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Argersinger Dissertation Award

Through the generosity of William and Marnie Argersinger, and with the cooperation of the KU Endowment Association, Graduate Studies is pleased to offer the Argersinger Prizes for outstanding doctoral dissertations. William J. Argersinger was the first Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Studies and Dean of the graduate school. These awards include a monetary prize and a certificate presented at the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony in May. One (1) Argersinger prize is awarded for the best dissertation in social science, education, humanities, and the arts and one (1) is awarded for the best dissertation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The Nomination Deadline is Wednesday, March 30th, NOON (12PM) CST.


Any KU doctoral student who meets all of the following criteria is eligible to be nominated.

  • Is currently enrolled in/graduated from a Lawrence/Edwards-based doctoral degree plan;
  • Must have graduated in summer 2021, fall 2021, or be on track to complete all requirements for the doctoral degree, including defense and submission of the final dissertation by the posted spring 2022 graduation deadline (students can verify graduation requirements and deadlines with departments and in the KU academic calendar).
    • Summer 2022 graduates should be nominated for the spring 2023 awards cycle.


Each department with a Lawrence- or Edwards-based doctoral program is invited to submit one (1) nomination. As part of the nomination process, the department must indicate in which of the following categories the dissertation should be considered.  

  • Social Science, Education, Humanities, and the Arts
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Departments should be prepared to submit the following:

  • A copy of the dissertation
  • A letter of nomination that addresses:
    • dissertation's quality, originality, and significance within the discipline as well as potential impact outside of the immediate field of study, and,
    • indicates to a person outside the discipline why the dissertation represents outstanding work in the field.

The department nomination deadline is Wednesday, March 30th, NOON (12PM) CST. Nominators will receive a system confirmation that their nomination was successfully submitted upon completion of the online form.

Nominees will be reviewed by the Executive Council of Graduate Faculty to select the finalist for each category.

While the time required to process award decisions will depend upon the number of applications received, we aim to notify all nominees and department or program nominators via email by April 20, 2022.


Each winner of the Argersinger Dissertation Award will receive a monetary prize of $1,250 and a certificate of recognition.  Winners will be presented at the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony in May 2022, where the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies will recognize their significant achievement. 

The winners of the Argersinger Awards will also be considered for nomination to the Council of Graduate Schools/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award (more information here). Those selected for nomination will be required to submit the following:

  • An abstract of the nominee’s dissertation (not to exceed five double-spaced pages). Appendices containing other material, such as charts, tables, and/or references may be included as additional pages. All pages should be numbered, and each should bear the name of the nominee.
  • 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.
  • The nominee’s curriculum vitae (not to exceed five pages).


Please contact us at graduateawards@ku.edu.


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