IFERA 2014 Ph.D. Proposal Competition



The International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA) is dedicated to facilitating and promoting the advancement of family business research by encouraging sound, scholarly, and rigorous research practices derived from all accepted methods of inquiry and philosophical traditions. The IFERA Best Ph.D. Research Proposal Competition initiative aims to acknowledge and honor the next generation of family business scholars whose research is deemed to hold significant promise to increase extant knowledge in the broad area of family business. 


2000 € award sponsored by IFERA.


 PhD students undertaking research in an accredited academic institution.

 Students whose studies are within the first 12-15 months of candidature (i.e. expect to complete their dissertation by 2015).

 Students whose dissertation proposals have been approved by the advisor/committee.


Before the deadline of April 30, 2014, go to https://www.softconf.com/f/ifera2014/  to complete the submission process.  Please make sure that you have the following ready because they are required before you can complete the submission process:

1. Title of Research Proposal

2. Abstract (200 word limit) – Type or Cut and paste in the textbox on the submission page.

3. A detailed summary– Upload a file in Word or PDF format

  • This summary should outline key aspects relevant to the research philosophy employed. In particular, research objectives, leading research question(s), outline of theory driving the research or shown to be potentially developed, relevant literature review, study justification, and other aspects relevant to the accepted by the standards of the research philosophy employed, as well as the refereed journal(s) that will be targeted. (Maximum 20 pages double-spaced in12 point font; note that title page, abstract, figures, tables, and references are not counted for page limit purposes.)

4. Letter of recommendation from your primary Ph.D. supervisor-Upload a file The letter must also certify that the student has completed all degree requirements except dissertation. This indicates that your dissertation supervisor has reviewed your proposal and endorses your submission for this award.

5. Brief Curriculum Vita - Upload a file

Only online submissions will be accepted at https://www.softconf.com/f/ifera2014  You can also find links for online submission at http://ifera2014.ifera.org/ .  No email or hard copies will be accepted.  


Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

 Quality of research question(s)

 Adherence to the best practices of the research philosophy and tradition employed

 Potential significance, impact, and contributions of findings on the family business field 

"Winning  the PhD proposal award strengthened my confidence to pursue a research project that is quite innovative, both in theory and methodology, and therefore more risky than alternative options. Moreover the feedback comments I received from anonymous reviewers helped me refine my proposal, and improve its alignment with existing research."

- Melanie Ganter, University of St. Gallen, winner of the PhD Proposal Award 2013