Outstanding Dissertation Award - University of Houston
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These awards will be given to an eligible graduate student who submitted an outstanding dissertation representing “original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline.” Awards will be given in the following 4 broad fields in rotating years:
  • mathematics, physical sciences and engineering
  • social sciences
  • biological sciences
  • humanities and fine art

Two $1000 awards will be given per year; one in each of the eligible fields.

In 2021, the fields will be: biological sciences and humanities and fine art. In 2022, the fields will be mathematics, physical sciences and engineering, and social sciences. A list of the finer fields of study for 2021 in each category are listed below.

Biological Sciences/Life Sciences:

  • Biology
  • Botany
  • Zoology
  • Ecology
  • Embryology
  • Entomology
  • Genetics
  • Nutrition
  • Plant pathology
  • plant physiology
  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Microbiology
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology

and related fields (Health sciences). Also included are agriculture, forestry, zoology and related fields.

Humanities and Fine Arts:

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Language
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Archaeology
  • Jurisprudence
  • The history, theory and criticism of the arts
  • Ethics
  • Comparitive Religion

and those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philosophical approaches.


  • Each graduate program is eligible to nominate one individual for the award in a given year

  • The effective date of the degree awarded, or the completion of doctoral degree requirements and dissertation, must lie in the period of July 1, 2019 to June 30,2021, inclusive, for each nominee.

  • The UH Dissertation Award winners will be nominated for the national CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award.

  • Materials must be compiled as a single PDF and named as follows: Dissertation_Field_LastName.pdf  and emailed to gradschool@uh.edu by June 2, 2021

Nomination Package Checklist

  1. The nomination form, completed and signed by the dean/associate dean of the college.
  2. An abstract of the nominee’s dissertation (not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages). Appendices containing other material, such as charts, tables, and/or references may be included as additional pages (not to exceed five pages).

  3. Three letters of recommendation evaluating the significance and quality of the nominee’s dissertation work. One of these letters is to be from the nominee's dissertation supervisor, another from a member of the nominee's dissertation committee, and the third from a person of the nominee's choice.

  4. The nominee’s curriculum vitae (not to exceed five pages).

  5. Certification by the collegiate Dean/Associate Dean that the dissertation was approved in partial fulfillment of requirements for the doctoral degree and that the student completed the doctoral degree within the past two academic years and/or summer sessions (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021, inclusive)

Dissertation Award Winners

2021 Award Winners

Anna Marissa Schoen, History Ph.D., winner, Fine Arts/Humanities

Alberto Wilson III, Political Science Ph.D., honorable mention, Fine Arts/Humanities

Arvand Asghari (Khonakdari), Biology Ph.D., winner, Biological/Life Sciences