Le Conseil Constitutionnel Dissertation Proposal

The PhD dissertation proposal must be submitted no more than 6 months after taking the Special Field examination, with the title page provided by the Centre. The main purpose of the PhD dissertation proposal is to provide answers to the following questions about the proposed topic of dissertation research: What is it? How does it relate to previous scholarship? How is it likely to contribute to knowledge?.

Though proposals will vary in arrangement and emphasis, each should:

  • indicate the topic of investigation;
  • discuss the status quaestionis. This review of the state of the literature will involve both
    • a preliminary bibliography to indicate essential secondary sources in the field, and
    • a discussion of the primary sources upon which present understanding of the topic is based;
  • set out what the student proposes to investigate. The source materials to be used in the research should be named and, where relevant, discussed. The extent, location, and availability of sources that are not readily available should be cited;
  • state how this dissertation is likely to advance our knowledge. If the student has already made preliminary soundings in the source material, any results should be indicated;
  • put forward a hypothesis, if one has been formulated.

Students who are preparing an edition of a text for their PhD dissertation should, in addition to the foregoing, specify the number and location of manuscripts from which the texts are to be edited, and the type of edition proposed (working, critical, other). Such students should also acquaint themselves with the Centre’s Guide to Text Editions.

Dissertation proposals should be five to seven pages, double-spaced (c. 1,500 words), plus bibliography. They should be specific enough that the supervisor, Advisory Committee and the centre may warn the student about possible pitfalls. Proposals also should give some indication of how the dissertation will be organised.

While it is not intended that the proposal be so long and burdensome that it consume valuable research time, the statement should be carefully thought out. When formulating a dissertation proposal, students and supervisors should remember that the centre has imposed a limit of 90,000 words on all theses (i.e. about 300–350 pages). This count is to include footnotes or endnotes but can exclude the bibliography, appendices, and the text portion in textual editions. No proposal will be accepted which is likely to produce a dissertation in excess of this limit.

Here, as in other scholarly projects, you should include translations of passages written in languages other than English.  Whether you place the original passage in the body of your proposal and the translation in a footnote or vice versa is up to you.  Please discuss this matter with your supervisor if you are not sure how to proceed.

The proposal should contain the title of both the Special Field and the proposed dissertation. The title of the latter should indicate clearly that the dissertation is more narrowly focused than is the Special Field. Also to be included are the names of the dissertation supervisor and other members of the dissertation Advisory Committee. The dissertation supervisor and committee members must sign the proposal to indicate approval. Each member should retain a copy of the proposal.

Purpose of the Award

The purpose of this scholarship award is to foster research in information science by encouraging and assisting doctoral students in the field with their dissertation research.


The nomination must meet the following qualifications:

  • Author must be an active doctoral student in the information science area in a doctoral degree-granting institution;
  • Author must have had a dissertation proposal accepted by the institution or achieved the equivalent in their institution. The equivalent would typically include the formation of and motivation for a research question or topic, synthesis of prior research relevant to the research question, and a valid research design specifying data collection and analysis methods that are to be used in addressing the research question. A letter that confirms the student’s status with respect to their dissertation must be submitted by the student’s primary research supervisor; and
  • Author Nominee must be a current member in good standing of ASIS&T.
  • Because of the limits proposed by timing considerations, awards may be made for research underway.
  • Prior winners of this award are not eligible.


Submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Potential significance of research to the field of information science (no attempt will be made to define “information science,” but the subjects should be consistent with topics usually published in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology or presented at ASIS&T meetings) (20%);
  • Validity of methodology and proposed methods of analysis (20%);
  • Originality and creativity (20%);
  • Clarity and completeness of the proposal (20%);
  • Presentation of a convincing plan for completion in a reasonable amount of time (10%); and
  • Evidence of a continuing interest in scholarship, such as, a previous publication record (10%).

Nominations Process

Nominations must be submitted by 11:59 pm US Pacific Time on the deadline date.

Nominations must include:

  • The research proposal which includes:
    • A description of the research, including significance and methodology (10 pages or less, double-spaced Times New Roman 12-point font);
    • A dissertation timeline;
    • A budget not to exceed $1,500 along with the budget justification for items for which financial support is sought. These must be items for which no other support is available; examples of acceptable budget items are printing, computer time, fees to subjects, keypunching, statistical consulting, photography, artwork, typing, and professional travel.
    • Information on other support for the dissertation, including scholarships, assistantships, and employment; and
    • The name of the dissertation advisor endorsing the proposal.
  • A cover letter from the dissertation advisor endorsing the proposal;
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae.

Selection Process

Award winners shall be selected by a jury composed of ASIS&T members.

  • Each of the proposals shall be scored by the selection criteria on a five-point scale.
  • If two proposals of equal merit are received, the scholarship shall be awarded on the basis of need. If two proposals judged to be of equally high merit are received from persons of equal apparent need, an effort should be made to break the tie. If this fails, the scholarship may be divided. In no case shall it be divided into more than two parts.
  • In the event that the Jury does not receive any high-quality proposals, no award may be given that year.

Nature of the Award

The Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship is sponsored by Clarivate Analytics. It was established in 1981 and is administered by the ASIS&T Education and Professional Advancement Committee. The award consists of a scholarship of up to $1,500, a certificate, and up to $500 towards travel or other expenses to the award recipient, contingent upon the recipient’s attending the ASIS&T annual meeting in the year of the award.

Presentation of the Award

The award shall be presented at the Awards Ceremony held during the ASIS&T Annual Meeting.

Important Dates

  • Jury Appointment: March 15
  • Submission Deadline: March 31
  • Selection Deadline: May 15


[Approved by Board: 10/31/91] [revised 5/95][revised 10/96][revised 2/97] [revised 11/97][revised 6/17][revised 11/17][revised 2/18]

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