Each year, UCOWR recognizes two outstanding Ph.D. dissertations on water issues, one in each of the following categories: (1) Water Policy and SocioEconomics, and (2) Natural Science and Engineering.
Ph.D. dissertations completed between September 1, 2021 and August 31, 2023, from a UCOWR member university will be considered. Each member university can submit only one application in each category through their lead UCOWR delegate. A list of member universities and their lead UCOWR delegates is available here.
Nominations are to be made by a faculty member. The nominator submits a letter of endorsement from the Ph.D. advisor along with a digital copy of the dissertation to his or her Lead Delegate. The letter must include the Ph.D. advisor’s mailing address, email address, and phone number. In cases where journal articles or other documents were accepted in lieu of a dissertation, digital copies of those documents that constituted the dissertation requirements must be submitted.
The Lead Delegate then writes and submits a nominating letter including 1) Nominee’s email address, postal address, and phone number, 2) the category of the nomination, and 3) dissertation title. The dissertation and scanned copies of the support letters should be included in the nomination packet to be emailed to UCOWR at email@example.com.
Review Process & Criteria
The review process consists of the following two steps:
On-Campus Screening by Lead Delegate. The UCOWR Lead Delegate will coordinate an on-campus screening process for nominated dissertations and select no more than one dissertation in each category for submission to UCOWR.
UCOWR Review Panel. The UCOWR Awards Chair will appoint reviewers to rate the submitted applications and make recommendations to the UCOWR Board of Directors.
Submissions will be rated on:
- Quality and clarity of writing
- Originality and innovation
- Scientific merit, technical quality; soundness of research
- Understanding of previous related research
- Contribution to and impact on water resources research
Nomination materials should be submitted from the Lead Delegate to UCOWR by email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than November 1, 2023.
Dissertation awardees will receive a $750 cash award, reimbursement up to $1,000 for travel expenses to the annual UCOWR conference and a waived conference registration fee. Recipients will be asked to present their research during one of the concurrent sessions. This is a total award package of up to $2,300. Formal recognition will be given at the Awards Luncheon, held at the AWRA/UCOWR/NIWR 60th Anniversary Joint Water Resources Conference, scheduled for September 30 – October 2, 2024, St. Louis, MO.