The Council for Research in Music Education

Outstanding Dissertation Award


Call for Nominations

The Council for Research in Music Education is seeking nominations for the 2015 Outstanding Dissertation Award (ODA), which recognizes excellence in research by doctoral students.

Nominations for the 2015 ODA are due by June 1, 2016.

Please direct questions, comments, or concerns regarding the ODA to


Volunteer Reviewers

The Council is also seeking reviewers for the Outstanding Dissertation Award. Eligible individuals are music education faculty members who are currently supervising graduate research, or have done so in the past. We especially invite retired or emeritus professors to serve as reviewers. If you are willing to serve as a reviewer, complete an application found below by July 1, 2016.

By volunteering as a reviewer for the Outstanding Dissertation Award, you agree to read a ten-page extended summary of the dissertation and a sample chapter, and to complete an online evaluation form. You will have four weeks to complete the review once you receive the materials. Plan on receiving these materials by mid-August and to complete the evaluation by September 30.

Click here to volunteer to serve as a reviewer.


Nomination and Review Procedures

The Council for Research in Music Education invites individuals who have served as research advisors, supervisors, or committee members to nominate dissertations in the field of music education that were defended during the 2015 calendar year.

The emphasis of this award is on recognizing doctoral students whose dissertations:

•    Advance overarching values of music education, broadly defined;

•    Employ rigorous and/or innovative methodologies;

•    Integrate research and theory grounded in a variety of intellectual traditions; and

•    Offer insightful implications for improving practice or forwarding theoretical constructs.

The initial round of nominations requires that the nominating faculty member contact the dissertation author, who will be responsible for submitting the relevant documents (described below). These documents will be evaluated by qualified reviewers in the field. Note that nominees should not submit full dissertations during the initial screening. Due to the wide-spread availability of most dissertations in electronic formats and the likelihood that studies have been presented at conferences, we are not able to ensure blind review. The documents, then, may include identifying information.

Nominators should submit a signed letter of support on university letterhead that speaks to the importance of the topic addressed by the dissertation, the use of strong or innovative methodological approaches, sophisticated writing, and overall contribution to the field. Please confirm the year in which the degree was conferred.

There is no limit on the number of nominations that can be submitted by a faculty member or representative institution.

In a second stage of review the top-ranked submissions will be further evaluated by a panel of judges. If the dissertation qualifies for this additional level of consideration nominees will be asked at that time to submit a full electronic version of the entire document.

Click here to nominate a dissertation.


Document Submission

Nominees are asked to submit an 8–10 page summary (exclusive of references) of the entire study, as well as a representative chapter that best exemplifies the contribution of the dissertation to the field of music education.

If the dissertation follows an alternative format (such as a compilation of completed studies, rather than one study), please submit work that has not been subject to peer review as the representative chapter.

Both the summary and the sample chapter should be submitted in PDF form. Name each file with the author's last name first, followed by the type of document, such as Pestalozzi_Summary.pdf or Pestalozzi_Ch3.pdf

Nominees must submit the required documents no later than August 1, 2016.

Click here to submit documents.


For a brief history of the ODA and list of past recipients please click here.

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