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Ethiopian Roads

Authority

BEST Masters
Thesis Selection
Procedures Manual

Prepared for the ERA sponsored


Postgraduate students at different local
Universities

ADDISABABA
May2013
V2

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Contents
I.

INTRODUCTION.....................................................................................................................................2

II.

LEVELOFSELECTION.............................................................................................................................2
2.1

UniversityLevel.............................................................................................................................3

2.2

NationalLevel...............................................................................................................................3

III.

ESTABLISHMENTOFSELECTIONCOMMITTEE..................................................................................3

3.1

UniversityLevel.............................................................................................................................3

3.2

NationalLevel...............................................................................................................................4

IV.

COMMITTEEALLOWANCE/REMUNERATION...................................................................................5

V. REWARDFORSELECTEDBESTTHESIS...................................................................................................5
ANNEX:CRITERIAFORTHENATIONALCOMMITTEETOSELECTTHEBESTTHESIS......................................6

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I.

INTRODUCTION

The Ethiopian government has been undertaking massive development programs to radically
alter the countrys years old poverty problems and to bring it up to the level of middle income
countries in 2025. Cognizant of the road infrastructure Development as the back bone and blood
artery for all economic, social and political progress, due emphasis has been given to the
implementation of Road Sector Development program since 1997 and subsequently dramatic
success have so far been registered.
With the consequence of construction industry booming in the country in general and the road
construction in particular and because of fast and smooth global mobilization of labor forces the
sector has suffered from acute shortages of construction manpower particularly high-level
trained professional engineers in the areas of technical and managerial positions. As a result, the
road construction sector has been exposed to inefficiencies such as tremendous cost/Time
overrun, quality of workmanship and etc. Cognizant of this, the Ethiopian Roads Authority has
designed a special Masters program for road sector engineers in 6 specific areas of road and
related fields of engineering targeting to graduate 3000 students in collaboration with local
Universities within 5 years (Growth and Transformation plan 2011-2015).The graduates are
expected to focus mainly on applied research during their thesis work to address the current and
future problems of the road construction sector. The Ethiopian Roads Authority is highly
motivated to implement the findings of the best thesis into practice to augment the performance
of the Road Sector Development. Therefore, to pave the smooth and transparent way of selecting
the best thesis for recognition and implementation of the findings this BEST Masters Thesis
Selection Procedure Manual is prepared.

II.

LEVELOFSELECTION

The selection of the best thesis shall be made in two levels to give opportunity to each university
to come up with their best thesis using their own selection criteria. Since the competition will be
very high and each university will come up with the thesis they believe will win. It is hoped that
each university will try to produce a winner thesis and this will consequently improve and
develop the teaching and research capability by creating competition among universities.
Therefore two levels of the selection will be the first at the University level where they select
their best thesis and send to the national committee which is composed of ERA, Universities and
the industry. ERA will be the main responsible organization and leader of the national
committee. The best thesis selection criteria at the national level are prepared (attached as annex)
and will be used by the national committee.

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2.1 UniversityLevel

The best Thesis from every field of study shall be selected initially at each university
by each respective Department. Currently there are 6 (six) programs that are
considered for this purpose and the universities will use their own selection criteria.
Each Department shall establish a selection committee comprising professionals of
renowned experiences and knowledge in the area of the subject matter
Each Department shall submit the best top or branded as 1st grade thesis from each
field of study to the Director of the Institute
The best thesis selected from each field of study and got final endorsement and
approval by the respective department at the university shall be sent to the National
Best Thesis Selection Committee Led by the Ethiopian Roads Authority.
Only one thesis is selected from one field of study

2.2 NationalLevel

The national selection Level is the level at which all selected thesis forwarded from
all Universities in each area of study will contest again with each other to identify the
best thesis in the area of road engineering at national level.
The Ethiopian Roads Authority shall establish a national committee from time to
time.
The national Committee led by the Ethiopian Roads Authority shall comprise all main
stakeholders representatives of renowned experiences and knowledge in the area of
the subject matter.
The National Committee shall select the best thesis from each field of study and
submit it to the Ethiopian Roads Authority Director General for final endorsement
with appropriate reward packages proposal.
The Ethiopian Roads Authority Director General shall have the final say on the final
selection result and accompanied reward packages thereto and shall make official the
winning thesis of the year in the area of road engineering.

III. ESTABLISHMENTOFSELECTIONCOMMITTEE
3.1 UniversityLevel

The Best thesis of the year selection committee shall be established at each University
based on their own procedures to do the same. They may communicate with ERA at
the time of formation of the committee.
The selection committee at University level will be established by the Dean of
Respective Engineering Institute and Chaired by Civil engineering Department head.
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The committee mem


mbers at thee Universityy level shalll comprise two experieenced
professorss from each field of studdy and one exxternal exam
miner/advisoor.
Committeee members for each fielld of study shhall not exceeed 3 (three)).

3.2
2 Nationa
alLevel

The comm
mittee at the national Level
L
shall be
b establishhed by The Ethiopian Roads
R
Authority
y.
ERA shaall appoint/aassign the National
N
Coommittee chhair person from the higher
h
managem
ment level or any relevannt professionnal outside of
o ERA and the
t Researchh and
Developm
ment Directoorate shall seerve as the coommittee seccretary.
The national Committtee comprisees professionnals/practitiooners from
onstruction Contractors
C
Association,
Co
Co
onsultancy Association,
A
Un
niversities ,
Reelevant ERA
A offices,
Committeee members for each fielld of study shhall not exceeed 5

Fig. Arraangement of the committtee at the two levels

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IV. COMMITTEEALLOWANCE/REMUNERATION

V.

