Graduate School

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 2020 competition, graduates are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must have been awarded the PhD between July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020
  2. Must have been awarded a PhD in one of the eligible fields for the 2020 competition
    • Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering: Mathematics, statistics, computer sciences, data processing, systems analysis, chemistry, earth sciences, physics, geology, meteorology, astronomy, metallurgy, geophysics, pharmaceutical chemistry; aeronautical, architectural, biomedical, ceramic, chemical, civil, and electrical engineering sciences; environmental health engineering; geological, mechanical, mining, nuclear, and petroleum engineering.
    • Social Sciences: agricultural economics, geography, anthropology, archaeology, economics, education, sociology, government (political science), demography, and psychology. Please note that for purposes of this competition, history is classed within the humanities and is not a field of competition in 2020.
  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 2021 will be Biological Sciences and Humanities and Fine Arts (including history).

Nomination Procedure

Nominations for the 2020 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award are due no later than 4 p.m. on June 2, 2020 in the Graduate School.


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

  1. a 10-page abstract of the dissertation, double spaced on white letter-sized paper. In addition to the 10-pages of text, this may also include appendices containing non-textual material such as charts, tables, or figures. (PDF file, number each page, and put nominee’s name on each page)
  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 (PDF, not to exceed five pages)

Electronic delivery of the above materials as a single PDF file to Dr. Debra Charlesworth via email to 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.


Recipients will be awarded:

  • a $2,000 honorarium from CGS/ProQuest
  • a certificate of recognition
  • reasonable travel expenses to the award ceremony on December 3, 2020, in Washington, D.C., 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