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Marquis Award and Rackham/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award


The Marquis Award was established in 1960 in honor of Donald G. Marquis. It will be awarded annually to the student judged to have submitted the best doctoral dissertation in Psychology. It consists of an award of $250. The recipient's dissertation will also be submitted for the ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award competition (sponsored by Rackham) which recognizes exceptional and unusually interesting work produced by a doctoral student in the last phase of their grad work. The nominees' overall academic accomplishments will also be taken into account. Award recipients receive a $1,000 honorarium.

Who Should Apply?

Students who had their Ph.D. degrees conferred during the 2017 calendar year: May 2017, August 2017, and December 2017.  


Nominees must be awarded the doctoral degree during the 2017 calendar year, which includes commencementsheld in May, August, or December. Students who defended the dissertation in 2016 but received the degree in 2017 are eligible to be nominated. Students who defend the dissertation in fall 2017 but do not receive the degree until May 2018 are ineligible for the current year but may be nominated for the 2018 competition. An exception is allowed for students in the dual M.D./Ph.D. Medical Science Training Program who have completed, defended and submitted the final copy of the dissertation in 2017. These students are eligible to be nominated even though the awarding of the doctoral degree is deferred until completion of the M.D. Nominations of outstanding women, minorities and members of other groups historically underrepresented in their disciplines are encouraged.

Application Procedures

Each Area Chair can nominate one student by submitting the following to the Psychology Student Academic Affairs Office:

  1. A letter of nomination, outlined below.
  2. The nominee's current CV.
  3. A copy of the nominee's dissertation abstract.

The letter of nomination, which can be written with the nominee's dissertation Chair, should be presented in distinct sections that speak to each of the following topics in the order listed:

  • Description — A brief description of the topic.
  • General comments —General comments about the nominee, including his or her overall scholarly credentials.
  • Innovation — The degree of innovation, creativity, and insight shown by the author.
  • Scope — The scope and importance of the work to the department and to the field.
  • Writing — The effectiveness of the writing (including whether it is written in language that is reasonably understandable to faculty in related disciplines).
  • The nomination letter may be no longer than two pages (1350 words).
  • Once a student's application is chosen for the Marquis Award, the recipient will then need to request letters of support that will be submitted to Rackham for the ProQuest Award.

The SAA Committee will select the recipient of the Marquis Award, which will then be the application which is forwarded to the ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award competition.

Materials can be submitted electronically to

Application Deadline: 10/12/2017