Committee members shall be paid allowance


The allowance shall be determined by the number of meeting days and special
assignments given to each member as deemed necessary
Allowance for a meeting shall be a minimum of Birr 1000.
The number of meetings shall not exceed three (3)

REWARDFORSELECTEDBESTTHESIS

Special reward in KIND/CASH shall be given to best Thesis selected as the best thesis of the
year. The following is the reward proposed for selected best thesis:

The best National Thesis graded selected shall be published in acknowledged Local
and international Journals with full material and financial support from the Ethiopian
Roads Authority.
The entire thesis graded as best and submitted from all Universities to the Ethiopian
Roads Authority irrespective of their level given at national Level by national
selection committees shall be awarded Certificate of recognition officially signed by
The Dean of the program or president of the University.
The Ethiopian Roads Authority has the full right to implement and disseminate the
scientific findings of the thesis without soliciting any permission from the
respective University or the principal Author/s of the thesis
ERA may also arrange any reward in addition to the above indicated (in kind) to
motivate the winner.

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ANNEX:CRITERIAFORTHENATIONALCOMMITTEETOSELECTTHE
BESTTHESIS

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MASTERS THESIS EVALUATION CRITERIA


1. INTRODUCTION
This criteria is developed for the evaluation Masters Thesis prepared by Masters students that
are sponsored by the Ethiopian Roads Authority at different local universities. This criteria is not
a substitute or does not have any relationship to the universitys criteria and merely used for the
purpose of motivating students who contribute to the engineering field. Therefore the criteria
may be different from those prepared by academic institutions and one should not confuse it
otherwise.
A Masters thesis should be based on original investigation and must demonstrate scholarship
and critical judgment, international standard as well as familiarity with methods of research and
relevant literature in the candidates field of study. The thesis shall be based on high level of
originality and examine the problem in depth so that the conclusions/recommendations drawn
have strong power to solve the problem at hand or open a new insight for further studies.
The relevancy to the current road sector is highly regarded and its ability to solve any current
problem as well as new looking to the problem will be given highest mark. Acknowledgement
and respect to others work is highly appreciated and one should give extra care not to copy
others work (be it past works or currently ongoing). Based on the general frame work of
originality and clarity of the thesis ERA has decided to motivate those who produce an up to the
standard and problem solving works. The following criteria are then developed to reflect ERAs
interest and also motivate future Masters students.
The evaluation of thesis is based on the overall evaluation and the grade of the thesis does not
represent the average value of the different elements as the importance of the elements varies
according to the nature of the thesis.
2. PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED
To evaluate the thesis a special committee will be formed by ERA. The members and their
number shall be identified in due course. In the evaluation process of the thesis, the following
procedures are to be followed:

Advertisement to call for interested competitors will be posted at the universities and
other appropriate means of communication systems

The master thesis shall be selected and forwarded to the National evaluation committee
from his/her department in the University.

The student shall defend his/her work and prove that his work is original.

The committee then evaluates the work based on the format developed (attached to this)
and presentations and defenses by the student.

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The committee will finally release the result of the winning thesis and the result will be
posted on the University notice board and other means of communications.

The wining thesis will be awarded by the Ethiopian Roads Authority.

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It

Evaluation criteria

Description

Originality of the research


Idea

Problem
statement/formulation

Research Design

Use of literature

Materials used in the research

Analysis

The research idea shall be original idea either


emanated from the university or the student. Its
level of innovation or bringing new ways of
doing things or development of new technology
is given highest regard.
The problem shall be relevant to the current
issues in the road industry. The following shall
be considered in this case:
a) Relevance to the current problem
b) Clarity in describing the problem at hand
c) Need for the problem to be researched
d) Presenting the study question and Clarity
of the goal
e) Grounds for problem
statement/formulation
Theoretical framework of the research and
research methods followed are main focus areas
and should be scientific based on international
standard. As this is an engineering thesis
practical testings (could be laboratory or field
practical works) have an advantage.
Extensive literature review is required in doing
Masters thesis. Literatures shall include
scientific articles and international journals.
This helps in understanding what has been done
so far in the area of study and will give wider
level of information to student. It also helps not
duplicate efforts by doing works which have
already been done somewhere else. As a
criterion, then the minimum number of literature
reviewed shall not be less than 10 (Ten)
The suitability of materials used in the research
process shall be checked for the grounds of
choosing, methods used in collecting them and
extensiveness and structure of the material.
Consistency and depth of analysis and method

Points
awarded Justification
(5=Excellent, 1= poor awarded
1
2
3
4
5

for

the

point

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Discussions/argumentations

Reporting on the research

Citation and referencing

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Conclusions

of presenting the results of analysis shall be


clear and easy to understand. In this regard the
tables and graphs used to show the results are
assessed. Also appropriateness of the statistics
shall also be considered.
The connection of this research to previous
researches in the field of study, showing the
connection between the problem studied to the
conclusion, clarity of consistency and
argumentation and the scientific value of new
finding and practical importance of the results
are the main issues to be considered
Clarity and consistency of the report structure,
illustrations of graphic presentations, use of
concise language and report format, consistency
and relevancy of the appendices are to be
considered.
In the report citation shall be given much
attention and all sited materials shall be shown
in order. Referencing shall be a well known
standard referencing system and shall be shown
accordingly. The referencing and citation
system will be as per the universitys standard.
The conclusion shall be logical and shall follow
the observations made in the research work. The
conclusion shall also be evidence based and
clearly written.

Students Name
Title of the Thesis
Evaluators Name

Signature:_________________ Date ___________

Given point:

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Remarks and recommendations:


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