Doctoral Dissertation Award


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The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding work in the information field. Nominations are solicited from all members of the iSchools organization, now more than 60 schools worldwide, and judged by a selection committee drawn from leading international schools.

The winner receives a prize of $2,500 U.S., the runner up $1,000. Both honorees also receive a travel allowance so they can collect their award in person at the iConference. Past iSchools Doctoral Dissertation honorees can be viewed here.

Click here for a pdf of our Award CFP.

Each member iSchool can nominate only one applicant for the award. The applicant should have successfully defended their dissertation and completed their doctoral degree (including all final revisions, if any, and all final paper work) within the 2015-16 academic year (July 1 2015 to June 30, 2016). The dissertation research can be on any topic in the information field, broadly defined, and use any methodology.


  • Nomination deadline: September 18, 2017
  • Decisions announced: mid-November, 2017

Submission Materials for each Nomination
Submissions must be made by the school’s dissertation chair or Doctoral Program Director or equivalent. Individuals cannot self-nominate.

The following three items should be submitted. Item #1 (summary paper) and Item #2 (letter) must be submitted in English. Item #3 (complete dissertation) may be submitted in its original language, with the understanding that an English translation may be requested later, as explained under Review Process below.

  1. A summary paper of the dissertation research. The summary paper should be up to 10 double-spaced pages with 12 point Times New Roman font and at least one-inch margins (excluding the title page and the references), and should consist of three sections: Title Page, Body, and References. The Title Page should contain the title of the dissertation, author name, email, phone number, address, current institution, advisor name and contact information, degree granting institution, and dissertation completion date. The Body of the summary paper should provide a comprehensive summary of the dissertation, introducing, for instance, the topic, the research context and questions, the theoretical or contextual framework, the methodology and methods, and the findings. The summary paper should be written for blind review; hence, all identifying information should be removed from the body of the paper and, as necessary, the references. The first page of the Body should include title, an abstract for up to 200 words, and a list of keywords. Tables and figures can be embedded in the text or attached at the end; they count toward the 10-page limit. The References section should include a list of references formatted in any appropriate style.
  2. A letter from the dissertation chair or the Doctoral Program Director of the degree-granting institution. The letter attests that, (a) the summary paper is authored by the applicant only and is based on the applicant’s dissertation; (b) the applicant is eligible for the award (see Eligibility); and (c) the dissertation is regarded by the dissertation committee and the degree granting institution as being representative of the best level of their doctoral work.
  3. A PDF version of the complete dissertation.

The above three documents should be combined into a single zipped file and submitted to our secure submission website in time for the October 31 deadline.

Review Process
Awards submissions go through a rigorous two-phase review procedure. In the first phase, which is anonymous, each dissertation summary is reviewed and discussed by a team of three reviewers and one of the dissertation award co-chairs. Five dissertations are then chosen for closer scrutiny. In the second phase, a smaller committee reads and discusses the five shortlisted dissertations in great detail in order to make the final decision.

Judging criteria for the Award can be viewed here.

The author of the winning dissertation receives a cash prize of $2,500 US from the iSchools organization; the runner up receives a cash prize of $1,000 US. Both honorees will also receive a travel allowance to help offset the cost of attending the iConference.

Past iSchools Doctoral Dissertation honorees can be viewed here.

Dissertation Award Chairs

  • Chairs TBD


Questions about the Doctoral Dissertation Award should be addressed to the chairs listed above.

For general questions about the iConference, please contact iConference Coordinator Clark Heideger.



The Information School at Sheffield and The iSchool at Northumbria University



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