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Dissertation Award

The ATD Dissertation Award is given to foster and disseminate research in the practice of developing talent in organizations. It will be presented to the person who has submitted the best doctoral dissertation for which a degree has been granted between August 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023. The 2023 winner will be recognized in 2024.


1. The dissertation must report a study for which a doctoral degree was granted in the previous year between August 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023. If the dissertation was defended during this time-frame, but the actual graduation does not take place until after September 30, the submission should take place the following year.

2. The study must focus on some issue of relevance to the practice of developing talent in organizations. Illustrative areas of concentration include:

- training and development

- organizational development/learning

- performance improvement/analysis

- work design

- career development

- human resource planning.

3. All research methodologies will be considered on an equal basis, including, for example, field-, laboratory-, quantitative-, and qualitative-investigations.

4. The candidate must be recommended and sponsored by his or her committee chair. A committee chair may nominate more than one candidate who meets the criteria noted above in points 1 and 2.

5. All materials must be in English, in Word format, and submitted by email. Submissions should adhere to the format prescribed below.


The deadline to submit is November 30, 2023.

Submission Requirements

The application must include the following, without exception, be in Word format, and be sent by email:

1. Letter of application from candidate, a separate cover sheet that contains the candidate's contact details (work and home address, telephone numbers, and email), and a brief abstract of the submission that does not exceed 120 words.

2. Recommendation from committee chair (sent in separate email from email address of the academic institution) with the dissertation completion date.

3. Abstraction of the dissertation. The abstraction should not exceed eight single-spaced pages in length (including abstraction, figures, tables, and references; 1-inch margins all around; 10-point font, pages numbered, APA 6th Edition, and no author identification in the documentation properties, document body, header, or footer of manuscript).

Submissions that exceed the page limitations or do not adhere to the required format will not be considered. The submission requirements correspond to the full manuscript requirements of the Academy of Human Resource Development's (AHRD) Dissertation of the Year procedures that require applicants to follow the full manuscript conference proposal submission guidelines.

4. The abstraction should include:
A. Introduction
1) Summary of the problem
2) Purpose of the study and rationale (why is it important?)
3) Critique of relevant literature

B. Research Design and/or Methodology
1) Sample selection
2) Instrumentation and/or interview protocol
3) Data collection and analysis procedures

C. Results and Findings
1) For quantitative studies, provide sufficient statistics, including, power,
significance, effect size, and strength of relationship.
2) For qualitative studies, provide a concise analysis resulting from
sufficient methodological rigor.

D. Discussion
1) Strengths of the research
2) Limitations of the research.

Strengths and limitations may address the following topics:
- Why was the overall design chosen as "good" (i.e., methodologically
rigorous and appropriate) design?
- What measurement and analysis problems did you encounter, and how
did you resolve them?
- Threats to validity.

E. Implications for Practice and Research
Particular attention will be given to those studies that thoroughly discuss the significance of the findings to the practice of talent development.

5. To ensure a blind review, do not include your name or affiliation on any portion of the actual abstract.

6. Send the email package to:
Erin Strider, ATD Awards and Communications
[email protected]. Her phone number is 703.838.5855.

Selection Procedure
Reviewers chosen from the research community will evaluate the applications.

The award winner will receive

  • commemorative award presented at the awards ceremony during the ATD International Conference & Exposition.
  • announcement of the award and a summary of the findings in ATD publications and on the website.

2023 Application Schedule

November 30, 2023
Deadline for receipt of application package

March 30, 2024
Email notification to all entrants.

May 2024
Award presented to the 2023 winner at the ATD Awards ceremony during the 2024 ATD International Conference & Exposition.

Guidelines for the Dissertation Award Application

Letter of Application (a separate document)

Your letter of application should include the following information:

1) an indication of your interest in submitting for this award
2) the complete title of your dissertation
3) information about where and when this work was completed
4) the name of your dissertation chair
5) the date of your graduation.

It is important that we know whether you have fulfilled your degree requirements within the August 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022 time frame. If you defended your dissteration but have not yet received your diploma/graduated, please wait until the following year to submit.

Please note: The letter of recommendation that your dissertation chairperson writes on your behalf and submits via email should include the dates of your defense and actual graduation, your program of study, and an articulation of why your dissertation merits consideration for this award.

Cover Page (a separate document)

Your cover page should include:

1) your name
2) full mailing address (home and work)
3) institutional affiliation
4) current home and work telephone and fax numbers
5) current email address
6) the title of your manuscript (e.g., the abstraction of your dissertation)
7) a brief summary of the contents of your abstraction, which should not exceed 120 words.

Please note: Do not include any identifying information on the separate accompanying document that represents your manuscript (e.g., the abstraction of your dissertation).

General Comments

Please format your eight-page document by ensuring that 1-inch margins are used all around and the document is single-spaced using 10 point, Times New Roman font. Please number your pages and use the most recent edition of APA style as a guideline. Do not include any author identification in the document properties, document body, header, or footer of this manuscript and please remember to number your pages. Please note that the eight-page, single-spaced document is inclusive of the abstraction, figures, tables, and references.

Guidelines for Your Manuscript: Presenting the Abstract of Your Dissertation

Note: Please be sure that the content of your manuscript addresses the following submission requirements:

Summary of the Problem
Purpose of the Study and Rationale
Critique of the Relevant Literature
Methodology and/or Research Design (including sample selection, instrumentation and/or interview protocol, and data collection and analysis procedures)
Implications for Practice and Research

Paper Title in 12-point Font, Mixed Case

Include an abstract that does not exceed 120 words of the contents of your dissertation manuscript [please indent this abstract 5 spaces on the right and left sides]

Begin your introduction to the paper here with no heading. The first paragraph of any section, including the introduction is not indented.

Major Heading (flush left, bold, upper and lower case text)
Major heading should be left justified and bold with one line above and one line below the heading to separate it from the text. Note mixed case with major words capitalized.

Second-Level Heading (flush left, italics, upper and lower case text)
The second heading level should be italicized with the major words capitalized. The paragraph is indented.

Third-Level Heading Level. (indented left, italics, upper and lower case text ending with a period, with a text immediately following the heading). The third heading level should be indented, italicized and major words capitalized. Within text emphasis should also be added with italics like this section.

Tables and Figures

It is very difficult to specify table formats exactly. Please follow the most recent edition of Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and use tables and figures from the Human Resource Development Quarterly as models. Figures should be professional in appearance. While we realize not everyone has access to graphics software, generally figures should not be hand drawn.


The application deadline is November 30, 2023. (Submissions that are received after this date, exceed the page limit, or do not adhere to the required format will not be considered.)

Please submit your letter of application, separate cover sheet with your contact details and brief abstract of your dissertation submission, and the eight-page, single-spaced manuscript (abstract of your dissertation) as three separate files to Erin Strider at [email protected].

Your submission must be in Word format and submitted via e-mail. Under separate cover, an email recommendation must be received by your committee chair (from the email address of the academic institution) with your dissertation completion date.

Notification Schedule
The final decision will be made by March 30, 2024, and the decision will be emailed to entrants at this time.

If you have questions about the submission process, please contact Erin Strider at [email protected].