1, 2017 the GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award concluded its five-year term and the collection in cIRcle was renamed the UBC Graduate Research collection for non-thesis research material from both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan campuses. Please visit our Graduate Non-Thesis Research page for information on how to submit your material to cIRcle.


The GSS (Graduate Student Society) cIRcle Open Scholar Award was a lottery based award for graduate students at UBC Vancouver which went live on July 9, 2012 and ended on May 1, 2017. The first two awards were presented on October 18, 2012.

Graduate students were eligible to submit exemplary non-thesis manuscripts or projects related to graduate coursework to the GSS (Graduate Student Society) cIRcle Open Scholar Award, with approval from their course instructors.

The Award was based on a lottery system held twice a year. A random selection was made from items submitted to cIRcle during the previous 6 month period – four awards will be made per annum, two in April and two in October.

This collection is NOT for UBC Theses and Dissertations which must be submitted in accordance with the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) into the Electronic Theses and Dissertations collection in cIRcle. Please contact the G+PS for authorization to submit your thesis or dissertation.

Background & Purpose

The GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award was a five-year (2012-2017) collaboration of the Graduate Student Society and cIRcle/UBC Library. The Award was the brainchild of Francisco Grajales, the GSS Senator at the time. He worked closely with Hilde Colenbrander (cIRcle Coordinator), the GSS Executive and others to implement this Award. The Award was approved by the UBC Vancouver Senate in late 2011, and technical implementation by cIRcle staff was completed in late June 2012.

The purpose of the Award was:

  1. To feature UBC as a leader in the open dissemination of graduate student work
  2. To create an incentive for graduate students to populate cIRcle with material beyond theses and dissertations

"The Open Scholar Award is an excellent representation of both UBC and its graduate students’ dedication to showcasing our unique intellectual output. It gives graduate students an opportunity to showcase their knowledge outside of their normal networks while encouraging the spirit of collaboration and interdisciplinarity."

- Christopher Roach, GSS President (2013-14)


Each Award is worth $500 and will only be awarded to UBC Vancouver graduate students, not to supervisors or course instructors. If an award winning project has more than one graduate student author, each of these authors will receive an equal proportion of the award money.


To be eligible for entry into the Award lottery:

  • You must be a registered graduate student at UBC Vancouver at the time you make your submission to cIRcle
  • Your submission must have been made to cIRcle on or after July 9th 2012, the launch date of the Award
  • You must have completed an exemplary non-thesis manuscript or project that is related to graduate coursework for submission to cIRcle
  • You must have obtained the approval of your course instructor or a faculty member to submit your non-thesis manuscript or project to cIRcle
  • Your submission must be openly accessible immediately

Members of the GSS Executive and Council are eligible for this Award. They have no direct participation in selecting the Award winners.

Types of work eligible for submission

  • projects that are related to graduate coursework at UBC Vancouver and
  • are approved for submission to cIRcle by your course instructor or faculty member

Some examples of possible types of work include:

  • Essays/papers
  • Presentations (including posters)
  • Video and audio based projects
  • Graduating projects or papers
  • Authorized versions of published journal articles based on course-related research

Multiple submissions

Students may make multiple submissions each year, subject to course instructor or faculty member approval. However, any submission will be eligible for the Award only once, during the 6 month period immediately preceding either the April or October draw.

An individual may only win once per academic year (September-August), but will again become eligible for the award the following year. This applies to any submissions contributed individually, or as part of a team. Therefore, team submissions are not eligible if one of the team members has previously won an individual award during the current academic year.

If you have submitted eligible work to a different cIRcle collection

Please let us know immediately, by contacting Eligible non-thesis graduate work submitted to specific disciplinary collections in cIRcle will be noted and accordingly included in the GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award lottery.


UBC Vancouver graduate students upload their own work to cIRcle, subject to course instructor approval, to the GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award collection.


IMPORTANT! Before submission, discuss the terms of the Award with your course instructor and obtain her/his approval to upload your non-thesis manuscript or project to cIRcle. Tell your course instructor that they will receive an automated email from cIRcle requesting their online approval after you have uploaded your project.

To submit your work to the GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award collection

Please follow these steps:

  1. Confirm your (& your project’s) eligibility.
    • Read the eligibility criteria for the GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award
    • Confirm that your course instructor is prepared to approve your submission.
    • If you have multiple group members, ensure that all have approved the project for submission.
    • Prepare your submission for uploading:
      • Ensure that you have the final clean copy of the submission. The file should not contain any annotations, comments, handwritten notes, or private information eg. student number, phone number, fax number, personal email address or mailing address).
      • Name your file according to the cIRcle File Naming Conventions.
      • PDF format is preferred for documents but cIRcle staff can convert files to PDF on your behalf if needed.
  2. Register for a cIRcle login, if you don’t have one yet.
  3. After logging in, click on ‘Submissions’ (under ‘My Account’) in the left hand column of your screen. Then click on ‘start a new submission’ and select the ‘GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award’ collection.
  4. Follow instructions on the next screens carefully as you describe and upload your submission.
    • Be sure to enter your name in the format that you wish to be known by. You are beginning to establish your scholarly identity: do you want to be known by your full name, include middle initials, etc? You should use this format of your name consistently on all your scholarly work; this will make it easier for others to find and identify your work.
  5. On the final screen you will be asked to agree to the cIRcle license; please review the terms and agree to the license.
    • If you are submitting a group project you should seek approval from your co-authors in advance of your agreeing to the license on behalf of the group.
  6. You will be asked to confirm that you meet the Award eligibility criteria. Then click on ‘Complete Submission’ and your submission will be routed to your course instructor for online approval.
    • Please note that you may receive an automated email indicating that revisions to your submission are required. It is important that you respond to such emails to complete the submission process.
  7. After your course instructor’s online approval has been received by cIRcle staff, we require an additional two business days to verify your record and add it to cIRcle.
  8. When your submission is added to the cIRcle database, you will receive a confirmation email with the link to your project.
    • For your item statistics, click on the 'Show Statistical Information' link at the bottom of your item’s web page to see the number of page displays (views) and file downloads from top countries and cities.


