The Transdisciplinary Studies Program invites doctoral candidates who are advanced to candidacy and are within 18 months of expected graduation to apply for the 2023 – 2024 Transdisciplinary Dissertation Award. The award recognizes students who are using transdisciplinary methodologies and perspectives in their research in innovative, creative, and compelling ways.
Award amount is up to up to $10,000 per award for the academic year. Funds are disbursed after the add/drop deadline for the respective fall and spring terms during the award year.
- Current Registration as a doctoral student in any field of study at CGU.
- Completion of All Coursework for the PhD, with the exception of Dissertation Research units that have been approved by the faculty.
- 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award notification, the student will have until Tuesday, August 1st, 2023 to advance to candidacy or the award will be rescinded.
- A Reasonable Expectation of Completion of all remaining requirements for the PhD degree within 18 months of award notification.
- Doctoral Study Registration must be maintained for both the fall and spring terms for the award period. If doctoral registration is not maintained for both terms, the award will be rescinded.
- Recipients of a Transdisciplinary Studies Award may not accept a CGU Dissertation Grant and vice versa; recipients may accept one award or the other, but not both awards.
- Previous Recipients of a CGU Dissertation Award or a Transdisciplinary Dissertation Award are not eligible to apply.
- Recipients of a Crossing Boundaries Research Award are eligible to apply for the TNDY Dissertation Award.
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 downloaded here: Evaluation Criteria Rubric (.pdf).
How To Apply
To apply, please submit the following items, using the linked airSlate form below, by 5:00PM (Pacific), Tuesday, April 11, 2023:
- A Publishable Abstract* of your dissertation project (100 word maximum).
- A Synopsis of Your Dissertation Research Plan* including and organized by the following (1200 word maximum):
- The proposed dissertation title and the word count of the synopsis.
- The rationale and context within previous scholarship, specific aims, and projected significance of the proposed dissertation.
- The information-gathering and analytical methods and techniques used.
- The organizational plan (by chapter) of the dissertation.
- The following optional items may be included (items will not count toward 1200 word maximum for the synposis):
- Bibliographic information (one page maximum).
- Appendix material (one page maximum).
- An Academic Timeline* including the date of your advancement to candidacy and stages of progress (and completion) of your dissertation (one page maximum).
- 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, be sure to justify their inclusion (one page maximum).
- A Curriculum Vitae* (two pages maximum).
- One or more Draft Chapters* from your dissertation proposal (60 pages maximum).
- The Certification of Eligibility Statement** signed by the applicant and one member of the applicant’s dissertation committee certifying the applicant’s eligibility to apply for the award. No extra form, document, or email is required, this step is completed during the airSlate application process.
* Required Item
Applications are due:
5:00PM (Pacific), Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
Questions? Need Help? Want to Learn More?
Interested in applying? Check out our frequently asked question section below. Interested in speaking with CGU staff about the Symposium? We are also hosting a series of prep sessions for students to assist applicants, see the FAQ section below for more information. You can also reach out to us directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org too.
- Key Dates:
- Application Period Opens: Thursday, February 23rd, 2023
- Application Period Closes: Tuesday, April 11th, 2023
- Award Notification Date: May 9th, 2023
- Award Disbursement #1: September 2023
- Award Disbursement #2: February 2024
- The Center for Writing & Rhetoric can provide one-on-one consultation support for applicants.
- Only doctoral students are eligible for the award.
- 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 an applicant’s academic transcript to the review committee. Applicants do not need to provide an academic transcript in the application.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Transdisciplinary Studies Dissertation Award open to Joint Doctoral Students?
Yes, the TNDY Dissertation Award is open to all CGU doctoral students including joint and interfield doctoral students.
Which award should I apply for? One of the dissertation awards or the research award?
The TNDY and CGU dissertation awards are intended to support dissertation research and writing. These awards are for students who have already advanced to candidacy or will advance to candidacy by August 1st, 2023.
The Crossing Boundaries Research Award is intended to support research that will lead to a dissertation proposal. Students who are finishing coursework, preparing for qualifying exams, and/or working on their dissertation proposal should apply for the Crossing Boundaries Research award and not a dissertation award.
Students who have advanced or will advance to candidacy by June 2023 are not eligible for the Crossing Boundaries Research Award.
