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A doctoral dissertation makes an original contribution to knowledge, as defined in a discipline or an interdisciplinary domain and addresses a significant researchable problem. Not all problems are researchable and not all are significant. Problems that can be solved by a mere descriptive exercise are not appropriate for the PhD dissertation. Acceptable problems are those that:

  • pose a puzzle to the field at a theoretical, methodological, or policy level;
  • make analytical demands for solution, rather than mere cataloging or descriptive demands; and
  • can yield to a reasonable research methodology.

The doctoral dissertation advisor, reading committee, and oral exam committee provide further guidance and details with regard to dissertation content and format. General formatting and submission guidelines are published by the University Registrar. The American Psychological Association (APA) publication guidelines normally apply to GSE doctoral dissertations, but is not required if the advisor and relevant committees determine that an alternative, and academically acceptable, protocol is more appropriate.

Published Papers and Multiple Authorship

The inclusion of published papers in a dissertation is the prerogative of the major department.  Where published papers or ready-for-publication papers are included, the following criteria must be met:

1. There must be an introductory chapter that integrates the general theme of the research and the relationship between the chapters.  The introduction may also include a review of the literature relevant to the dissertation topic that does not appear in the chapters.

2. Multiple authorship of a published paper should be addressed by clearly designating, in an introduction, the role that the dissertation author had in the research and production of the published paper.  The student must have a major contribution to the research and writing of papers included in the dissertation.

3. There must be adequate referencing of where individual papers have been published.

4. Written permission must be obtained for all copyrighted materials; letters of permission must be uploaded electronically in PDF form when submitting the dissertation.  Please see the following website for more information on the use of copyrighted materials: http://library.stanford.edu/using/copyright-reminder .

5. The submitted material must be in a form that is legible and reproducible as required by these specifications.  The Office of the University Registrar will approve a dissertation if there are no deviations from the normal specifications that would prevent proper dissemination and utilization of the dissertation.  If the published material does not correspond to these standards, it will be necessary for the student to reformat that portion of the dissertation.

6. Multiple authorship has implications with respect to copyright and public release of the material.  Be sure to discuss copyright clearance and embargo options with your co-authors and your advisor well in advance of preparing your thesis for submission.

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Tips for writing a PhD dissertation: FAQs answered

From how to choose a topic to writing the abstract and managing work-life balance through the years it takes to complete a doctorate, here we collect expert advice to get you through the PhD writing process

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Embarking on a PhD is “probably the most challenging task that a young scholar attempts to do”, write Mark Stephan Felix and Ian Smith in their practical guide to dissertation and thesis writing. After years of reading and research to answer a specific question or proposition, the candidate will submit about 80,000 words that explain their methods and results and demonstrate their unique contribution to knowledge. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about writing a doctoral thesis or dissertation.

What’s the difference between a dissertation and a thesis?

Whatever the genre of the doctorate, a PhD must offer an original contribution to knowledge. The terms “dissertation” and “thesis” both refer to the long-form piece of work produced at the end of a research project and are often used interchangeably. Which one is used might depend on the country, discipline or university. In the UK, “thesis” is generally used for the work done for a PhD, while a “dissertation” is written for a master’s degree. The US did the same until the 1960s, says Oxbridge Essays, when the convention switched, and references appeared to a “master’s thesis” and “doctoral dissertation”. To complicate matters further, undergraduate long essays are also sometimes referred to as a thesis or dissertation.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “thesis” as “a dissertation, especially by a candidate for a degree” and “dissertation” as “a detailed discourse on a subject, especially one submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of a degree or diploma”.

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The title “doctor of philosophy”, incidentally, comes from the degree’s origins, write Dr Felix, an associate professor at Mahidol University in Thailand, and Dr Smith, retired associate professor of education at the University of Sydney , whose co-authored guide focuses on the social sciences. The PhD was first awarded in the 19th century by the philosophy departments of German universities, which at that time taught science, social science and liberal arts.

How long should a PhD thesis be?

A PhD thesis (or dissertation) is typically 60,000 to 120,000 words ( 100 to 300 pages in length ) organised into chapters, divisions and subdivisions (with roughly 10,000 words per chapter) – from introduction (with clear aims and objectives) to conclusion.

The structure of a dissertation will vary depending on discipline (humanities, social sciences and STEM all have their own conventions), location and institution. Examples and guides to structure proliferate online. The University of Salford , for example, lists: title page, declaration, acknowledgements, abstract, table of contents, lists of figures, tables and abbreviations (where needed), chapters, appendices and references.

A scientific-style thesis will likely need: introduction, literature review, materials and methods, results, discussion, bibliography and references.

As well as checking the overall criteria and expectations of your institution for your research, consult your school handbook for the required length and format (font, layout conventions and so on) for your dissertation.

A PhD takes three to four years to complete; this might extend to six to eight years for a part-time doctorate.

What are the steps for completing a PhD?

Before you get started in earnest , you’ll likely have found a potential supervisor, who will guide your PhD journey, and done a research proposal (which outlines what you plan to research and how) as part of your application, as well as a literature review of existing scholarship in the field, which may form part of your final submission.

In the UK, PhD candidates undertake original research and write the results in a thesis or dissertation, says author and vlogger Simon Clark , who posted videos to YouTube throughout his own PhD journey . Then they submit the thesis in hard copy and attend the viva voce (which is Latin for “living voice” and is also called an oral defence or doctoral defence) to convince the examiners that their work is original, understood and all their own. Afterwards, if necessary, they make changes and resubmit. If the changes are approved, the degree is awarded.

The steps are similar in Australia , although candidates are mostly assessed on their thesis only; some universities may include taught courses, and some use a viva voce. A PhD in Australia usually takes three years full time.

