Dissertation in Practice of the Year Award
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2017 Dissertation in Practice of the Year Award Winner

The 2017 CPED Dissertation in Practice of the Year Award winner is:

Drs. Camela S. Diaz, Melody L. Strang, Amanda L. Unger, and Sarah G. Van’t Hof, Michigan State University  for their work entitled:Utilizing the Design Thinking Process to Aid Educators in their Response to Childhood Lead Exposure chaired by Dr. Madeline Mavrogordato and Dr. Susan Printy

Additional Resources:
Prior Winners
Database of Sample DiPs from member institutions

DiP Award Committee Reports

2013, 2015, 2017 

Overview of Submission Process

Next call for submissions will be in Spring 2018
This prestigious award is given to EdD graduate(s) whose DiP shows evidence of scholarly endeavors in impacting a complex problem of practice, and aligns with CPED Working Principles.


The EdD graduate must submit all required documents in one single combined .pdf format through the online submission process found here.

Submitting graduate must be from a CPED member institution that has been a part of the consortium for or at least a year.  The Dissertation in Practice must have been successfully defended prior to the submission deadline, and must have been defended within the past three years.

Submissions should include:

1)      Letter of nomination and support from graduate’s DiP Chair
2)      A blind1, 15-page double-spaced synopsis of the DiP, submitted by the graduate, must include:

·         Statement of alignment with CPED working principles (one page);
·         Full DiP title;
·         Statement of the study’s identified problem of practice;
·         Research question(s), if applicable;
·         Theoretical or conceptual framework that situates the problem in both the scholarly and the practice contexts;
·         Methods – research design/approach, sampling, data collection procedures or data sources used, and data analysis. Varied conceptualizations and methodologies are welcome and encouraged.
·         Summary of key findings

o   Determined impact on practice such as:

§  What generative impact will this work have on practice, policy, and/or future research?
§  What impact does this work have on the future work and agendas of the scholar practitioner?
§  How does this work demonstrate the scholarly practitioner’s ability to solve or contribute to the solution of problems of practice?
§  What, if any, action pieces have been generated?

3)      References (APA6 format) must be submitted separately (not included in the 15-page limit).

The CPED DiP Award Committee will evaluate the submitted DiP synopses based upon the following criteria, and will select five finalists who will be asked to submit their full DiP for review. Award Committee members will draw on the following criteria in considering the award decisions, recognizing that submission may vary widely and achieve distinction in many ways.  The Dissertation in Practice:

·         Identifies a researchable, complex problem of practice.
·         Demonstrates the integration of theory and practice to advance professional knowledge.
·         Demonstrates use of rigorous and appropriate methods of critical inquiry2 to address the identified complex problem of practice.
·         Demonstrates potential for positive impact on the identified complex problem of practice and establish reciprocity3 with the field.
·         Demonstrates the integration of both theory and practice to advance professional knowledge and to impact the field.
·         Demonstrates rigorous, appropriate and ethical methods of inquiry.
·         Demonstrates the scholarly practitioner’s ability to communicate effectively to an appropriate audience to advance professional knowledge and impact the field.
·         Demonstrates the goals of the problem-based thesis as involving decisions, changed practices, better organizational performances and application of a theory of change.
·         Engages in creative, innovative or interdisciplinary inquiry.
·         Experiments with distinctive designs or alternatives to traditional doctoral dissertation format or product (e.g., alternatives to five chapters; additional reflective elements relating to personal reflections on the learning journey, how the student’s or field partner’s ideas have changed).
·         Demonstrates potential for positive impact or contribution to practice beyond the DiP itself.
·         Communicates effectively to advance professional knowledge and practice.
·         More detailed information on the CPED working principles and design concepts (definitions of inquiry, principles, etc.) can be found at http://www.cpedinitiative.org/about

The author(s) of the winning DiP will be invited to attend the October CPED convening where they will be recognized.  The recipient(s) will be awarded a plaque, a check for $1000, and $500 toward travel expenses. The recipient(s) will be encouraged to submit an article for publication based on the DiP.

Deadline:  The completed application must be submitted (uploaded to the CPED website) no later than 11:59 PM PST on TBD. The author(s) of the winning DiP will be invited to attend the October 2018 CPED Convening where they will be recognized. 

1Indentifying information of the submitting author/university will be known only to the DiP Co-Chairs for the initial submission, until finalists are identified, in order to maintain anonymity and objective evaluation by committee members.

2Critical inquiry:   Takes into account how our lives are mediated by systems of inequity such as classism, racism, sexism, and heterosexism (Marrais & Lapan, 2004). Has a problem focus, and involves the stimulation of imagination in challenging conventional assumptions, personal beliefs, of provisional hypothesis formation in pushing an investigation forward, the correlative role of guided experimentation, and the capacity to discern which data in which contexts is relevant to the problem at hand (Demetrion, 2004).

3Reciprocity: Research should involve an essentially collaborative relationship between researcher and the research participants in which each contributes something the other needs or desires.  The construct of reciprocity addresses the question: How might qualitative work embrace reciprocity and lead education research to a broader conceptualization of evidence, one that expands the transformative potential of our collective work? (Trainor & Ahlgren-Bouchard, 2013)

Database of Dissertations

In addition, CPED seeks to gather all CPED-influence dissertations in a database that can inform others in their design and format of the dissertation in practice. These, along with all DiP submissions, can be found at the following link:

Dissertations in Practice from CPED-Influenced EdD Programs

Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED)
Headquartered @ The University of Pittsburgh School of Education
5522 Posvar Hall - 230 S. Bouquet Street - Pittsburgh, PA 15260
info@cpedinitiative.org   +1 (412) 648-7428