I am applying for the Transdisciplinary Studies Dissertation Award, should I also apply for the CGU Dissertation Award
Yes, we highly recommend that students apply for both the Transdisciplinary Studies Dissertation Award and the CGU Dissertation Award. Note, applicants will need to submit an application for each award
Conversely, students applying for the CGU Dissertation Award may consider applying for the Transdisciplinary Studies Dissertation Award if they believe their project also utilizes transdisciplinary methodologies and perspectives in innovative, creative, and compelling ways. Otherwise, we recommend that students working within a single field, utilizing uni-disciplinary methods, and/or on a problem of relevance to only one disciplinary field apply only for the CGU Dissertation Award.
If you are uncertain whether your research qualifies as “transdisciplinary,” please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your project.
What does “Advancement to Candidacy” mean?
The term “Advancement to Candidacy” means that you meet all the qualifications as specified by your program (i.e., completed 72-units of coursework, passed qualifying exams or completed your portfolio, completed all research tools, and any other requirements as outlined by your program, etc.). Each doctoral program is different, so please confirm with your faculty/departmental advisor on the exact specifications required of your degree program to advance to candidacy.
Should applicants have their faculty advisor/chair certify applicant eligibility via email?
No, faculty advisor/chair certification of eligibility is automatically handled via the application form. Neither the applicant nor the certifying advisor will need to submit a separate email.
We do recommend that applicants notify the faculty advisor certifying their eligibility for the award that they have or will submit an application for the award.
How do I create an abstract? What are the best practices?
Review the recording from the on abstracts below to learn about the key components of a well-crafted abstract.
What should the “budget justification” contain? Does it need to be written out in prose format? Can I use a bulleted list? Can I use a spreadsheet?
The budget justification lists and justifies how applicants will use the funds to support their research and writing. Applicants may use a written description, a bulleted list, and/or a spreadsheet. Any of the formats or a combination of formats is acceptable as long as the format details and justifies how the award funds will assist the applicant in completing their dissertation.
Can I use the award funds to cover tuition/fees and living expenses?
Yes, applicants may use the award funds to cover doctoral study tuition and fees, and living expenses. Applicants should discuss the use of funds to cover tuition and living expenses in their budget justification.
What should the “academic timeline” contain? Does it need to be written out? Can I use a spreadsheet?
The academic timeline describes the different stages, milestones, and/or steps and the time the applicant anticipates it will take to complete them. The timeline may be written out or detailed in a spreadsheet or some combination thereof. Any of the formats or a combination of formats is acceptable as long as the format details and justifies how the award funds will assist the applicant in completing their research.
I am doing human subject study stuff, is there anything special I need to do?
Yes. First, talk to your faculty and/or research advisor. Second, reach out to the university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB’s “focus is to facilitate faculty investigators and help train student investigators to understand and carry out the fundamental purpose of all IRBs, which is to assure the Investigator’s Respectful Behavior toward every person who participates in research as a ‘human subject’.”
The IRB advises that asking whether a project is HSR is really asking two questions: (1) Is it research? (according to federal regulations) and (2) Does the research involve human subjects?
Human subject means a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research:
- Obtains information or biospecimens through intervention or interaction with the individual, and uses, studies, or analyzes the information or biospecimens; or
- Obtains, uses, studies, analyzes, or generates identifiable private information or identifiable biospecimens.
Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Activities that meet this definition constitute research for purposes of this policy, whether or not they are conducted or supported under a program that is considered research for other purposes. For example, some demonstration and service programs may include research activities. For purposes of this part, the following activities are deemed not to be research:
- Scholarly and journalistic activities (e.g., oral history, journalism, biography, literary criticism, legal research, and historical scholarship), including the collection and use of information, that focus directly on the specific individuals about whom the information is collected.
- Public health surveillance activities, including the collection and testing of information or biospecimens, conducted, supported, requested, ordered, required, or authorized by a public health authority. Such activities are limited to those necessary to allow a public health authority to identify, monitor, assess, or investigate potential public health signals, onsets of disease outbreaks, or conditions of public health importance (including trends, signals, risk factors, patterns in diseases, or increases in injuries from using consumer products). Such activities include those associated with providing timely situational awareness and priority setting during the course of an event or crisis that threatens public health (including natural or man-made disasters).
- Collection and analysis of information, biospecimens, or records by or for a criminal justice agency for activities authorized by law or court order solely for criminal justice or criminal investigative purposes.
- Authorized operational activities (as determined by each agency) in support of intelligence, homeland security, defense, or other national security missions.
What To Learn More? Have a Question That is Not Answered Here?
You can also view a Q + A session with Andrew Vosko, Associate Provost and Director of Transdisciplinary Studies, and Eusebio Alvaro, Associate Provost for Research, to learn more about the dissertation awards.
View Recorded Award Q + A Information Session (Zoom)
Otherwise, please feel free to email us @ email@example.com with questions.