In the US, the PhD process begins with taught classes (similar to a taught master’s) and a comprehensive exam (called a “field exam” or “dissertation qualifying exam”) before the candidate embarks on their original research. The whole journey takes four to six years.

A PhD candidate will need three skills and attitudes to get through their doctoral studies, says Tara Brabazon , professor of cultural studies at Flinders University in Australia who has written extensively about the PhD journey :

  • master the academic foundational skills (research, writing, ability to navigate different modalities)
  • time-management skills and the ability to focus on reading and writing
  • determined motivation to do a PhD.

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How do I choose the topic for my PhD dissertation or thesis?

It’s important to find a topic that will sustain your interest for the years it will take to complete a PhD. “Finding a sustainable topic is the most important thing you [as a PhD student] would do,” says Dr Brabazon in a video for Times Higher Education . “Write down on a big piece of paper all the topics, all the ideas, all the questions that really interest you, and start to cross out all the ones that might just be a passing interest.” Also, she says, impose the “Who cares? Who gives a damn?” question to decide if the topic will be useful in a future academic career.

The availability of funding and scholarships is also often an important factor in this decision, says veteran PhD supervisor Richard Godwin, from Harper Adams University .

Define a gap in knowledge – and one that can be questioned, explored, researched and written about in the time available to you, says Gina Wisker, head of the Centre for Learning and Teaching at the University of Brighton. “Set some boundaries,” she advises. “Don’t try to ask everything related to your topic in every way.”

James Hartley, research professor in psychology at Keele University, says it can also be useful to think about topics that spark general interest. If you do pick something that taps into the zeitgeist, your findings are more likely to be noticed.

You also need to find someone else who is interested in it, too. For STEM candidates , this will probably be a case of joining a team of people working in a similar area where, ideally, scholarship funding is available. A centre for doctoral training (CDT) or doctoral training partnership (DTP) will advertise research projects. For those in the liberal arts and social sciences, it will be a matter of identifying a suitable supervisor .

Avoid topics that are too broad (hunger across a whole country, for example) or too narrow (hunger in a single street) to yield useful solutions of academic significance, write Mark Stephan Felix and Ian Smith. And ensure that you’re not repeating previous research or trying to solve a problem that has already been answered. A PhD thesis must be original.

What is a thesis proposal?

After you have read widely to refine your topic and ensure that it and your research methods are original, and discussed your project with a (potential) supervisor, you’re ready to write a thesis proposal , a document of 1,500 to 3,000 words that sets out the proposed direction of your research. In the UK, a research proposal is usually part of the application process for admission to a research degree. As with the final dissertation itself, format varies among disciplines, institutions and countries but will usually contain title page, aims, literature review, methodology, timetable and bibliography. Examples of research proposals are available online.

How to write an abstract for a dissertation or thesis

The abstract presents your thesis to the wider world – and as such may be its most important element , says the NUI Galway writing guide. It outlines the why, how, what and so what of the thesis . Unlike the introduction, which provides background but not research findings, the abstract summarises all sections of the dissertation in a concise, thorough, focused way and demonstrates how well the writer understands their material. Check word-length limits with your university – and stick to them. About 300 to 500 words is a rough guide ­– but it can be up to 1,000 words.

The abstract is also important for selection and indexing of your thesis, according to the University of Melbourne guide , so be sure to include searchable keywords.

It is the first thing to be read but the last element you should write. However, Pat Thomson , professor of education at the University of Nottingham , advises that it is not something to be tackled at the last minute.

How to write a stellar conclusion

As well as chapter conclusions, a thesis often has an overall conclusion to draw together the key points covered and to reflect on the unique contribution to knowledge. It can comment on future implications of the research and open up new ideas emanating from the work. It is shorter and more general than the discussion chapter , says online editing site Scribbr, and reiterates how the work answers the main question posed at the beginning of the thesis. The conclusion chapter also often discusses the limitations of the research (time, scope, word limit, access) in a constructive manner.

It can be useful to keep a collection of ideas as you go – in the online forum DoctoralWriting SIG , academic developer Claire Aitchison, of the University of South Australia , suggests using a “conclusions bank” for themes and inspirations, and using free-writing to keep this final section fresh. (Just when you feel you’ve run out of steam.) Avoid aggrandising or exaggerating the impact of your work. It should remind the reader what has been done, and why it matters.

How to format a bibliography (or where to find a reliable model)

Most universities use a preferred style of references , writes THE associate editor Ingrid Curl. Make sure you know what this is and follow it. “One of the most common errors in academic writing is to cite papers in the text that do not then appear in the bibliography. All references in your thesis need to be cross-checked with the bibliography before submission. Using a database during your research can save a great deal of time in the writing-up process.”

A bibliography contains not only works cited explicitly but also those that have informed or contributed to the research – and as such illustrates its scope; works are not limited to written publications but include sources such as film or visual art.

Examiners can start marking from the back of the script, writes Dr Brabazon. “Just as cooks are judged by their ingredients and implements, we judge doctoral students by the calibre of their sources,” she advises. She also says that candidates should be prepared to speak in an oral examination of the PhD about any texts included in their bibliography, especially if there is a disconnect between the thesis and the texts listed.

Can I use informal language in my PhD?

Don’t write like a stereotypical academic , say Kevin Haggerty, professor of sociology at the University of Alberta , and Aaron Doyle, associate professor in sociology at Carleton University , in their tongue-in-cheek guide to the PhD journey. “If you cannot write clearly and persuasively, everything about PhD study becomes harder.” Avoid jargon, exotic words, passive voice and long, convoluted sentences – and work on it consistently. “Writing is like playing guitar; it can improve only through consistent, concerted effort.”

