AAHHE and ETS Outstanding Dissertations Competition

The American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) and Educational Testing Service (ETS) are proud to announce the Outstanding Dissertations Competition, to encourage greater numbers of prepared students to enter and successfully complete doctoral programs and to enhance the quality of the dissertations they write.The competition is open to anyone who has completed a dissertation in the social sciences. By developing this competition, AAHHE and ETS are providing an opportunity to spotlight top doctoral students and, at the same time, are rewarding excellences in Hispanic student performance at the doctoral level.The first place winner will receive up to $3,000, second place winner will receive up to $2,000, and the third place winner will receive up to $1,000. All of these winners will also be invited and sponsored to attend the 2018 AAHHE National Conference to present their dissertations.

American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) is committed to- Addressing societal issues as they pertain to the growing population, and to convening public discourse focused forums, develop public policy reflecting the changing demographics of our nation.Since 2008, ETS and AAHHE have again joined together to offer the Outstanding Dissertation Competition and awards.


  • Anyone who has completed a dissertation in the social sciences, broadly defined, between December 2015 and August 1, 2017.Additionally, the research needs to have application to the greater Hispanic community.
  • Dissertations are eligible if they are in domains that are related to the ETS corporate mission, including education, linguistics, psychology, statistics, testing, and so forth. Studies using any research approach (historical, experimental, survey, quantitative, mixed methods, etc.) are eligible.
  • Dissertations in the humanities, basic sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics are not eligible. Completion is defined as:
  • Received the doctoral degree between the specified dates
  • Satisfactorily completed all the course work and the dissertation between the dates specified and the dissertations are acceptable to the candidate’s committee, but the degree has not been conferred.

How to Apply:

To apply, the applicant can download and submit the application through the given link: http://aahhe.org/_resources/PDF/2018DissertationGuidelines.pdf

The competition involves a two-step process: a) submission of a Dissertation Summary, and b) if selected as a semi-finalist, the submission of the full dissertation

Supporting Documents:

A copy of the Dissertation Summary -The Dissertation Summary must include the following:

  • Title page – A sample title page is attached to these guidelines. Please provide all the information requested. One page in length.
  • Abstract – On a separate page, include a summary, approximately 250 words in length, stating in non-technical terms, the purpose, the methods and major findings of the study. Double-spaced and one page in length
  • Main report section – You should include: (a) the statement of the problem (b) the purpose of the study (c) literature review and theoretical orientation; (d) methodology including participants, instrumentation, hypotheses or research questions and data analysis (e) major findings (f) conclusions (g) implications and (h) significance to the broader research community and to the Hispanic community.

The main report section must not exceed twenty (20) pages in length, double-spaced.

  • Appendix – List the references, tables, figures, diagrams, and pictures relevant to your summary. Not to exceed (5) five pages, double-spaced.
  • Letter – A letter, on university letterhead and signed by the Chair of the dissertation committee, must indicate that the dissertation meets the eligibility criteria, defined earlier in these guidelines, and detail is essential. The letter must also state how the Chair would rank the dissertation among previous dissertations chaired. Further, the Chair should address the evaluation criteria listed.
  • The total Dissertation Summary and Appendix should not exceed twenty-five (25), double-spaced, 8 ½ x 11 pages.

Submitting Details:

Applicants must submit via PDF (one document) a copy of the Dissertation Summary to the Chair of the dissertations competition, Dr. Rebecca A. RoblesPiña: edu_rar-at-shsu.edu

Financial Aid and Award Money:

  • There will be two types, or levels, of winners:
  • The first level consists of the First, Second, and Third Place Winners.
  • The second level consists of those who are recognized as Honorable Mention (the remaining 7 out of the 10 selected).
  • The first place winner of the Outstanding Dissertations Competition will receive an award in the amount of $3,000.
  • The second place winner will receive an award of $2,000.
  • The third place winner will receive an award of $1,000.
  • All of these winners will also be invited and sponsored to attend the 2018 AAHHE National Conference to present their dissertations.
  • In addition, one of the winners will be invited to ETS corporate headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey to present their dissertation.
  • The American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education will pay for travel expenses within the continental United States for the three (3) finalists, to include hotel room for two (2) nights and per diem for two (2) days.
  • The Association will also pay the registration costs for the finalists at the conference.
  • The three AAHHE finalists will also present their dissertations in individual concurrent sessions at the conference. The American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education will also ask the three (3) finalists to submit to the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, an academic article based on the dissertation.
  • ETS will invite at least one of the winners to publish the essence of the winning dissertation in an appropriate ETS publication and to showcase the research at a seminar hosted by ETS in Princeton, New Jersey.

Application Deadline:

  • The applications must be submitted no later than August 12, 2017.
  • The three (3) finalists will be recognized formally at the annual awards luncheon during AAHHE’s Thirteenth Annual Conference in Irvine, California, March 8-10, 2018.

Link for More Information:


Contact information:

If you have any questions about the competition, contact to Dr. Rebecca A. Robles-Pina, AAHHE Dissertation Chair at edu_rar-at-shsu.edu

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