In AY 2010-11, the Graduate School inaugurated an annual University of Maryland Distinguished Dissertation Award. This year will be the third annual competition and will be for PhD dissertations defended and submitted to the Graduate School in the calendar year 2012. This year's selection process will occur in Spring 2013.
The Distinguished Dissertation Award recognizes original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. Both methodological and substantive quality will be judged. Awards will be given each year in four broad disciplinary areas: 1) Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering; 2) Social Sciences; 3) Humanities and Fine Arts; and 4) Biological and Life Sciences. The Council of Graduate Schools uses these categories for its annual national dissertation awards. Recipients of the Distinguished Dissertation Award will receive an honorarium of $1000 and may be nominated by the University for the CGS national award.
Nomination packages from Colleges are due in the Graduate School on Thursday, February 28th, 2013, by 12 noon. Updated award guidelines and nomination forms are available below.
The Graduate School currently offers four prestigious endowed awards: the Dr. Mabel S. Spencer Award for Excellence in Graduate Achievement; the Dr. James W. Longest Memorial Award for Social Science Research; the Michael J. Pelczar Award for Excellence in Graduate Study; and the Phi Delta Gamma Graduate Fellowship. Nominations are due to the Graduate School by Tuesday, March 12, 2013, by noon. Updated award guidelines and nomination forms are available below.
The Spencer Award, established by the daughters of Dr. Mabel S. Spencer, honors the memory and outstanding professional achievements of Dr. Spencer. It carries an annual stipend of at least $15,000 and candidacy tuition remission (if not covered by other tuition remission).
Dr. Spencer taught at the University of Maryland from 1948 to 1968. Her energy, dynamic personality, and commitment to bringing about positive change made her a leader in the University community. Dedicated to programs and activities that advanced the interests of women at the University, Dr. Spencer was also known for her extraordinary ability to communicate with and provide assistance to her students, especially those from underrepresented minorities and from foreign countries.
The Longest Award, established by Mary Jack Wintle (Mrs. James W. Longest), honors the memory and outstanding personal and professional achievements of Dr. James W. Longest. It provides $2,000 to support doctoral dissertation research in the social sciences with potential benefits for small and/or disadvantaged communities. Candidacy tuition remission also will be granted for each of two semesters (if not covered by other tuition remission).
Dr. James W. Longest served on the research faculty of Cornell University for ten years before coming to the University of Maryland in 1967. Dr. Longest retired and became Professor Emeritus in 1990. He took great interest in assisting students, for whom he set high professional standards, and continued advising students until his death in November 1992. Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Longest supported an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving in the areas of community development and the delivery of services in rural areas.
The Michael J. Pelczar Award for Excellence in Graduate Study offers $1,000 to an outstanding doctoral candidate who has demonstrated excellence beyond his or her course work, and who has served at least one academic year as a teaching assistant with a commendable performance.
The Phi Delta Gamma Graduate Fellowship offers $1,000 to a student who “best exemplifies interdisciplinary scholarship achievement.”