Be deliberate and take care with your writing . “Write your first draft, leave it and then come back to it with a critical eye. Look objectively at the writing and read it closely for style and sense,” advises THE ’s Ms Curl. “Look out for common errors such as dangling modifiers, subject-verb disagreement and inconsistency. If you are too involved with the text to be able to take a step back and do this, then ask a friend or colleague to read it with a critical eye. Remember Hemingway’s advice: ‘Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.’ Clarity is key.”

How often should a PhD candidate meet with their supervisor?

Since the PhD supervisor provides a range of support and advice – including on research techniques, planning and submission – regular formal supervisions are essential, as is establishing a line of contact such as email if the candidate needs help or advice outside arranged times. The frequency varies according to university, discipline and individual scholars.

Once a week is ideal, says Dr Brabazon. She also advocates a two-hour initial meeting to establish the foundations of the candidate-supervisor relationship .

The University of Edinburgh guide to writing a thesis suggests that creating a timetable of supervisor meetings right at the beginning of the research process will allow candidates to ensure that their work stays on track throughout. The meetings are also the place to get regular feedback on draft chapters.

“A clear structure and a solid framework are vital for research,” writes Dr Godwin on THE Campus . Use your supervisor to establish this and provide a realistic view of what can be achieved. “It is vital to help students identify the true scientific merit, the practical significance of their work and its value to society.”

How to proofread your dissertation (what to look for)

Proofreading is the final step before printing and submission. Give yourself time to ensure that your work is the best it can be . Don’t leave proofreading to the last minute; ideally, break it up into a few close-reading sessions. Find a quiet place without distractions. A checklist can help ensure that all aspects are covered.

Proofing is often helped by a change of format – so it can be easier to read a printout rather than working off the screen – or by reading sections out of order. Fresh eyes are better at spotting typographical errors and inconsistencies, so leave time between writing and proofreading. Check with your university’s policies before asking another person to proofread your thesis for you.

As well as close details such as spelling and grammar, check that all sections are complete, all required elements are included , and nothing is repeated or redundant. Don’t forget to check headings and subheadings. Does the text flow from one section to another? Is the structure clear? Is the work a coherent whole with a clear line throughout?

Ensure consistency in, for example, UK v US spellings, capitalisation, format, numbers (digits or words, commas, units of measurement), contractions, italics and hyphenation. Spellchecks and online plagiarism checkers are also your friend.

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How do you manage your time to complete a PhD dissertation?

Treat your PhD like a full-time job, that is, with an eight-hour working day. Within that, you’ll need to plan your time in a way that gives a sense of progress . Setbacks and periods where it feels as if you are treading water are all but inevitable, so keeping track of small wins is important, writes A Happy PhD blogger Luis P. Prieto.

Be specific with your goals – use the SMART acronym (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely).

And it’s never too soon to start writing – even if early drafts are overwritten and discarded.

“ Write little and write often . Many of us make the mistake of taking to writing as one would take to a sprint, in other words, with relatively short bursts of intense activity. Whilst this can prove productive, generally speaking it is not sustainable…In addition to sustaining your activity, writing little bits on a frequent basis ensures that you progress with your thinking. The comfort of remaining in abstract thought is common; writing forces us to concretise our thinking,” says Christian Gilliam, AHSS researcher developer at the University of Cambridge ’s Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Make time to write. “If you are more alert early in the day, find times that suit you in the morning; if you are a ‘night person’, block out some writing sessions in the evenings,” advises NUI Galway’s Dermot Burns, a lecturer in English and creative arts. Set targets, keep daily notes of experiment details that you will need in your thesis, don’t confuse writing with editing or revising – and always back up your work.

What work-life balance tips should I follow to complete my dissertation?

During your PhD programme, you may have opportunities to take part in professional development activities, such as teaching, attending academic conferences and publishing your work. Your research may include residencies, field trips or archive visits. This will require time-management skills as well as prioritising where you devote your energy and factoring in rest and relaxation. Organise your routine to suit your needs , and plan for steady and regular progress.

How to deal with setbacks while writing a thesis or dissertation

Have a contingency plan for delays or roadblocks such as unexpected results.

Accept that writing is messy, first drafts are imperfect, and writer’s block is inevitable, says Dr Burns. His tips for breaking it include relaxation to free your mind from clutter, writing a plan and drawing a mind map of key points for clarity. He also advises feedback, reflection and revision: “Progressing from a rough version of your thoughts to a superior and workable text takes time, effort, different perspectives and some expertise.”

“Academia can be a relentlessly brutal merry-go-round of rejection, rebuttal and failure,” writes Lorraine Hope , professor of applied cognitive psychology at the University of Portsmouth, on THE Campus. Resilience is important. Ensure that you and your supervisor have a relationship that supports open, frank, judgement-free communication.

If you would like advice and insight from academics and university staff delivered direct to your inbox each week, sign up for the Campus newsletter .

Authoring a PhD Thesis: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Dissertation (2003), by Patrick Dunleavy

Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis (1998), by Joan Balker

Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping with the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Struggles (2015), by Noelle Sterne

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What is a thesis?

What is a dissertation, getting started, staying on track.

A thesis is a long-term project that you work on over the course of a semester or a year. Theses have a very wide variety of styles and content, so we encourage you to look at prior examples and work closely with faculty to develop yours. 

Before you begin, make sure that you are familiar with the dissertation genre—what it is for and what it looks like.

Generally speaking, a dissertation’s purpose is to prove that you have the expertise necessary to fulfill your doctoral-degree requirements by showing depth of knowledge and independent thinking.

The form of a dissertation may vary by discipline. Be sure to follow the specific guidelines of your department.

