Outstanding Dissertation Award

2012 Outstanding Dissertation Award Winner, Dr. Erin Crede with Professor Christine Halse. 

Application process

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.

Set out below are the deadline, criteria for submission and description of the two-stage process.

The next outstanding dissertation award will be given at the 2023 Annual Meeting. 

Deadline: DECEMBER 1, 2022

Nominations should be received by the Chair of the ODA Committee, by 5 pm US Eastern Time on December 1 of the year prior to the year in which the award will be given.

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

a. 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)

b. confirming the date on which the degree will be/has been conferred.

A faculty member may nominate no more than two candidates.

3. The following parts of the actual dissertation:

a. Title page

b. Table of contents

c. One representative chapter that best exemplifies the dissertation’s contribution to research on doctoral education.

d. List of cited references  

4. A 750-word summary of the study prepared by the student

All nomination materials should be submitted via e-mail to the chair of the ODA committee in Portable Document Format (PDF).


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.