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. The Graduate School submits UB's winner to the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS), for their Doctoral Dissertation Award.

The nomination period is closed.

Thank you for your submissions. Check back in fall 2024 for the next nomination cycle.

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:

  • 2024 - Social Sciences & Education
  • 2025 - Arts & Humanities
  • 2026- Agricultural, Biological and Health Sciences
  • 2027- Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering

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

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. 


Year Winner
Dissertation Title
2023-24 Yulin Yang Chronic Pain and Social Relationships Among Midlife and Older Adults in the United States
2022-23 Allison Cluett Investigating Late Quatemary Temperature and Precipitation Dynamics on Greenland Using Organic Geochemical and Stable Isotope Proxies.
2021-22 Emily R. Oakley Finite Elemental Guided Dosimetry for Interstitial Photodynamic Therapy
2020-21 Andrew Dorkin The Mind Sneezing: Modernist Poetry and the Para-Mediation of Humor
2019-20 Aysegul Balta Ozgen Refugee Integration in Comparative Perspective: Syrians in Canada, Germany, Turkey and the United States
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