  • PhD This site directs candidates to the GSAS website about dissertations , with links to checklists,  planning, formatting, acknowledgments, submission, and publishing options. There is also a link to guidelines for the prospectus . Consult with your committee chair about specific requirements and standards for your dissertation.
  • DDES This document covers planning, patent filing, submission guidelines, publishing options, formatting guidelines, sample pages, citation guidelines, and a list of common errors to avoid. There is also a link to guidelines for the prospectus .
  • Scholarly Pursuits (GSAS) This searchable booklet from Harvard GSAS is a comprehensive guide to writing dissertations, dissertation-fellowship applications, academic journal articles, and academic job documents.

Finding an original topic can be a daunting and overwhelming task. These key concepts can help you focus and save time.

Finding a topic for your thesis or dissertation should start with a research question that excites or at least interests you. A rigorous, engaging, and original project will require continuous curiosity about your topic, about your own thoughts on the topic, and about what other scholars have said on your topic. Avoid getting boxed in by thinking you know what you want to say from the beginning; let your research and your writing evolve as you explore and fine-tune your focus through constant questioning and exploration.

Get a sense of the broader picture before you narrow your focus and attempt to frame an argument. Read, skim, and otherwise familiarize yourself with what other scholars have done in areas related to your proposed topic. Briefly explore topics tangentially related to yours to broaden your perspective and increase your chance of finding a unique angle to pursue.

Critical Reading

Critical reading is the opposite of passive reading. Instead of merely reading for information to absorb, critical reading also involves careful, sustained thinking about what you are reading. This process may include analyzing the author’s motives and assumptions, asking what might be left out of the discussion, considering what you agree with or disagree with in the author’s statements and why you agree or disagree, and exploring connections or contradictions between scholarly arguments. Here is a resource to help hone your critical-reading skills:



Your thesis or dissertation will incorporate some ideas from other scholars whose work you researched. By reading critically and following your curiosity, you will develop your own ideas and claims, and these contributions are the core of your project. You will also acknowledge the work of scholars who came before you, and you must accurately and fairly attribute this work and define your place within the larger discussion. Make sure that you know how to quote, summarize, paraphrase ,  integrate , and cite secondary sources to avoid plagiarism and to show the depth and breadth of your knowledge.

A thesis is a long-term, large project that involves both research and writing; it is easy to lose focus, motivation, and momentum. Here are suggestions for achieving the result you want in the time you have.

The dissertation is probably the largest project you have undertaken, and a lot of the work is self-directed. The project can feel daunting or even overwhelming unless you break it down into manageable pieces and create a timeline for completing each smaller task. Be realistic but also challenge yourself, and be forgiving of yourself if you miss a self-imposed deadline here and there.

Your program will also have specific deadlines for different requirements, including establishing a committee, submitting a prospectus, completing the dissertation, defending the dissertation, and submitting your work. Consult your department’s website for these dates and incorporate them into the timeline for your work.


Sometimes self-imposed deadlines do not feel urgent unless there is accountability to someone beyond yourself. To increase your motivation to complete tasks on schedule, set dates with your committee chair to submit pre-determined pieces of a chapter. You can also arrange with a fellow doctoral student to check on each other’s progress. Research and writing can be lonely, so it is also nice to share that journey with someone and support each other through the process.

Common Pitfalls

The most common challenges for students writing a dissertation are writer’s block, information-overload, and the compulsion to keep researching forever.

There are many strategies for avoiding writer’s block, such as freewriting, outlining, taking a walk, starting in the middle, and creating an ideal work environment for your particular learning style. Pay attention to what helps you and try different things until you find what works.

Efficient researching techniques are essential to avoiding information-overload. Here are a couple of resources about strategies for finding sources and quickly obtaining essential information from them.



Finally, remember that there is always more to learn and your dissertation cannot incorporate everything. Follow your curiosity but also set limits on the scope of your work. It helps to create a folder entitled “future projects” for topics and sources that interest you but that do not fit neatly into the dissertation. Also remember that future scholars will build off of your work, so leave something for them to do.

Browsing through theses and dissertations of the past can help to get a sense of your options and gain inspiration but be careful to use current guidelines and refer to your committee instead of relying on these examples for form or formatting.

DASH Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard.

HOLLIS Harvard Library’s catalog provides access to ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global .

MIT Architecture has a list of their graduates’ dissertations and theses.

Rhode Island School of Design has a list of their graduates’ dissertations and theses.

University of South Florida has a list of their graduates’ dissertations and theses.

Harvard GSD has a list of projects, including theses and professors’ research.

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Prize-Winning Thesis and Dissertation Examples

Published on September 9, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on July 18, 2023.

It can be difficult to know where to start when writing your thesis or dissertation . One way to come up with some ideas or maybe even combat writer’s block is to check out previous work done by other students on a similar thesis or dissertation topic to yours.

This article collects a list of undergraduate, master’s, and PhD theses and dissertations that have won prizes for their high-quality research.

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Table of contents

Award-winning undergraduate theses, award-winning master’s theses, award-winning ph.d. dissertations, other interesting articles.

University : University of Pennsylvania Faculty : History Author : Suchait Kahlon Award : 2021 Hilary Conroy Prize for Best Honors Thesis in World History Title : “Abolition, Africans, and Abstraction: the Influence of the “Noble Savage” on British and French Antislavery Thought, 1787-1807”

University : Columbia University Faculty : History Author : Julien Saint Reiman Award : 2018 Charles A. Beard Senior Thesis Prize Title : “A Starving Man Helping Another Starving Man”: UNRRA, India, and the Genesis of Global Relief, 1943-1947

University: University College London Faculty: Geography Author: Anna Knowles-Smith Award:  2017 Royal Geographical Society Undergraduate Dissertation Prize Title:  Refugees and theatre: an exploration of the basis of self-representation

University: University of Washington Faculty:  Computer Science & Engineering Author: Nick J. Martindell Award: 2014 Best Senior Thesis Award Title:  DCDN: Distributed content delivery for the modern web

