Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award

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.

2019-20 Winner

Congratulations to our 2019-20 Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award winner, Aysegul Balta Ozgen, "Refugee Integration in Comparative Perspective: Syrians in Canada, Germany, Turkey and the United States."

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:

  • 2020-21  Arts and Humanities
  • 2021-22  Biological and Health Sciences
  • 2022-23  Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering

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


The nomination period is now closed.

Nomination Package Requirements

A nomination package must be submitted as a single, integrated PDF that includes the following documents:

  1. The entire dissertation.
  2. A 300-word abstract in language that can be understood by a non-specialist.
  3. At least three letters of support and evaluation, each explaining the contribution of the dissertation and its impact on the field.
  4. The nominee’s current resume or CV.

Supporting letters should provide specific insight into the extraordinary quality of the dissertation and its impact. 

Previous Winners

Year Winners
Dissertation Title
2018-19 Yumiao Zhang Low Temperature Block Copolymer Processing for Biomedical Applications
Laurie Rich Photoacoustic Imaging of Head and Neck Cancer: Preclinical Optimization and Clinical Translation
2016-17 Shosuke Kinugawa
Mark Twain's Secret Writings
2015-16 Alice Mitchell Linguistic Avoidance and Social Relations in Datooga