Four awards will be made per annum. In April & October, representatives from the GSS, cIRcle, and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) will meet to select the two submissions that will win the Award.

Selections will be made based on a lottery system that is entirely random. The (G+PS) representative performs the selection, with the GSS and cIRcle representatives observing.


On October 1st and on April 1st: cIRcle staff generate an online listing of all items uploaded to, or mapped into, the GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award collection during the preceding six months:

  • On April 1st, for the period October 1st to March 31st. Current submission deadline for this period is March 27, 2017.
  • On October 1st, for the period April 1st to September 30th.

Submission deadline

Students may submit their projects to cIRcle at any time throughout the year.

To qualify for potential Award selection on a specific date, students should have their submissions uploaded to cIRcle at least one week ahead of the October 1st or April 1st selection dates. If you will be graduating, please ensure that you have completed your submission 1-2 weeks before the end of your term as a registered student.

Students should also ensure that their course instructors are aware of the submissions since course instructors will have to login to cIRcle to approve student submissions online. After course instructor approval has been received in the cIRcle office, an additional two business days are required for cIRcle staff to verify your record and add it to the database.

The onus is on you to upload your submission in good time. If your submission is added to cIRcle after an Award selection date, it will be entered into the pool for the following Award selection date.


The GSS announces the Award winners before the end of October or April, as the case may be, and organizes the official presentation of the Awards.

"This opportunity is exactly the kind of thing that I hoped for when I started out as a graduate student. It is an opportunity to be recognized by my peers outside of the normal networks. This is an important initiative both for the collegial spirit it promotes and the way it encourages us to collaborate more openly. We look forward to hearing from you!"

- Conny Lin, GSS President (2012-13)

Past Winners

April 2017

  • Mok, Keilee. "A standardized two day nursing orientation program : a quality improvement project at a private hospital in Hong Kong."
  • Echeverri, Alejandra. "Ecosystem services in the proposed national park reserve for the South Okanagan : Lower Similkameen region." Co authors had graduated prior to the award period and were, therefore, ineligible.

October 2016

April 2016

  • Hosseini, Ali. "Morphometric analysis of inflammation in bronchial biopsies following exposure to inhaled diesel exhaust and allergen challenge in atopic subjects." Co-authors are faculty members and were not eligible for the award.
  • Ngo, Victor. "Transportation network companies and the ridesourcing industry : a review of impacts and emerging regulatory frameworks for Uber."

October 2015

April 2015

October 2014

May 2014

I think this award is a great way to recognize the diverse work that UBC graduate students do outside of their theses and dissertations. [The award] serves to increase awareness of open access publishing among graduate students and, in doing so, promotes the practice of sharing academic research with all – regardless of whether they are members of the UBC community or not.

- Polly Ng, GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award Winner, May 2014

October 2013

April 2013

I am grateful for the efforts of those responsible for cIRcle because I see it as a positive alternative that facilitates sharing of research and work. cIRcle catalyzes the sharing and building of ideas, motivating students to improve their work and to give back to the research community that provides so much for them.

- Robert DeAbreu, GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award Winner, April 2013

October 2012

  • Cornish, Lisa; Feige, Victoria (Tori); Guenter, Adriana; Kliewer, Christina; Mellis, Emily. Is the Decrease in Maximal Voluntary Contraction Following Tibalis Anterior Tendon Vibration Accompanied by a Disruption in Excitation Contraction Coupling?
  • Gonsalves, Jennifer; Kuyer, Evin; McKay, Tamara; Moffat, Amy; Palmer, Stephanie. The Effectiveness of Exercise Therapy in Reducing Pain and Improving Clinical Outcomes in Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy : a Systematic Review.

For Instructors

The GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award collection in cIRcle is for exemplary non-thesis graduate student work at UBC Vancouver. All work destined for this collection must be approved online (using a cIRcle login) by the students' course instructors. Only submissions of exemplary quality should be approved.

Please see the Course Instructor Help Guide for GSS Award for further information. Please note that the course instructors’ names will not be present on the project’s cIRcle webpage.


Recommended FAQs

About cIRcle

Why deposit in cIRcle?

Copyright, permissions and re-use

Deposit and removal of materials

Other questions?

If you have additional questions about submitting your work to cIRcle, please take a look at our cIRcle FAQs.