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University:  University of Edinburgh Faculty:  Informatics Author:  Christopher Sipola Award:  2018 Social Responsibility & Sustainability Dissertation Prize Title:  Summarizing electricity usage with a neural network

University:  University of Ottawa Faculty:  Education Author:  Matthew Brillinger Award:  2017 Commission on Graduate Studies in the Humanities Prize Title:  Educational Park Planning in Berkeley, California, 1965-1968

University:  University of Ottawa Faculty: Social Sciences Author:  Heather Martin Award:  2015 Joseph De Koninck Prize Title:  An Analysis of Sexual Assault Support Services for Women who have a Developmental Disability

University : University of Ottawa Faculty : Physics Author : Guillaume Thekkadath Award : 2017 Commission on Graduate Studies in the Sciences Prize Title : Joint measurements of complementary properties of quantum systems

University:  London School of Economics Faculty: International Development Author: Lajos Kossuth Award:  2016 Winner of the Prize for Best Overall Performance Title:  Shiny Happy People: A study of the effects income relative to a reference group exerts on life satisfaction

University : Stanford University Faculty : English Author : Nathan Wainstein Award : 2021 Alden Prize Title : “Unformed Art: Bad Writing in the Modernist Novel”

University : University of Massachusetts at Amherst Faculty : Molecular and Cellular Biology Author : Nils Pilotte Award : 2021 Byron Prize for Best Ph.D. Dissertation Title : “Improved Molecular Diagnostics for Soil-Transmitted Molecular Diagnostics for Soil-Transmitted Helminths”

University:  Utrecht University Faculty:  Linguistics Author:  Hans Rutger Bosker Award: 2014 AVT/Anéla Dissertation Prize Title:  The processing and evaluation of fluency in native and non-native speech

University: California Institute of Technology Faculty: Physics Author: Michael P. Mendenhall Award: 2015 Dissertation Award in Nuclear Physics Title: Measurement of the neutron beta decay asymmetry using ultracold neutrons

University:  Stanford University Faculty: Management Science and Engineering Author:  Shayan O. Gharan Award:  Doctoral Dissertation Award 2013 Title:   New Rounding Techniques for the Design and Analysis of Approximation Algorithms

University: University of Minnesota Faculty: Chemical Engineering Author: Eric A. Vandre Award:  2014 Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award in Fluid Dynamics Title: Onset of Dynamics Wetting Failure: The Mechanics of High-speed Fluid Displacement

University: Erasmus University Rotterdam Faculty: Marketing Author: Ezgi Akpinar Award: McKinsey Marketing Dissertation Award 2014 Title: Consumer Information Sharing: Understanding Psychological Drivers of Social Transmission

University: University of Washington Faculty: Computer Science & Engineering Author: Keith N. Snavely Award:  2009 Doctoral Dissertation Award Title: Scene Reconstruction and Visualization from Internet Photo Collections

University:  University of Ottawa Faculty:  Social Work Author:  Susannah Taylor Award: 2018 Joseph De Koninck Prize Title:  Effacing and Obscuring Autonomy: the Effects of Structural Violence on the Transition to Adulthood of Street Involved Youth

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doctoral dissertation znaczenie

Dissertation Structure & Layout 101: How to structure your dissertation, thesis or research project.

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) Reviewed By: David Phair (PhD) | July 2019

So, you’ve got a decent understanding of what a dissertation is , you’ve chosen your topic and hopefully you’ve received approval for your research proposal . Awesome! Now its time to start the actual dissertation or thesis writing journey.

To craft a high-quality document, the very first thing you need to understand is dissertation structure . In this post, we’ll walk you through the generic dissertation structure and layout, step by step. We’ll start with the big picture, and then zoom into each chapter to briefly discuss the core contents. If you’re just starting out on your research journey, you should start with this post, which covers the big-picture process of how to write a dissertation or thesis .

Dissertation structure and layout - the basics

*The Caveat *

In this post, we’ll be discussing a traditional dissertation/thesis structure and layout, which is generally used for social science research across universities, whether in the US, UK, Europe or Australia. However, some universities may have small variations on this structure (extra chapters, merged chapters, slightly different ordering, etc).

So, always check with your university if they have a prescribed structure or layout that they expect you to work with. If not, it’s safe to assume the structure we’ll discuss here is suitable. And even if they do have a prescribed structure, you’ll still get value from this post as we’ll explain the core contents of each section.  

Overview: S tructuring a dissertation or thesis

  • Acknowledgements page
  • Abstract (or executive summary)
  • Table of contents , list of figures and tables
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Literature review
  • Chapter 3: Methodology
  • Chapter 4: Results
  • Chapter 5: Discussion
  • Chapter 6: Conclusion
  • Reference list

As I mentioned, some universities will have slight variations on this structure. For example, they want an additional “personal reflection chapter”, or they might prefer the results and discussion chapter to be merged into one. Regardless, the overarching flow will always be the same, as this flow reflects the research process , which we discussed here – i.e.:

  • The introduction chapter presents the core research question and aims .
  • The literature review chapter assesses what the current research says about this question.
  • The methodology, results and discussion chapters go about undertaking new research about this question.
  • The conclusion chapter (attempts to) answer the core research question .

In other words, the dissertation structure and layout reflect the research process of asking a well-defined question(s), investigating, and then answering the question – see below.

A dissertation's structure reflect the research process

To restate that – the structure and layout of a dissertation reflect the flow of the overall research process . This is essential to understand, as each chapter will make a lot more sense if you “get” this concept. If you’re not familiar with the research process, read this post before going further.

Right. Now that we’ve covered the big picture, let’s dive a little deeper into the details of each section and chapter. Oh and by the way, you can also grab our free dissertation/thesis template here to help speed things up.