Current Dissertation Award Fellows
It is our pleasure to announce the TNDY Dissertation Award Fellows for 2022 – 2023. The 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.
School of Educational Studies
“A Jotería Identity and Belonging: Pláticas of Co-Creation with Queer Latinx Graduate Students in Higher Education”
Homophobia, patriarchy, and white supremacy are deeply embedded in academia and our communities; consequently, there is a lack of empirical research that speaks to the collective experiences connected to Jotería, queer people of color, and Latinx/a/o graduate students (Tijerina Revilla & Santillana, 2014). Therefore, the purpose of this exploratory qualitative dissertation is to understand how sense of belonging informs the identity development of queer Latinx/a/o graduate students in higher education. By incorporating Jotería Identity and Consciousness and Sense of Belonging as guiding frameworks, this dissertation will lay the foundation to center queer Latinx/a/o graduate students’ lived experiences through the co-creation of authentic pláticas.
Center for Information Systems & Technology/School of Educational Studies
“Data Industry Career Competencies for Post High School African American Males”
On many comparative lists regarding STEM students and workers, African American males are an unacceptably low percentage of the population. This research seeks to ascertain which transdisciplinary components are fundamental for programs seeking to identify, needs asSchool of Educational Studiess, and assist African American, post high school males interested in the Data Science and Analytics field. By identifying which skills are fundamental for an entry-level Data Analytics career, but also the skills gaps that may hinder an individual’s success, facilities interested in developing competency-based training programs and data analyst pipelines will have a roadmap to follow.
School of Arts & Humanities – Cultural Studies
“Interfaith Communities: Relationships in Thirdspace”
Contending with, and expanding the understanding of, diverse interfaith relationships, this project presents a nuanced awareness of interfaith action and the dialectic of lived religion with interfaith engagement. Arguing that interfaith is a type of thirdspace in which engagements have affective impacts on individuals within interfaith communities, as well as orientation towards religious communities. While there are common struggles, interpretations, and socializations that hinder the participation of women and non-binary individuals in institutional interfaith spaces, observing organic interfaith relationships as occurring in thirdspace allows for the recognition of radical inclusion and dedication to diversity.
School of Educational Studies
“Toward Black Feminist Theorization in the History of U. S. Medical Education”
Seminal literature on early twentieth century Black women physicians is often biographical and bereft of contextualization within the construction and reform of medical education in the United States. Furthermore, discourse on the history of US medical education has an ahistorical ethos that places Black women’s epistemologies on the margins. This study employs Black Feminist Thought in archival research on California’s earliest Black women physicians within the context of the construction and reform of medical education to problematize and nuance understandings of early twentieth century US medical education and challenge how scholars interpret archival gaps to develop historical claims.
Ana Ortiz Salazar
School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation – International Studies
“The Future of Plastics Scraps Trade: Identifying Determinants and Impacts of the Shifting Global Plastic Scraps Network”
China’s 2017 National Sword policy, which banned plastic scraps imports, has had ripple effects throughout the global plastics scraps trade network. The consequences are cross-sectoral and multi-scalar, resulting in cascading impacts across markets, policy, natural environments, and human public health. To anticipate the future impacts of a shifting global plastic scraps network, the author first uses a Social Network Analysis (SNA) approach to explore the network’s topological changes over time. To better understand those changes and their consequences, a cross-sectional time-series multi-method analysis is also used, identifying characteristics that make countries more likely to become havens for plastic waste.
School of Arts & Humanities – Music
“Piano Instruction: An Exercise in Collaborative Creativity through Dialogic Pedagogy”
Private piano instruction necessitates dialogic pedagogy and a collaborative mindset to enable the co-creation of knowledge between teacher and student because it seeks to teach affective and motor skills in addition to the traditional cognitive learning of the classroom. This project lies at the intersection of musicology and pedagogy, weaving together historical artifacts with current pedagogical practices. A textual analysis of historical keyboard pedagogy sources will be conducted and analyzed through the lenses of a set of pedagogical frameworks. Several case studies will be conducted using these frameworks to determine if dialogic pedagogy elicits agency and fulfillment in piano students.
This year we were also able to recognize and award three “Honorable Mention” distinctions for work showing exceptional promise and impact. These awardees will receive additional funds to carry out their dissertation research.
