Annual Dissertation Award


THE SESP DISSERTATION AWARD PORTAL HAS CLOSED FOR 2018. Applications for next year will begin being accepted in February 2019.

April 23, 2018,
is was the deadline for submitting a nomination for the 47th annual Dissertation Award conferred by the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. Nominations are accepted from faculty members at the degree-granting institution (whether or not they are SESP members).


The award carries with it membership (Fellow status) in the Society, as well as an honorarium to cover airfare, hotel, and registration at the Society's next meeting. This year the Dissertation Award Committee is chaired by Ozlem Ayduk and includes Jeff Sherman and Namkje Koudenburg, a past winner. For a list of previous winners, see Dissertation Award Recipients.

Application and Selection Process

Here are the procedures for submitting nominations and selecting the award recipient:

  1. Only dissertations completed during the period January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017, are eligible for this year's award. The completion date for a dissertation is defined as the date of the oral defense, as officially recorded by the nominee's institution.
  2. Any faculty member from the institution where the student defended (whether or not a member of SESP) may nominate any number of dissertations for the award. This faculty member should submit a separate submission for each nomination with the following information (do not include a recommendation letter):
    • the student's name
    • the date of the oral defense
    • the dissertation advisor's name
    • the student's contact information (email address where the nominee can be reached April through August)
    • a PDF or Word file with a summary of the dissertation. Please do not send the dissertation at this time. The summary should be an expanded version of the dissertation abstract. It should include an accurate description of major procedures and findings, as well as a statement of the significance of the research. The summary should:
      • be presented in 12-point Times New Roman font
      • have no smaller than 1-inch margins all around
      • be 3 to 5 pages (double-spaced) in length. An extra 1-2 pages may be used for references and/or figures, if necessary. The total page length, including any references or figures, should not exceed 7 pages.
      • not include any information identifying the author, institution, advisor, or dissertation committee members. The file name should also omit any identifying information. We recommend using the title of the dissertation as the name of the file.
        • Summaries that do not meet these criteria will not be considered.                         
  3. Based on the summaries, the Award Committee will select 3 finalists. Each finalist will then be asked to send a file with the full dissertation to Ozlem Ayduk, who will forward it to committee members.
  4. Once the Committee has selected the Award recipient, all nominees will be informed of the outcome. The names of finalists and the Award recipient will be announced to the membership at the 2018 meeting, October 4-6, in Seattle, Washington. The winner will be asked to give a presentation of the dissertation work during an awards lunch.
If you require additional information about the Award, please direct inquiries to Ozlem Ayduk or Monica Biernat.