University Graduate School IUB

University Graduate School Distinguished Ph.D. Dissertation Award

Purpose: According to plans developed by faculty committees and approved by the Graduate Council, each degree granting program of The University Graduate School may nominate one "truly outstanding" Ph.D. dissertation for consideration.  The Awards Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council will consider such criteria as originality, documentation, significance, accuracy, organization, and style. The winner in each category will then be nominated for the 2017 CGS (Council of Graduate Schools)/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards.

Eligibility Criteria:  Ph.D. students must have received a Ph.D. degree during the two previous academic years (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017).

Award Value: Two awards of $5,000 each. One award will be given in each category, which match the fields of competition for the 2017 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards:

v Biological and Life Sciences: biology; botany; zoology; ecology; embryology; entomology; genetics; nutrition; plant pathology; plant physiology; anatomy; biochemistry; biophysics; microbiology; pathology; pharmacology; physiology; and related fields.

v Humanities/Fine Arts: history; philosophy; language; linguistics; literature; archaeology; jurisprudence; the history, theory and criticism of the arts; ethics; comparative religion; and those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philosophical approaches.

Note: The fields of competition for next year’s University Graduate School Distinguished Ph.D. Dissertation award will be Mathematics/Physical Sciences/Engineering and Social Sciences.

Note: If the dissertation is multi- or interdisciplinary, at least one of these fields should comprise a significant portion of the work. This should be addressed in recommenders’ letters and in the abstract of the dissertation.

Nomination Process:  Each degree-granting program of The University Graduate School is allowed one nominee in each category of a “truly outstanding” dissertation.  Nominations may be made by the Director of Graduate Studies or Departmental Chair by submitting the following in the order listed below:

v Completed application form

v A brief letter of nomination (no more than one page) from the Department Chairperson or from a Faculty Member designated by the Chairperson 

v Three letters of support, of which one must be from the nominee’s dissertation supervisor, another from a member of the nominee’s dissertation committee, and the third from a person of the nominee’s choice. A list of the questions which the Graduate Faculty Council’s Awards Committee will consider when making the award follows. The members of the research committee are invited to address these issues in their nominating letters

v A non-technical 1,000 word abstract which can be easily understood by all of the members of the Awards Committee (who come from a wide variety of different disciplines spanning the humanities, social sciences, and sciences)

v An abstract of the dissertation not to exceed ten pages (appendices containing other material, such as charts, tables, and/or references may be included as additional pages)

v A curriculum vitae (not to exceed five pages)

v An electronic copy of the dissertation (will not be returned)

Student Deadline:  Students must contact their department for the deadline. The UGS Distinguished Ph.D. Dissertation nomination must be submitted by the department. We will not accept any self-nominations.

Department Deadline: The nomination needs to be submitted by the department through the UGS Fellowships & Awards Canvas (in a single pdf file) by Friday, May 19, 2017 by clicking here:

Faculty and staff who need access to Canvas to upload nominations should send a request with their user id and department name to

Questions may be directed the Graduate Fellowships & Awards Coordinator at

All Day Friday May 19, 2017
Fellowships & Awards Coordinator
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