Distinguished Dissertation Award Application Procedures

Each year, the Council of Graduate Schools and ProQuest Dissertations Publishing recognize dissertations that make an unusually significant contribution to their fields. Michigan Tech may nominate one candidate in each field.

View Past Recipients


For the 2021 competition, graduates are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must have been awarded the PhD between July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021
  2. Must have been awarded a PhD in one of the eligible fields for the 2021 competition
    • Biological Sciences: biology; botany; zoology; ecology; embryology; entomology; genetics; nutrition; plant pathology; plant physiology; anatomy; biochemistry; biophysics; microbiology; pathology; pharmacology; physiology; and related fields (health sciences).  Also included are agriculture, forestry, zoology; and related fields.
    • Humanities and Fine Arts (including history): history; philosophy; language; linguistics; literature; archaeology; jurisprudence; the history, theory and criticism of the arts; ethics; comparative religion; and those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philosophical approaches.
  3. Each department or college may nominate one candidate in either or both of the above eligible fields. Each unit may create its own selection process for its nominee.

Eligible fields in 2022 will be Social Sciences and Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering.

Nomination Procedure

Nominations for the 2021 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award are due no later than 4 p.m. on June 16, 2021 in the Graduate School.


A nomination packet must be submitted by the department chair or college dean and include the following required items (PDF format):

  1. an abstract of the nominee’s dissertation (not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages). Appendices containing other material, such as charts, tables, and/or references may be included as additional pages (not to exceed five pages). 
  2. three letters addressing the significance and quality of the nominee's dissertation work
    1. one letter from the dissertation advisor.
    2. one letter from a member of the nominee’s dissertation committee.
    3. one letter from a person chosen by the nominee.
  3. a brief CV (not to exceed five pages)

Electronic delivery of the above materials as a single PDF file to Dr. Debra Charlesworth via email to gradschool@mtu.edu is preferred. If documents are too large to be e-mailed, Google Drive can be used to share the appropriate files.


The applications will be evaluated by a panel of faculty representing each of Michigan Tech's Colleges. Applications will be evaluated on the impact and significance of the research.

One application in each field will be forwarded to the Council of Graduate Schools for their consideration. The Council of Graduate Schools will name an Award Committee whose members have established records in the disciplinary areas under consideration.  Additional consultation may be sought at the discretion of the committee members. The nominated dissertations should represent original work making an unusually significant contribution to the disciplines. Both methodological and substantive quality will be judged. 


Recipients will be awarded:

  • a $2,000 honorarium from CGS/ProQuest
  • a certificate of recognition
  • reasonable travel expenses to the award ceremony on December 2021, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the annual meeting of the Council of Graduate Schools.

The Graduate School will recognize the nominee selected to represent Michigan Tech on our website.

 Past Recipients and News