Best Dissertation Proposal Competition -- Application Process

Call for Submissions
Submission Deadline: July 1, 2019

We invite you to submit your dissertation proposal to the INFORMS/Organization Science Dissertation Proposal Competition. Now in its 27th year, this competition is one of the most prestigious available to doctoral students studying organizations. Eight finalists will be chosen, based on reviews by experienced referees. Finalists will present their dissertation proposals in a workshop on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at the fall INFORMS Conference held in Seattle, WA. During the workshop, finalists will receive detailed feedback from a panel of respected organizational scholars who act as final judges for the competition. The all-day workshop also provides a wonderful opportunity to interact with a small group of future colleagues. At the workshop, the judges will select a winner and a runner up.

In order for their dissertation proposals to be considered for this competition, students must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Students must not have completed their dissertation before October 19, 2019 but should expect to do so on or before July 1, 2020.
  2. No part of the dissertation or dissertation proposal may be accepted for publication, provisionally or otherwise, at an academic journal prior to submission for this competition.

We encourage all eligible doctoral students who are studying topics related to organization science to submit summaries of their dissertation proposals. Dissertation proposals addressing issues related to any aspect of organization theory, entrepreneurship, strategy, organizational behavior, or business ethics are welcome.

Submissions should meet the following formatting criteria:

  1. Proposal summaries must be no longer than 4,000 words (in 12-point font with 1-inch margins).
  2. Up to 7 additional pages containing references and exhibits may be included. References may be single-spaced.

Dissertation proposals will be judged based on soundness of theory, methodological rigor, and potential contribution to the field of organization science. It is permissible, but not necessary, to include preliminary results in your submission. In keeping with the mission of the INFORMS College on Organization Science, boldness and innovation of the dissertation will be important criteria in the judging process.

The competition is being coordinated this year by Julia DiBenigno of Yale University. We are fortunate to again be using Organization Science's ScholarOne Manuscripts submission system to manage dissertation proposal submissions and reviews. The web address for submissions is If you do not already have an account, you will have to create one. This is a quick and easy process.

Applications must be received by July 1, 2019. Dissertation proposal summaries that do not meet the formatting criteria will be returned to students without review. In addition to the proposal summary, each application must include a nomination letter from the applicant’s adviser certifying that the student is likely to complete the dissertation by July 1, 2020 and the date when the student advanced to candidacy – there is no need for a detailed recommendation letter.

Please follow Organization Science's instructions for submitting your proposal. A couple of important things to note:

  • In step 1, select the manuscript type "Proposal."
  • In step 2, Attributes, please select a few key words to aid in assigning reviewers.
  • In step 4, Reviewers and Editors, do not recommend any reviewers. However, you must indicate Julia DiBenigno as your preferred SENIOR EDITOR. To process your proposal, the system requires that you choose a SECOND EDITOR. This second editor will not see your submission, so please choose anyone from the list.
  • In step 5, Details and Comments, paste your cover letter into the window and use the browse attachment function to attach your COVER PAGE as well as YOUR ADVISER'S NOMINATION LETTER.
  • In step 6, Upload Files, upload a copy of your proposal WITHOUT ITS COVER PAGE OR OTHER IDENTIFYING INFORMATION. The first page should include only your dissertation title and abstract.

Please direct any inquiries by email with Subject “Dissertation Proposal Competition” to Julia DiBenigno.