The fields of competition are based on the CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation. Award and alternates between Biological/Life Science and Humanities or Social Sciences and Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering every two years. Consult CGS/ProQuest solicitation for this years categories.
Social Sciences field includes agricultural economics; geography; anthropology; archaeology; economics; education; sociology; government (political science); demography; and psychology.
Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering fields include 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.
Biological/Life Sciences fields includes 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 field include 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.
Each degree-granting program of The University Graduate School is allowed one nominee in each category of a "truly outstanding" dissertation. Nominations may be made by the Director of Graduate Studies or Departmental Chair by submitting the following:
- Completed nomination form
- A brief letter of nomination (no more than one page) from the Department Chairperson or from a Faculty member designated by the Chairperson
- Three letters of support, of which one 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. A list of the questions which the Graduate Faculty Council’s Awards Committee will consider when making the award follows. The members of the research committee are invited to address these issues in their nominating letters
- A non-technical 1,000 word abstract which can be easily understood by all of the members of the Awards Committee (who come from a wide variety of different disciplines spanning the humanities, social sciences, and sciences)
- An abstract of the dissertation not to exceed ten pages (appendices containing other material, such as charts, tables, and/or references may be included as additional pages)
- A curriculum vitae (not to exceed five pages)
- An electronic copy of the dissertation