ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award

The ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards are designed to recognize exceptional and unusually interesting work produced by doctoral students in the last phase of their graduate work. The nominees’ overall academic accomplishments will also be taken into account.

Eligibility: Nominees must have completed the dissertation and have been awarded or will be awarded the doctoral degree during the 2019 calendar year (January-December). Students enrolled in dual degree programs who have completed the dissertation but who have not yet met all the degree requirements for the second degree are also eligible.

Pre-nomination phase: Faculty should email of their intent to nominate a student and submit the requested materials by Monday, October 14, 2019.

Materials needed for the pre-nomination phase (October 14, 2019):
  • The faculty advisor submits a nomination statement (limit 1 page) via e-mail to
Nomination statement must include:
1. Expected graduation date and title of the dissertation
2. Brief description of the dissertation topic
3. General comments about the nominee, including overall scholarly credentials
4. Degree of innovation, creativity, and insight shown by the author
5. Scope and importance of the work to the field of study
6. Effectiveness of the writing
  • Student provides CV, dissertation abstract via e-mail to
  • OAP provides UM transcript

*Each school may only nominate one (1) student; two if we can argue persuasively that the dissertations are distinctly different in intellectual content. In the event that more than one student is identified, the SEAS Scholarship Committee will make a final decision. The selected nominator(s) and student(s) will then be instructed on how to proceed with a full nomination.

SEAS Nomination Deadline: 9:00 a.m., Monday, October 14, 2019

Rackham Review Process: A faculty review committee identifies the finalists and the members of the Michigan Society of Fellows make the final selections. Up to eight nominees will be selected to receive the award, which includes a $1,000 honorarium. The reviewers also have the option of assigning Honorable Mention. Recipients will be notified by March 2020, and the awards will be formally presented at a public ceremony in April 2020. Finalists will be required to submit a hard copy of their dissertations to their nominating department so they can be forwarded on to Rackham. The dissertation will be returned once the final selections have been made.

Rackham Submission Deadline: 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 11, 2019

Application deadline: 
October 14, 2019
Funding type: 
Key eligibility criteria: 
PhD Students
Last updated: 
October 9, 2019