Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award Program

The Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award honors a truly outstanding dissertation researched and written by a UB doctoral student who has received a PhD within the past five years.

The winner of the Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award is determined via a nomination and selection process that occurs during the fall semester of each academic year. The Graduate School also submits the winner of the award as UB's sole allowable nominee for that academic year's Doctoral Dissertation Award which is administered by the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS) every spring.

The nomination period for 2017-2018 is now closed.

2017-2018 Winners

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the winner of the Graduate School's 2017-2018 Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award:


Dr. Laurie Rich for his dissertation “Photoacoustic Imaging of Head and Neck Cancer: Preclinical Optimization and Clinical Translation.”


Dr. Rich was a student in the Roswell Park Graduate Division's Molecular and Cellular Biophysics and Biochemistry department and received his PhD from UB in February 2017. A clinical trial based on Dr. Rich's work has been initiated at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this award an individual must have received a PhD from UB within the past five years in a designated subject area. Nominations are invited from among four broad subject areas over a four-year period according to the following schedule:

2017-2018  Biological and Health Sciences
2018-2019  Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering
2019-2020  Social Sciences and Education
2020-2021  Arts and Humanities

Students who have not yet received a PhD from UB are not eligible for this award.

Previous Winners


Dr. Shosuke Kinugawa, assistant professor, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Japan

UB PhD, June 2016

Dissertation title: "Mark Twain's Secret Writings"


Dr. Alice Mitchell, Humboldt Foundation postdoctoral fellow, University of Hamburg, Germany

UB PhD, September 2015

Dissertation title: "Linguistic Avoidance and Social Relations in Datooga"