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 2019 competition, graduates are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must have been awarded the PhD between July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019
  2. Must have been awarded a PhD in one of the eligible fields for the 2019 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. Also included are agriculture, forestry, and related fields.
    • Humanities and Fine Arts: 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 school 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 2020 will be Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering; and Social Sciences.

Nomination Procedure

Nominations for the 2019 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award are due no later than 4 p.m. on June 6, 2019 in the Graduate School.


A nomination packet must include the following required items:

  1. a 10-page abstract of the dissertation, double spaced on white letter-sized paper. (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)

A nomination packet may also include appendices containing non-textual material such as charts, tables or figures. (PDF file not to exceed ten pages, number each page, and put nominee’s name on each page)

Electronic delivery of the above materials as PDF files 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 and Schools. 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 5, 2019 in Nashville, TN, 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