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Distinguished Dissertation in Qualitative Inquiry Award


Sponsor: Division 5


This award recognizes distinguished dissertations that addressed a topic in the field of qualitative research methods.

Award recipients attending the APA convention will receive the following:

  • An invitation to receive the award at the APA Div. 5 awards ceremony, with a description of their accomplishments being conveyed by one of their nominators.
  • A cash award of $500 to help offset travel expenses to the subsequent APA convention.
  • An honorary one-year membership to Div. 5.
  • An awards plaque and a place in history.

The annual deadline for this award is the first Monday of December.

Questions about the awards, nominations and the review process can be addressed to Heidi Levitt. The outcome of the review process will be announced each year in March.


Neither the nominator nor nominee need be a current or former member of either the APA or Div. 5. Both self-nominations and nominations of others will be considered.

Nominees must have completed dissertation no earlier than three years previous.

Nominees must be willing to participate in the process of selecting winners for their awards in the following year.

How to Apply

Nomination materials should include:

  1. An abstract of 1,000-2,000 words that (a) summarizes the dissertation, (b) highlights its broader theoretical and/or applied relevance and importance, and (c) clearly describes the qualitative methods or methodology used and the contribution of their methods and methodology to the dissertation. Applicants may wish to refer to the criteria in Qualitative Psychology to obtain a sense of what a clear articulation of method entails.
  2. A letter of support from the dissertation advisor (or other faculty member from the institution where the dissertation was completed) that describes (a) the significance of the dissertation to the field of psychology and the understanding of the human experience, (b) the implications of the project for future research, (c) the use of methods and methodology and (d) the promise of the nominee for future contributions to research or professional practice.
  3. The nominee’s current curriculum vitae.
  4. A PDF version of the dissertation.
  5. Please send all requested nomination materials to Richard Gonzalez by the first Monday in December. In your email, please use the subject line "Division 5 Award Nomination". In addition, please ask for a confirmation that your materials have been received. If you do not receive a confirmation, please follow up to make sure that your materials have been received.
Past Recipients

Nisha Gupta


James Christopher Head


Heidi Mattila


Jonathan Yahalom
William E. Hartmann


Dennis C. Wendt


Shari Goldstein
Dusty Johnstone

Date created: November 2015