The Graduate School is pleased to offer the Dissertation Completion Award to support outstanding domestic or international doctoral students who are in the final stages of their dissertations. This award is offered on a quarterly basis, and is useful in situations where graduate assistantship opportunities do not exist or where grant funding is insufficient to fund the student’s final term. The intent of this award is to enable students to focus on research and writing with the goal of improving the quality of their work and expediting time to degree completion.

This award - previously offered as the Thesis or Dissertation Completion Award, has been separated into two different awards: the Thesis Completion Award (for master’s students) and the Dissertation Completion Award (for doctoral students).

Award Details

The Graduate School anticipates awarding 8-10 Dissertation Completion Awards each term. Awards cover the cost of three graduate credits of tuition at the student’s tuition rate and mandatory fees for one academic term only.

This award may not accompany a graduate assistantship, fellowship, or any tuition support from the college, academic unit, or external training grant.

Eligibility

To be eligible, nominees must:

  • Be a doctoral student in the final year of their degree and completing a dissertation
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress, as determined by their graduate program
  • Have completed all coursework requirements
  • Have passed written (if required) and oral preliminary exams (if required)
  • Have passed a dissertation proposal defense (if required)
  • Be able to successfully defend the dissertation within the award period

Nominees are ineligible for funding if:

  • They have tuition support from the college, academic unit, or external training grant during their final academic term specifically intended to cover the cost of tuition
  • They have previously received Graduate School Dissertation Completion Award funds
  • They have not successfully defended their dissertation and are preparing for a re-defense
  • They will not be enrolled in at least three graduate credits during the term for which the funds were requested

Evaluation Criteria

  • Quality of the letter of nomination
  • Impact and quality of the nominee’s research including its likelihood of contributing to the field of study or discipline
  • Reasonability of the proposed completion timeline and likelihood the nominee will successfully defend the dissertation within the award period
    • Please note: Nominees who have formally scheduled exams with the Graduate School demonstrate a greater likelihood that they will be able to successfully defend during the award period. Nominees who have not submitted an Exam Scheduling Form with the Graduate School are encouraged to do so prior to the submission of this nomination.
  • Quality of the nominee’s résumé or curriculum vitae

Nomination Periods

  • Winter 2021: Open 11/2/20 to 11/30/20
  • Spring 2021: Open 2/1/21 to 3/1/21
  • Summer 2021: Open 4/19/21 to 5/17/21
  • Fall 2021: Open 7/12/21 to 8/16/21

Nomination Procedure

Nominations may be submitted by the nominee's graduate program director or unit chair/head. Students may not apply directly for this award. Each unit (as defined by university major code) may nominate no more than one nominee (total) per award cycle. 

In the online nomination form, nominators will be required to prepare/upload the following materials as one PDF document using the following file name convention:
"Nominee's Last Name_Department_DCompletion.pdf", and upload it through the nomination form.

  1. A joint nomination letter (one letter total, no more than 2 pages) from the unit chair/head or graduate program director and dissertation advisor. The nomination letter must address each of the eligibility/ineligibility requirements above and describe:
    1. the nominee’s research, including its quality and likely contributions to the field of study or discipline.
    2. the nominee’s timeline for completion of the dissertation including the likelihood the student will successfully defend the dissertation within the award period.
  2. A statement from the nominee describing: 
    1. how the award will assist them in their final term and why the funds are necessary for degree completion.
    2. the status of their dissertation including their proposed timeline for completing their degree during the award period. 
  3. A copy of the nominee’s résumé or curriculum vitae.
  4. Abstract of the nominee’s dissertation.
  5. Optional: a signed/completed copy of the student's Exam Scheduling Form

Nomination Form

Coming soon

Nomination form overview

Questions

For questions about this award or any Graduate School administered awards, please contact our Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships team