The Transdisciplinary Studies Program invites doctoral candidates who are advanced to candidacy and are within 18 months of expected graduation to apply for the 2022 – 2023 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: up to $10,000 per award for the 2022 – 2023 academic year (fall 2022 through summer 2023). Funds disbursed after the add/drop deadline for the fall 2022 and spring 2023 terms.

Applications Due: Closed. Applicants will be notified on the status of their application in early May.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Current Registration as a doctoral student in any field of study at CGU.
  2. Completion of All Coursework for the PhD, with the exception of Dissertation Research units that have been approved by the faculty.
  3. 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award notification, the student will have until Monday, August 1st, 2022 to advance to candidacy or the award will be rescinded.
  4. A Reasonable Expectation of Completion of all remaining requirements for the PhD degree within 18 months of award notification.
  5. 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 If doctoral registration is not maintained for both terms, the award will be rescinded.
  6. 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.
  7. Previous Recipients of a CGU Dissertation Award or a Transdisciplinary Dissertation Award are not eligible to apply.
  8. Recipients of a Crossing Boundaries Research Award are eligible to apply for the TNDY Dissertation Award.

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).

Required Application Materials

Applications are due, April 2023 (Date To Be Determined):

  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 (1200 word maximum):
    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.
    5. The following optional items may be included (items will not count toward 1200 word maximum for the synposis):
      1. Bibliographic information (one page maximum).
      2. Appendix material (one page maximum).
  3. An Academic Timeline* including the date of your advancement to candidacy and stages of progress (and completion) of your dissertation (one 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, be sure to justify their inclusion (one page maximum).
  5. A Curriculum Vitae* (two pages maximum).
  6. One or more Draft Chapters* from your dissertation proposal (60 pages maximum).
  7. 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

Application Period Is Now Closed for the 2022 - 2023 Award

Applications are due, April 2023 (Date To Be Determined). Please Note:

  • Only doctoral students are eligible for the award.
  • 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.
  • Doctoral Study Registration (i.e., registration in 499) must be maintained for both the fall and spring terms for the award period. If doctoral registration is not maintained for one or both terms, the award funds for the term will be withheld.
  • 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.
  • Applicants cannot save a draft of their application within airSlate. Applicants must complete the airSlate application form in one session. Incomplete Applications will be rejected and the applicant will need to re-submit their application.
  • Applications are considered “tentatively complete” if all other application materials were submitted but the Certification of Eligibility Statement has not been signed by the applicant’s chose dissertation committee member once the application period closes.
  • Award is distributed in two equal payments in the fall 2022 and spring 2023 terms after the add/drop deadline.
  • Applicants will be notified on the status of their application in early May.
  • The Center for Writing & Rhetoric can provide one-on-one consultation support for applicants.

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

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.

Sergio Gonzalez

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.

Anthony Lyons

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.

Jessica Moss

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.

Monica Perkins

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.

Rebecca Williams

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.

Martiza Cha

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.

Marcia Joppert

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.

Chengcheng Zhang

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