The title page of your dissertation is the very first impression the marker will get of your work, so it pays to invest some time thinking about your title. But what makes for a good title? A strong title needs to be 3 things:

  • Succinct (not overly lengthy or verbose)
  • Specific (not vague or ambiguous)
  • Representative of the research you’re undertaking (clearly linked to your research questions)

Typically, a good title includes mention of the following:

  • The broader area of the research (i.e. the overarching topic)
  • The specific focus of your research (i.e. your specific context)
  • Indication of research design (e.g. quantitative , qualitative , or  mixed methods ).

For example:

A quantitative investigation [research design] into the antecedents of organisational trust [broader area] in the UK retail forex trading market [specific context/area of focus].

Again, some universities may have specific requirements regarding the format and structure of the title, so it’s worth double-checking expectations with your institution (if there’s no mention in the brief or study material).

Dissertations stacked up


This page provides you with an opportunity to say thank you to those who helped you along your research journey. Generally, it’s optional (and won’t count towards your marks), but it is academic best practice to include this.

So, who do you say thanks to? Well, there’s no prescribed requirements, but it’s common to mention the following people:

  • Your dissertation supervisor or committee.
  • Any professors, lecturers or academics that helped you understand the topic or methodologies.
  • Any tutors, mentors or advisors.
  • Your family and friends, especially spouse (for adult learners studying part-time).

There’s no need for lengthy rambling. Just state who you’re thankful to and for what (e.g. thank you to my supervisor, John Doe, for his endless patience and attentiveness) – be sincere. In terms of length, you should keep this to a page or less.

Abstract or executive summary

The dissertation abstract (or executive summary for some degrees) serves to provide the first-time reader (and marker or moderator) with a big-picture view of your research project. It should give them an understanding of the key insights and findings from the research, without them needing to read the rest of the report – in other words, it should be able to stand alone .

For it to stand alone, your abstract should cover the following key points (at a minimum):

  • Your research questions and aims – what key question(s) did your research aim to answer?
  • Your methodology – how did you go about investigating the topic and finding answers to your research question(s)?
  • Your findings – following your own research, what did do you discover?
  • Your conclusions – based on your findings, what conclusions did you draw? What answers did you find to your research question(s)?

So, in much the same way the dissertation structure mimics the research process, your abstract or executive summary should reflect the research process, from the initial stage of asking the original question to the final stage of answering that question.

In practical terms, it’s a good idea to write this section up last , once all your core chapters are complete. Otherwise, you’ll end up writing and rewriting this section multiple times (just wasting time). For a step by step guide on how to write a strong executive summary, check out this post .

Need a helping hand?

doctoral dissertation znaczenie

Table of contents

This section is straightforward. You’ll typically present your table of contents (TOC) first, followed by the two lists – figures and tables. I recommend that you use Microsoft Word’s automatic table of contents generator to generate your TOC. If you’re not familiar with this functionality, the video below explains it simply:

If you find that your table of contents is overly lengthy, consider removing one level of depth. Oftentimes, this can be done without detracting from the usefulness of the TOC.

Right, now that the “admin” sections are out of the way, its time to move on to your core chapters. These chapters are the heart of your dissertation and are where you’ll earn the marks. The first chapter is the introduction chapter – as you would expect, this is the time to introduce your research…

It’s important to understand that even though you’ve provided an overview of your research in your abstract, your introduction needs to be written as if the reader has not read that (remember, the abstract is essentially a standalone document). So, your introduction chapter needs to start from the very beginning, and should address the following questions:

  • What will you be investigating (in plain-language, big picture-level)?
  • Why is that worth investigating? How is it important to academia or business? How is it sufficiently original?
  • What are your research aims and research question(s)? Note that the research questions can sometimes be presented at the end of the literature review (next chapter).
  • What is the scope of your study? In other words, what will and won’t you cover ?
  • How will you approach your research? In other words, what methodology will you adopt?
  • How will you structure your dissertation? What are the core chapters and what will you do in each of them?

These are just the bare basic requirements for your intro chapter. Some universities will want additional bells and whistles in the intro chapter, so be sure to carefully read your brief or consult your research supervisor.

If done right, your introduction chapter will set a clear direction for the rest of your dissertation. Specifically, it will make it clear to the reader (and marker) exactly what you’ll be investigating, why that’s important, and how you’ll be going about the investigation. Conversely, if your introduction chapter leaves a first-time reader wondering what exactly you’ll be researching, you’ve still got some work to do.

Now that you’ve set a clear direction with your introduction chapter, the next step is the literature review . In this section, you will analyse the existing research (typically academic journal articles and high-quality industry publications), with a view to understanding the following questions:

  • What does the literature currently say about the topic you’re investigating?
  • Is the literature lacking or well established? Is it divided or in disagreement?
  • How does your research fit into the bigger picture?
  • How does your research contribute something original?
  • How does the methodology of previous studies help you develop your own?

Depending on the nature of your study, you may also present a conceptual framework towards the end of your literature review, which you will then test in your actual research.

Again, some universities will want you to focus on some of these areas more than others, some will have additional or fewer requirements, and so on. Therefore, as always, its important to review your brief and/or discuss with your supervisor, so that you know exactly what’s expected of your literature review chapter.

Dissertation writing

Now that you’ve investigated the current state of knowledge in your literature review chapter and are familiar with the existing key theories, models and frameworks, its time to design your own research. Enter the methodology chapter – the most “science-ey” of the chapters…

In this chapter, you need to address two critical questions:

  • Exactly HOW will you carry out your research (i.e. what is your intended research design)?
  • Exactly WHY have you chosen to do things this way (i.e. how do you justify your design)?

Remember, the dissertation part of your degree is first and foremost about developing and demonstrating research skills . Therefore, the markers want to see that you know which methods to use, can clearly articulate why you’ve chosen then, and know how to deploy them effectively.

