University Dissertation Fellows

Annual Award for best Ph.D. Dissertations in August, December, February and May. A prize of $1,000 and a certificate of recognition will be awarded by the Office of Graduate and Professional Education for the outstanding dissertation in each of the following groups.

  1. The Wilbur Owen Sypherd Prize in the Humanities (Art History, English, History and Linguistics).
  2. The George Herbert Ryden Prize in the Social Sciences (Education, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Urban Affairs and Public Policy, Human Development and Family Studies, Energy and Environmental Policy).
  3. The Allan P. Colburn Prize in the Mathematical Sciences and Engineering (Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science, Operations Research and all Engineering programs).
  4. The Theodore Wolf Prize in the Physical and Life Sciences (Chemistry, Physics, Biological Sciences, Geology, Marine Studies, Climatology and Agricultural Sciences).

The department groupings given above are traditional but should not be considered binding. For example, a Psychology dissertation may be nominated for the Wolf Prize instead of the Ryden Prize if the dissertation topic is appropriate in this area. Interdisciplinary programs may also be nominated under categories that are related to the appropriate area of study. Please contact the Office of Graduate and Professional Education if you have questions regarding the appropriate group placement for a nomination.

Nomination Procedures:

One nomination per each department (or college with no departments) may be submitted by the department chair (or dean, for colleges with no departments) to the Office of Graduate and Professional Education. The nomination should consist of:

  1. A completed nomination form;
  2. A letter from the dissertation advisor that evaluates both the quality of the research and the dissertation's contribution to knowledge in the nominee's field (note: letters from members of the dissertation advisory committee may be included to provide additional informed views of the dissertation's quality and significance to the field);
  3. A supporting letter from the department chair explaining why that dissertation was chosen as the best completed dissertation in the department or program this year (August, December, February or May);
  4. A copy of the dissertation;
  5. A copy of the external abstract as originally submitted with the dissertation to the Office of Graduate and Professional Education.

Nominations including the above four items must be received in the Office of Graduate and Professional Education no later than Friday, April 17, 2009.

Award Selection Procedures:

  1. The Office of Graduate and Professional Education will select award committees of three faculty members each who will be chosen for each of the four areas. The award committees will review nominations and submit names of prize winners to the Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education.
  2. If an award committee judges that no nomination is outstanding, no award will be given.
  3. Prizes may not be split. Only one award will be made in each area.
  4. Prizes will be given at the annual Doctoral Hooding Reception on May 29, 2009.