UW Graduate School

Distinguished Dissertation Awards

Call for Nominations

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the 2016 Distinguished Dissertation Awards competition in the following four categories:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Social Sciences
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering

These awards recognize outstanding and exceptional scholarship and research at the doctoral level. Nominations are due by 5 p.m., June 20, 2016. Each department may submit only one nomination per category. The nomination must be submitted by the department chair or graduate program coordinator.


The effective date of degree award, or the completion of doctoral degree requirements and dissertation, must fall within the period of July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, inclusive, for the nominee selected.


A complete nomination consists of the following components, all of which must be bundled into a single PDF, in this order:

  1. The cover sheet.
  2. A summary written in non-technical language of the purpose, methods, results of the research and its significance within the discipline of this dissertation. The summary must not exceed two pages, typed double-spaced. Please include the nominee’s name and doctoral program on this page.
  3. An abstract (not to exceed 10 pages) of the dissertation, typed double-spaced and formatted to fit on 8-1/2″ x 11″ white paper. Appendices containing non-textual material, such as charts or tables, may be included and will not count toward the 10-page cap. Each of the pages must be numbered and bear the nominee’s name.
  4. Letters from three referees selected by the nominee, evaluating the significance and quality of his or her dissertation work. One letter 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.
  5. A brief CV, included as an appendix.

Deadline and Submission Method

  1. The above materials must be must be bundled into a single PDF and sent to graddean@uw.edu.
  2. Please save your file in this format:
    LASTNAMENOMINEE, Nominee’sHomeDepartment – DISSERTATION – [Category].pdf
  3. Deadline for submission is 5 p.m., June 20, 2016.  This is a firm deadline; in fairness to all nominators, no exceptions or extensions will be granted. Please note that hard copy nominations will not be accepted.


A Graduate School awards committee will select the award recipients. The nominated dissertations should represent original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the disciplines. Both methodological and substantive quality will be judged. Nominations will be evaluated on the following:

  1. Innovation: The degree of innovation, creativity and insight shown by the author.
  2. Scope: The scope and importance of the work to the department and to the field.
  3. Writing: The effectiveness of the writing (including whether it is written in language that is reasonably understandable to faculty in related disciplines).


Each recipient will receive an honorarium of $1,000 and will be publicly recognized by the Graduate School. Additionally, when the awardees’ dissertations fall within the current year’s fields of competition for the Council of Graduate Schools/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award, they will be submitted as the UW’s institutional nominations for this prestigious recognition. NB: The fields of competition for 2016 are “Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering” and “Social Sciences.”  For more details, please refer to the 2016 CGS/ProQuest Award page.

David L. Eaton
Vice Provost and Dean, the Graduate School

Jerry Pangilinan
Assistant to the Vice Provost and Dean, the Graduate School