Importantly, this chapter requires detail – don’t hold back on the specifics. State exactly what you’ll be doing, with who, when, for how long, etc. Moreover, for every design choice you make, make sure you justify it.

In practice, you will likely end up coming back to this chapter once you’ve undertaken all your data collection and analysis, and revise it based on changes you made during the analysis phase. This is perfectly fine. Its natural for you to add an additional analysis technique, scrap an old one, etc based on where your data lead you. Of course, I’m talking about small changes here – not a fundamental switch from qualitative to quantitative, which will likely send your supervisor in a spin!

You’ve now collected your data and undertaken your analysis, whether qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods. In this chapter, you’ll present the raw results of your analysis . For example, in the case of a quant study, you’ll present the demographic data, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics , etc.

Typically, Chapter 4 is simply a presentation and description of the data, not a discussion of the meaning of the data. In other words, it’s descriptive, rather than analytical – the meaning is discussed in Chapter 5. However, some universities will want you to combine chapters 4 and 5, so that you both present and interpret the meaning of the data at the same time. Check with your institution what their preference is.

Now that you’ve presented the data analysis results, its time to interpret and analyse them. In other words, its time to discuss what they mean, especially in relation to your research question(s).

What you discuss here will depend largely on your chosen methodology. For example, if you’ve gone the quantitative route, you might discuss the relationships between variables . If you’ve gone the qualitative route, you might discuss key themes and the meanings thereof. It all depends on what your research design choices were.

Most importantly, you need to discuss your results in relation to your research questions and aims, as well as the existing literature. What do the results tell you about your research questions? Are they aligned with the existing research or at odds? If so, why might this be? Dig deep into your findings and explain what the findings suggest, in plain English.

The final chapter – you’ve made it! Now that you’ve discussed your interpretation of the results, its time to bring it back to the beginning with the conclusion chapter . In other words, its time to (attempt to) answer your original research question s (from way back in chapter 1). Clearly state what your conclusions are in terms of your research questions. This might feel a bit repetitive, as you would have touched on this in the previous chapter, but its important to bring the discussion full circle and explicitly state your answer(s) to the research question(s).

Dissertation and thesis prep

Next, you’ll typically discuss the implications of your findings . In other words, you’ve answered your research questions – but what does this mean for the real world (or even for academia)? What should now be done differently, given the new insight you’ve generated?

Lastly, you should discuss the limitations of your research, as well as what this means for future research in the area. No study is perfect, especially not a Masters-level. Discuss the shortcomings of your research. Perhaps your methodology was limited, perhaps your sample size was small or not representative, etc, etc. Don’t be afraid to critique your work – the markers want to see that you can identify the limitations of your work. This is a strength, not a weakness. Be brutal!

This marks the end of your core chapters – woohoo! From here on out, it’s pretty smooth sailing.

The reference list is straightforward. It should contain a list of all resources cited in your dissertation, in the required format, e.g. APA , Harvard, etc.

It’s essential that you use reference management software for your dissertation. Do NOT try handle your referencing manually – its far too error prone. On a reference list of multiple pages, you’re going to make mistake. To this end, I suggest considering either Mendeley or Zotero. Both are free and provide a very straightforward interface to ensure that your referencing is 100% on point. I’ve included a simple how-to video for the Mendeley software (my personal favourite) below:

Some universities may ask you to include a bibliography, as opposed to a reference list. These two things are not the same . A bibliography is similar to a reference list, except that it also includes resources which informed your thinking but were not directly cited in your dissertation. So, double-check your brief and make sure you use the right one.

The very last piece of the puzzle is the appendix or set of appendices. This is where you’ll include any supporting data and evidence. Importantly, supporting is the keyword here.

Your appendices should provide additional “nice to know”, depth-adding information, which is not critical to the core analysis. Appendices should not be used as a way to cut down word count (see this post which covers how to reduce word count ). In other words, don’t place content that is critical to the core analysis here, just to save word count. You will not earn marks on any content in the appendices, so don’t try to play the system!

Time to recap…

And there you have it – the traditional dissertation structure and layout, from A-Z. To recap, the core structure for a dissertation or thesis is (typically) as follows:

  • Acknowledgments page

Most importantly, the core chapters should reflect the research process (asking, investigating and answering your research question). Moreover, the research question(s) should form the golden thread throughout your dissertation structure. Everything should revolve around the research questions, and as you’ve seen, they should form both the start point (i.e. introduction chapter) and the endpoint (i.e. conclusion chapter).

I hope this post has provided you with clarity about the traditional dissertation/thesis structure and layout. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below, or feel free to get in touch with us. Also, be sure to check out the rest of the  Grad Coach Blog .

doctoral dissertation znaczenie

Psst... there’s more!

This post was based on one of our popular Research Bootcamps . If you're working on a research project, you'll definitely want to check this out ...



many thanks i found it very useful

Derek Jansen

Glad to hear that, Arun. Good luck writing your dissertation.


Such clear practical logical advice. I very much needed to read this to keep me focused in stead of fretting.. Perfect now ready to start my research!


what about scientific fields like computer or engineering thesis what is the difference in the structure? thank you very much


Thanks so much this helped me a lot!

Ade Adeniyi

Very helpful and accessible. What I like most is how practical the advice is along with helpful tools/ links.

Thanks Ade!


Thank you so much sir.. It was really helpful..

You’re welcome!

Jp Raimundo

Hi! How many words maximum should contain the abstract?

Karmelia Renatee

Thank you so much 😊 Find this at the right moment

You’re most welcome. Good luck with your dissertation.


best ever benefit i got on right time thank you

Krishnan iyer

Many times Clarity and vision of destination of dissertation is what makes the difference between good ,average and great researchers the same way a great automobile driver is fast with clarity of address and Clear weather conditions .

