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Umeå sustainability prize for theses in business administration

Research Institute for Organization and Business in Sustainable Transitions (ROBUST) at Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics in collaboration with Umeå Energy award an annual thesis prize to encourage business students to become interested in and immerse themselves in sustainability. Eligible to apply for the prize are students in business administration who have written a thesis on the bachelor or master levels where the main focus is sustainability.

Nomination of theses written and published in 2023 is now open!

We direct a special invitation to high-quality thesis that focus on the connections between sustainability and crises but all theses that fulfill the nomination criteria are welcome for nomination.

We live in the times of several complex and interconnected crises. Apart from the efforts to make transition to a fossil-free society there is also a growing need for organizations and businesses to adapt to climate change that can lead to extensive disruptions in the future. There are also other crises with recent examples such as pandemics, wars, energy crisis, and recession that can make the work on sustainability and climate transitions even more challenging.

Possible research questions can include but are not limited to:

How can organizations maintain their sustainability work in the times of crises such as Covid-19 pandemic and energy crisis?

How does recession and economic crises affect sustainable consumption or sustainability efforts in a company?

How can sustainability be used as a tool in crisis management?

What are the similarities and differences between sustainability transitions and crisis preparedness?


To be considered for the prize the thesis shall be written for obtaining a degree in business administration at a Swedish university or university college. This means that theses that treat issues related to organization, leadership, finance, accounting, marketing and entrepreneurship can be nominated only if they also focus on some aspect of sustainability and/or business ethics. Sustainability here means "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". Within this, foremost ecological, social and cultural aspects are considered, but also economic and ethical based on the sustainable development goals and Agenda 2030.

In addition to the above, the following aspects are relevant to be considered:

  • Originality regarding topic and/or method
  • Academic quality and rigor
  • The thesis' contribution to the subjects of business administration and/or sustainability, and business ethics
  • Research relevance and contribution to the development of new research questions
  • Practical connection and relevance/importance to society at large (including the business community)

Nomination Procedure

Director of studies, thesis responsible or similar at each business administration department at Swedish universities and university colleges have the right to nominate one thesis to represent each business school/department. The thesis must be written and approved during the year 2023 as well as plagiarism controlled and be in full text in the respective department's public thesis database (DiVA or similar) at the time of nomination. Nominations are made by filling in the form in accordance with the instructions in the form.

Extended deadline. Last day to nominate the thesis is January 15th 2024.

Nomination closed.


A jury consisting of representatives from academia, industry and the civil society sector will assess the theses.

Prize money

Winners will be announced on ROBUST's website three months after the deadline for nominations. Prize winners will be invited to USBE and ROBUST yearly graduation ceremony and ball. The prize is awarded in the form of a grant of SEK 25 000. Second - and third prize runners up will be awarded an honorable mention which is also published on ROBUST's website.

Previous prize winners

Thesis prize partner

The Umeå sustainability prize for theses in business administration is awarded in cooperation with Umeå Energi that have made the financing possible.

Questions about the thesis prize should be addressed to Maxim Vlasov.

Latest update: 2024-01-16