Two awards are given each academic year: one in the non-STEM fields and another in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. Dissertations from the social sciences and professional schools may choose the category that best fits the project. Award winners will receive a $1000 cash prize.
To be eligible for the 2015 award, the dissertation must be defended and submitted to the Graduate School in time for commencement in August 2014, December 2014, or May 2015.
Near the spring deadline for defense date, the Graduate School will issue a call for nominations. Graduate Program Directors are asked to submit one nominee per department.
After receiving all of the nominations, the Graduate School will notify each of the selected students that their project has been nominated and is thereby recognized as the outstanding dissertation from their department.
A selection committee comprised of Graduate Program Directors will determine the two winners from among the department nominees. The dissertations will be evaluated according to the following criteria: