NDLTD Awards

NDLTD is pleased to announce the 2021 ETD Awards program. Submit nominations now!

Deadline for Nominations: September 1st, 2021

The NDLTD's ETD Awards recognize and support innovative theses and dissertations and leadership within the ETD community. These awards are presented each year at the annual ETD Symposium.

The awards include several categories of appreciation:
  • The Innovative ETD Award supports student efforts to transform the genre of the dissertation through the use of innovative research data management techniques and software to create multimedia ETDs. 
  • The ETD Leadership Award recognizes individuals whose leadership and vision has helped raise awareness of the benefits of open access ETDs and whose efforts have improved graduate education and research through the use of technology.
The awards will be presented at ETD 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Eligibility, Nomination Procedures, and Evaluation Criteria

At its first meeting of 2021, the NDLTD Board decided to open the nomination process to any thesis or dissertation student author or their institution, provided that the thesis or dissertation is immediately publicly accessible in an institutional repository sponsored by their university. 
  • The nominated innovative thesis or dissertation must be for a degree earned in the 12 months prior to September 1, 2021.
  • NDLTD institutional members will receive this notification one month before general public publicity, in order to give member institutions additional preparation time for the nomination.
  • Nominations will be reviewed by the NDLTD Awards Committee. To avoid conflict of interest, institutions that currently employ Awards Committee members will not be eligible.
  • Winners are encouraged but not required to attend the ETD Symposium:
  • Innovative ETD award winners will be eligible to receive up to U.S. $1200 reimbursement towards the cost of their travel to attend the ETD Symposium.
  • Winners will also receive complimentary conference registration.
  • Winners who cannot attend the Symposium must submit an acceptance message to be presented at the Symposium Awards ceremony and distributed online. This message may be a video of 2-3 minutes or a written message of 500 words or less.  in the form of a video.
  • Nomination letters should include:
    • A brief description (1,000 words or less) of background information and details of the merits of and justification for the nomination.
    • Additional letters of support (i.e., from faculty, administration, students, Library or Graduate School Dean, Provost, etc.).
    • Complete contact information for both the nominator and nominee, including home and/or University postal and email addresses.
Nominations must be submitted by webform to ETD Awards Committee Chair Charles Greenberg at https://forms.gle/udZ4ChxHGLMAwNK47.

The deadline for receiving nominations to be recognized at ETD2021 is September 1st, 2021.

Specific Awards Category Information and Requirements:

Innovative ETD Award

ETDs submitted for this award must represent student efforts to transform the genre of the print dissertation through the use of technology. This award recognizes innovative use of software to create "cutting edge" ETDs. The application and integration of renderings, photos, data sets, software code and other multimedia objects that are included in the document will be considered as part of the innovation of the work.
  • An ETD may be nominated by a representative (e.g., administrator, faculty member or librarian) of an institution or by a student themselves that provides necessary institutional documentation.
  • The nomination should include a link to the archived work, along with a brief statement about how the work uses technology to enhance the presentation of research. If the repository deposit has not been completed, it must be by the time nominations close.
  • ETD nominations must include links to required forms in a secure cloud-based document-sharing system, such as a Google Drive or DropBox. Submissions of PDF formats should include hyper-linking and/or the source URL to any supplementary multimedia material that can be evaluated.
  • The ETD must be distributed online as open access.
  • There may be up to three winners in this category.
  • Each winner will receive $1,000 and will be eligible to receive up to an additional $1200 in travel scholarship funding to attend the ETD Symposium.*
  • Winners will also receive complimentary conference registration.

ETD Leadership Award

This is open to individuals whose leadership and vision has helped raise awareness of the benefits of ETDs and whose efforts have improved graduate education through the use of ETDs. Letters of nominations should include details about the individual's ETD related activities and how the nominee's leadership has made significant advances in the area of ETDs at the local, regional, national, or international levels.
  • Nominations should be submitted by the nominee's supervisor or related University administrator.
  • Nominations must be submitted by webform at https://forms.gle/vbc9JM3Z8cBNqsPx8
  • The nominee or nominee's institution must be affiliated as an NDLTD member.
  • There may be up to two winners for this category.
  • Each winner will receive international honorary recognition.
  • Winners will also receive complimentary conference registration.


*I.R.S regulations require the NDLTD to report all award amounts distributed; citizens of the United States must provide a valid Social Security number to receive award distributions. Winners must agree to the conditions set forth in the eligibility requirements listed here and NDLTD policy. Winners must also agree to make acceptance/acknowledgments materials available to the NDLTD for the purpose of international promotions.  

For more information about the ETD Awards program contact Charles Greenberg, ETD Awards Committee Chair (cjgberg@ndltd.org).