School of Educational Studies
“Exploring college knowledge: Diálogo between college counselors and socioeconomically disadvantaged Latinx public high school students”
The purpose of this dissertation study is to explore college counselors’ experiences establishing relationships, engaging, and sharing college knowledge with socioeconomically disadvantaged Latinx students. The researcher will be doing their dissertation employing plática methodology, this study aimed to understand the experiences of both college counselors and Latinx high school students as they enter in diálogo around the college guidance process. The research sheds light on the constraints and opportunities in the college guidance process, contributing to research and practice for a critical group of high school students.
School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation – Psychology
“Evaluation Education in a World in Transformation: The Way Forward”
This study adopts a transdisciplinary perspective by examining how formal evaluation education programs (FEEP) respond to challenges in the field of evaluation in a world in transformation. Decision-makers need sound evidence to understand the dynamic change the world has faced and its impacts. This scenario has provoked discussions about the need to change how evaluation is practiced and taught. However, evidence is lacking about whether education programs prepare evaluators for this new scenario. By gathering data from evaluation experts and Young and Emerging Evaluators (YEE), this study will provoke reflections on how FEEP should adapt or change.
School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation – Economics
“How do demand-side incentives relate to insurance transitioning behavior of public health insurance enrollees? A novel voting ensemble approach for ranking factors of mixed data types”
To estimate the insurance transitioning behavior of the public health insurance enrollees in the U.S., we conduct factor analysis importance based on the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2011 – 2018. We aim to quantify the relationship between insurance transitioning and related factors. We also design a voting ensemble to obtain two types of relatively model-free ranking scores for each factor. We find that the top five driving factors of insurance transitioning are number of physician office visits, family size, chronic condition, age and family income. A predictive model based on the top-ranked factors is provided and model validation result shows that it is competitive to other popular prediction methods.
Past Dissertation Award Fellows
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Center for Information Systems & Technology/School of Community & Global Health
“A Tailored Sleep Behavior Change Support System to Promote the Use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy: Theorizing the Solution”
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common sleep breathing disorder in the U.S. with 30 million adults suffering from it, which is the second most in the world. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is the most effective treatment for OSA. However, up to 50% of patients who accept using CPAP therapy fail to adhere to it. An explanatory, randomized, mixed method, crossover study will be adopted to examine the efficacy of a tailored sleep behavior change support system and its effect on fostering the use of CPAP therapy among non-compliant OSA patients.
School of Community & Global Health
“How California is Becoming ACEs Aware: A Case Study on Early Effects and Implementation”
With the launch of the ACEs Aware campaign, California becomes the first state to address childhood adversity and toxic stress by offering training to healthcare providers and allocating Medi-Cal funds to reimburse providers that screen patients for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Prolonged exposure to trauma as a child can have detrimental effects on an individual’s development and overall well-being. Through stakeholder interviews, a case study of this statewide trauma-informed approach will be utilized to explain implementation issues, concerns, challenges, and improvements that will arise as a result of this new policy.
School of Arts & Humanities – English
“The Essence of Narrativity: Evolution and Female Pleasure in Narrative Desire”
Bauer’s dissertation work outlines a new way to read narrative in relation to gender and pleasure that is applicable across the mediums of literature, film, and video games. By incorporating evolutionary biology into narrative studies, she suggests there may be other ways in which plots move or ways in which theorists can interpret meaning from narrative patterns such as resolution, cyclicality, communality, and temporality. Her theoretical model integrates contextual and formalist approaches while dismantling the historical understanding that narrative is irrevocably heteronormative, thereby presenting a comprehensive narrative poetics that enables fresh readings of gender and plot for contemporary scholarship.
School of Educational Studies
“Post-9/11 Student Veterans’ Optimal Functioning as a Predictor for Positive Academic Performance”
A transdisciplinary study of education and positive psychology will examine how post-9/11 student veterans’ positive optimal functioning predicts their academic performance. A convenient student veteran sample from a private 4-year university in the southwestern part of the U.S. will be used. The following hypotheses will be tested: 1). The student veterans that report higher levels of optimal functioning will also report higher levels of overall academic performance. 2). The student veterans that report a greater positive university environment will report greater levels of academic performance. 3). The student veterans who report more combat experiences will report lower levels of optimal functioning.
School of Arts & Humanities – English
“The Last Frontier; or, Going Critical; or, Denying Reality in Las Vegas”
My dissertation reconsiders Las Vegas as a nuclear site by focusing on fictional and non-fictional representations of the city from the town’s founding in 1905 through the end of the earliest phases of the cold war in 1979. These early narratives dislocate Las Vegas from time and place and are critical to the city’s development as a military-industrial—and later, nuclear—playground. My work traces the effect that this nuclear association has on subsequent stories told about Las Vegas and how these storylines resonate with broader patterns of nuclear denial in the United States.