Apply for the Transdisciplinary Studies Dissertation Award

The Transdisciplinary Studies Program invites doctoral candidates who are advanced to candidacy and are within 18 months of expected graduation to apply for the 2021–2022 Transdisciplinary Dissertation Award. The award recognizes students who are using transdisciplinary methodologies and perspectives in their research in innovative, creative, and compelling ways.

  • The application period for the 2021 – 2022 Dissertation Award is closed.
  • Award Amount: Up to $10,000 per award.
  • Application Period Opens: Monday, January 31st, 2022.
  • Application Submission Deadline: Monday, April 11, 2022, 12:00PM Pacific (PDT).

Evaluation Criteria

A Transdisciplinary Studies advisory committee will review all applications and select recipients. Selected proposals will demonstrate: a breadth of disciplinary methodologies and perspectives; a clear command of the research questions, contexts, and interpretations with generalizable merit and significance; methodological validity and feasibility of the project timeline; and a strong academic performance record. The specific criteria of evaluation and a rubric may be viewed and download here: Evaluation Criteria Rubric (.pdf).


Eligibility Requirements

  1. Completion of All Coursework for the PhD with the exception of Dissertation Research units that have been approved by the faculty.
  2. Advancement to Candidacy, including approval of the Dissertation Proposal and successful submission of the Advancement to Candidacy Form to the Registrar’s Office. If advancement to candidacy has not been recorded by the Registrar’s Office by the time of award notification, the student will have until Monday, August 1st, 2022 to advance to candidacy or the award will be rescinded.
  3. Current Registration as a doctoral student in any field of study at CGU.
  4. Doctoral Study Registration must be maintained for both the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 terms.
  5. A Reasonable Expectation of Completion of all remaining requirements for the PhD degree by December 2023.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit the following items, using the linked form below, by Monday, April 11, 2022, 12:00PM Pacific (PDT):

  1. A Publishable Abstract* of your dissertation project (100 word maximum).
  2. A Synopsis of Your Dissertation Research Plan* including and organized by the following (not to exceed 1200 words):

    1. the proposed dissertation title and the word count of the synopsis*;
    2. the rationale and context within previous scholarship, specific aims, and projected significance of the proposed dissertation*;
    3. the information-gathering and analytical methods and techniques used*;
    4. the organizational plan (by chapter) of the dissertation*.

    Optional: you may additionally submit one page, each, of bibliographic and appendix material.

  3. An Academic Timeline* including the date of your advancement to candidacy (see eligibility section for more information on advancing to candidacy) and stages of progress (and completion) of your dissertation (one half page maximum).
  4. A Budget Justification* explaining how you would use the dissertation award, including, if relevant, an itemized budget for research expenses. University Tuition and Fees may be included in the budget (one page maximum).
  5. A Curriculum Vitae* (two page maximum).
  6. One or more Draft Chapters* from your dissertation proposal (maximum of 60 pages).
  7. The Certification of Eligibility Statement (download .pdf)* signed by a member of the applicant’s dissertation committee. If the applicant’s committee chair is unable to sign the Certificate of Eligibility Statement form, the applicant should direct the committee chair or committee member to email the Transdisciplinary Studies Office (transdisciplinary.studies@cgu.edu), certifying the applicant’s eligibility to apply for the award.

* Required Item

Please note most reviewers of your application will be outside of your field of study, so write clearly and avoid or clearly define specialized terms or concepts.

The Transdisciplinary Studies Office will provide a copy of applicant’s Academic Transcript to the review committee. Applicants do not need to provide an academic transcript in the application.

If you have questions about the award or issues with the form, please contact the Transdisciplinary Studies Program at transdisciplinary.studies@cgu.edu for assistance.

Apply Today!


Current Dissertation Award Fellows

It is our pleasure to announce the TNDY Dissertation Award Fellows for 2021 – 2022. The six recipients and brief descriptions of their dissertation projects are listed below. This is an impressive set of projects and illustrates that high quality, high impact research is being conducted across all disciplines here at CGU. Congratulations!


