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Doctoral Dissertation Award

Update: Nominations are due Monday, Oct. 19. Submissions must be made by end-of-day, 23:59 IDLW (UTC-12). IDLW stands for International Date Line West, which is the last time zone on Earth. Submissions are made on our ConfTool submission site.


2021 Doctoral Dissertation Award Call for Nominations

The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding work in the information field. Nominations are solicited from all members of the iSchools organization 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 U.S. Both honorees will also be offered a complimentary conference registration, should they wish to collect their award in person at the iConference; the winner also receives a small travel allowance to help offset costs. Past iSchools Doctoral Dissertation honorees can be viewed here.


Each member iSchool can nominate only one applicant for the award. The applicant should have successfully completed the final paperwork for their Ph.D. between July 1 2019 to June 30, 2020 (inclusive). The dissertation research can be on any topic in the information field, broadly defined, and use any methodology.


  • Nomination deadline: Monday, October 19, 2020
  • Decisions announced: Mid-December, 2020

Submissions: Visit ConfTool to create a user account and start the submission process

Submission Materials for each Nomination

Submissions must be made by the representative who administratively signs off on Ph.D. matters (i.e., school’s Dissertation Chair or Doctoral Program Director, Postgraduate Research Committee Representative, or equivalent). Individuals cannot self-nominate.

The following three items should be submitted. The summary paper and letter must be submitted in English. The 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, with the understanding that the references section is included in the overall 10-page limit. As noted above, the summary paper should be written in English.
  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. The letter should be in English.
  3. The complete dissertation. The dissertation can be in its orginal language, or in English.

The above three documents should each be formatted as a pdf, and then combined into a single zipped file; this file will be submitted to the ConfTool submission site in time for the October 19 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.

Past iSchools Doctoral Dissertation honorees can be viewed here.

2021 Doctoral Dissertation Award Chairs


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

General questions about iConference 2021 can be addressed to


    Renmin University School of Information Resource Management


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    Papers Publisher

    Accepted papers will be published in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science


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