Outstanding Dissertation Award
Outstanding Dissertation Award
About the Outstanding Dissertation Award


2023 Outstanding Dissertation Award Winner, Dr. Annie M. Wofford, University of California, Los Angeles with Professor David Felton. 

Rewriting the script for equity-minded graduate school pathways: Examining mechanisms of mentoring and psychosocial development in computing disciplines.

Special recognition to an outstanding dissertation or doctoral thesis written in English that contributes important knowledge to the study of doctoral education is given biennially. Nominated dissertations may use quantitative, qualitative, historical, ethnographic, or other analytical methods and be based on original data collection or secondary data analysis.

The nominations are reviewed by the Outstanding Dissertation Award (ODA) Committee. The award recipient will be invited to present his or her research at the annual AERA meeting and be reimbursed up to $500 in travel expenses.

Past Outstanding Dissertation Award Winners

2020 Mayra S. Artiles Fonseca, Virginia Tech University

2018 Catherine Berdanier, Pennsylvania State University

2016 Angela Hooser, University of Florida

2014 Julie Posselt, University of Michigan

2012 Erin D. Crede, Virginia Tech University

2012 Honorable Mention: Kimberly A. Truong, University of Pennsylvania and Baaska Anderson, University of North Texas

The next outstanding dissertation award will be given at the 2024 Annual Meeting.  

Submission Requirements

A nomination package shall contain the following materials:

Submission Requirements

A nomination package shall contain the following materials:

  1. A cover sheet including candidate’s details including contact information postal and email, title of thesis/dissertation, abstract, names of supervisor/advisor/chair, co-supervisors and or thesis committee members (email), conferring institution, when degree will be/has been conferred.
  2. A nomination letter written by the student’s supervisor/advisor/chair, co-supervisor or thesis committee member
    1. outlining the characteristics that make the dissertation exceptional (e.g., importance of the topic, theoretical/methodological quality, analytical perspicacity, contributions to the research literature, and so forth)
    2. confirming the date on which the degree will be/has been conferred.
  3. The following parts of the actual dissertation:
    1. Title page
    2. Table of contents
    3. One representative chapter that best exemplifies the dissertation’s contribution to research on doctoral education.
    4. List of cited references  
  4. A 750-word summary of the study prepared by the student
  5. Please submit a full masked dissertation (uploaded as a single PDF). To create a masked dissertation, nominees may need to omit dedications, acknowledgments, copyright information, etc. Nominees do not need to omit their positionality statements if their dissertation contains one. Full masked dissertations will be shared with the committee only for finalists.

Google Form Application: https://forms.gle/qrLJH6yLCsghWNKdA. Applications for all awards are due on December 1, 2023 5:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time. Contact Stephanie Lezotte (lezotte@rowan.edu) with questions. 

All nomination materials should be submitted in Portable Document Format (PDF). A faculty member may nominate no more than two candidates.

Application process

The process for determining the individual deserving of the Dissertation Award is as follows:

Stage I

1. The ODA Committee will review nomination materials between December 1 and January 31 to select a small group of finalists.

2.  Finalists will be asked to submit a PDF version of the entire dissertation to the ODA Committee by February 15 of the year in which the award is made.

Stage II

1. The ODA Committee will review finalists’ complete dissertations and select the winning dissertation.

2. The winner will be notified by the beginning of March and invited to present his or her work at the SIG meeting during the AERA annual meeting.

3. The Committee Chair will announce the Outstanding Dissertation Award recipient at the SIG 168 Business Meeting with the winner receiving a certificate/plaque.

4. The recipient’s name will be added to the winners noted in the SIG’s annual program.

SIG 168

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