Submit your MA thesis and compete for the first-ever AP Thesis Award

This year, for the first time, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens, AP) will award a prize to the best master’s thesis that touches on the theme of ‘supervision of algorithms’. Students of the current academic year who have written a thesis that fits this theme, can submit their thesis and compete for the main prize of 2000 euros. 

The Dutch DPA has established the AP Thesis Award to encourage talented students to conduct relevant scientific research in the field of data protection. This yields valuable new knowledge and insights. The theses will have to fit with a specific theme, which will vary each year. This year’s theme is ‘supervision of algorithms’, a broad theme that fits well with the DPA’s new task of coordinating supervision of algorithms, which launched at the beginning of this year.


To compete for the AP Thesis Award, the theses must meet a number of conditions.

The submitted thesis:

  • is a Dutch university master’s thesis, written in the academic year 2022/2023 (September 2022 - August 2023);
  • fits with the theme “monitoring algorithms”;
  • has been assessed by the university with a grade of 8 or higher;
  • contains a summary of up to 500 words;
  • contains no reference to the student’s name and university in the text, on the front page, in the title sheet, in headers or footers or in the summary;
  • is not written by an employee, graduate or trainee who is or was employed by the AP in the same academic year.

Theses that meet the above conditions can be submitted until September 1, 2023, by filling out the registration form and e-mailing it to with the thesis and grades list attached.

Assessment of the theses

Based on the summaries, a preselection takes place, after which the most appealing theses are assessed by a special evaluation committee. The submitted theses are assessed through blind review, where the names and educational establishments of the students are not visible to the evaluation committee.

They will assess the theses on the basis of four criteria:

  1. Originality of the thesis;
  2. Relevant knowledge and insights for the Dutch Data Protection Authority;
  3. Scientific quality;
  4. Readability and presentation;

The thesis with the highest rating is awarded the grand prize of 2000 euros. In addition, there are also cash prizes for second place (1000 euros) and third place (500 euros).

Awards ceremony

On January 29, 2024 (the day after Data Protection Day) a festive award ceremony will take place at the DPA’s office in The Hague, where the winners will present their theses to employees of the AP.

Persoon staat aan bureau met computer en papieren