Cindy Delgado

School of Community & Global Health

“Transdisciplinary Evaluation of Telehealth Experiences of Diabetic Participants’ and their Coaches’ in “Stopping Diabetes in its Tracks” (SDIT) a Descriptive Mixed-Methods Customer Experience Map Journey"

This study will capture the experiences of diabetic patients and their coaches during the covid-19 transition to virtual delivery. A journey map will be created of Stopping Diabetes in Its Tracks (SDIT), a transdisciplinary engineered system that delivers holistic Diabetes Prevention (DPP) and management. Interviews and quantitative surveys will develop personal perspectives to inform equitable telehealth infrastructure and virtual delivery of future programs. Previous research has focused on the feasibility and effectiveness of in-person versus telehealth delivery of DPP. However, few studies have merged perspectives from the field of ethnic studies, public health, and customer service research during a pandemic.


Adrineh Gregorian

School of Arts & Humanities

“Cross-Border Peace Building and Gender Inclusivity: The Case of Nagorno-Karabakh”

Women are building peace networks in the fringes of the current Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This dissertation focuses on how women in conflict regions are contributing to peace building measures through their employment of digital tools. In doing so, they are redefining themselves and their roles in society. My research analyzes how women from these countries address problems related to a) gender inequities, b) women’s inclusion in peace building processes, c) how the affect of conflict influences peace building, and d) the use of new technology in digital spaces for building peace networks that transcends borders.


Soha Hammam

Division of Politics & Economics

“How civil resistance works: A Multi-Method Analysis of Civil Resistance Dynamics and Outcomes”

The question of whether civil resistance works, and how it could lead to a pronounced change has occupied the minds of scholars for decades. With the complexities of the factors involved and the dynamic interactions among them, computational social science methods present innovative tools that can uncover the underlying principles of civil resistance. My dissertation introduces a framework that moves beyond individual domains into a more systemic analysis of civil resistance. This has a major potential not only for researchers, but also for policymakers who often time face difficulty evaluating global waves of civil resistance as they unfold.


Bree Hemingway

Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences

“Evaluation Training in Public Health: Exploring a New Approach”

Program evaluation is an essential function of public health practice. Despite the importance of evaluation within public health, inconsistent exposure to evaluation principles and methodology within Master of Public Health (MPH) programs inadequately prepare students for conducting evaluation. The proposed three-phased mixed-methods study supplements literature in public health, evaluation and education and aims to improve evaluation training for MPH students. Qualitative research in phase one informs phase two— development of an online evaluation training for MPH students. The third phase, a quasi-experimental study measures the effectiveness of the training to improve MPH students’ knowledge, attitudes and self-efficacy to conduct evaluation.


Melanie Lindsay

School of Arts & Humanities

“Toward an Ethics of Self-Care: The Performative Poetics of Maya Angelou, Audre Lorde, and Patrice Cullors”

My dissertation, “Toward an Ethics of Self-Care: The Performative Poetics of Maya Angelou, Audre Lorde, and Patrice Cullors,” hypothesizes that we can conceive an ethical practice of self-care through a close reading of the writings and performances of Angelou, Lorde, and Cullors. Through this project I ask whether the performative works of three Black feminists can yield a notion of ethical self-care. If we examine their thinking as expressed through their poetry, their performances (including activism), and their self-life-writing would we be able to locate an ethical practice that robustly sustains lives often lived under conditions of duress?


Conrad Pruitt, Jr.

School of Arts & Humanities

“Black Memorabilia and the Racial Dialectic: Contesting Significations of Race”

Recently, racist collectibles have experienced a renaissance, circulating through conventions and social media trades. Surpassing mere reflections of antiquated attitudes, black ephemera reinforce validations of racial distinction and hegemonic domination. This project will explore the meanings of these objects: their inferiority-affirming stereotypes, and how such perceptions of blackness intersect with their use-value as domestic items. By examining the treatment of black collectibles in critical studies, museums, social media posts, price guides and literary works from postcolonial and psychoanalytic perspectives, my dissertation will illuminate the significance of these objects as representations of the complex dynamics of defining the black racial identity.


Past Dissertation Award Fellows