I guess Great researcher = great ideas + knowledge + great and fast data collection and modeling + great writing + high clarity on all these

You have given immense clarity from start to end.

Alwyn Malan

Morning. Where will I write the definitions of what I’m referring to in my report?


Thank you so much Derek, I was almost lost! Thanks a tonnnn! Have a great day!

yemi Amos

Thanks ! so concise and valuable

Kgomotso Siwelane

This was very helpful. Clear and concise. I know exactly what to do now.

dauda sesay

Thank you for allowing me to go through briefly. I hope to find time to continue.

Patrick Mwathi

Really useful to me. Thanks a thousand times

Adao Bundi

Very interesting! It will definitely set me and many more for success. highly recommended.


Thank you soo much sir, for the opportunity to express my skills

mwepu Ilunga

Usefull, thanks a lot. Really clear


Very nice and easy to understand. Thank you .

Chrisogonas Odhiambo

That was incredibly useful. Thanks Grad Coach Crew!


My stress level just dropped at least 15 points after watching this. Just starting my thesis for my grad program and I feel a lot more capable now! Thanks for such a clear and helpful video, Emma and the GradCoach team!


Do we need to mention the number of words the dissertation contains in the main document?

It depends on your university’s requirements, so it would be best to check with them 🙂


Such a helpful post to help me get started with structuring my masters dissertation, thank you!

Simon Le

Great video; I appreciate that helpful information

Brhane Kidane

It is so necessary or avital course


This blog is very informative for my research. Thank you


Doctoral students are required to fill out the National Research Council’s Survey of Earned Doctorates

Emmanuel Manjolo

wow this is an amazing gain in my life

Paul I Thoronka

This is so good

Tesfay haftu

How can i arrange my specific objectives in my dissertation?


  • What Is A Literature Review (In A Dissertation Or Thesis) - Grad Coach - […] is to write the actual literature review chapter (this is usually the second chapter in a typical dissertation or…

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Return to research navi, 04. 博士論文を探す/find doctoral dissertations: english, description.

This page is a guide to finding doctoral dissertations in Japan including Waseda, and overseas.

What is Doctoral Dissertation?

Doctoral dissertation is an academic thesis submitted and accepted to obtain a doctorate degree.

According to a revision of the Degree Regulations by MEXT, Japanese doctoral dissertations after April 1st, 2013 are supposed to be published on the internet as a general rule (Doctoral dissertations before them are also available online, if they have permission of the authors).

In principle, doctoral dissertations are stored and made available as follows:

  • Held by libraries at the university where the thesis was submitted
  • Held by a national library in each country (e.g. National Diet Library in Japan)
  • Available on the university's WEB site (institutional repository), where the thesis was submitted
  • Available as a book which is sold generally
  • Available sold by specialized vendors (mainly in North America)

Doctoral Dissertations at Waseda

Doctoral dissertations submitted to Waseda University can be searched by WINE .

[In general, all doctoral dissertations after 2013, and  those with author's permission after 2002]

PDF format are available at  Waseda University Repository .

[Doctoral dissertations which are not published on the Internet with extenuating circumstances]

Electronic files are available in the Microforms/ Photographic Services Room on the 4th Floor of Central Library.

○Book form ( Doctoral dissertations submitted before March 2013 and a part of them after 2013 )

Doctoral dissertations in print forms must be sent to Central Library or other campus libraries to use from Honjo Deposit Library.

○A list of title/ abstract

Please consult at the office of each graduate school.

Please refer to the instruction page for the details.

  • How to Find Waseda University Thesis & Dissertation

Doctoral Dissertations at Other Universities in Japan

You can search them on WINE by title of single doctoral dissertation. Please select "Articles" for the search profile, after you enter search words in the search window on WINE.

Online Search

Check whether the full text is available on institutional repositories and following databases.

  • IRDB(Institutional Repositories Database) [National Institute of Informatics] (Public Web site) A service for searching academic information (journal articles, theses or dissertations, departmental bulletin papers, research reports, etc.) accumulated in Japanese institutional repositories.
  • Current IRs [National Institute of Informatics] (Public Web site) List of institutional repositories in Japan and abroad that NII provides.

A database service that lets you search for information on dissertations written for doctoral degrees in Japan conferred by Japanese Universities and the National Institute for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation.

Other University Libraries

If you cannot use a full text of the doctoral dissertation on internet, check each university's collection catalogs or doctoral dissertation search system to know how to use it. You may consider visiting other university libraries or making requests for photocopies via Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Service.

  • Using non-Waseda Libraries  (Library Web site) In this web site, you will get information about how to visit other libraries with a letter of introduction, and how to use libraries which has cooperative agreements with Waseda University Library.
  • Interlibrary Loans  (Library Web site) In general, you cannot order actual materials of doctoral dissertations, and a request for photocopy must be less than half of the total number of pages due to Japanese Copyright Law. For requests exceeding the regulation, you need to obtain permission from the copyright holder by yourself.

National Diet Library

National Diet Library holds doctoral dissertations in Japan after September 1923.

   Domestic Doctoral Dissertations | Reserch Navi  [National Diet Library] (Public Web site) *In Japanese only   This site is a guide for using Japanese doctoral dissertations provided by National Diet Library.

Following WEB sites are searching tools for doctoral dissertations held by National Diet Library and other libraries.

  • NDL SEARCH [National Diet Library] (Public Web site) NDL Search is an integrated service of catalogs and digital archives held by public libraries, archives, museums, academic institutions and National Diet Library in Japan. You can search for doctoral dissertations in both printed and electronic form from “Refiners> Doctoral Dissertations”.
  • National Diet Library Digital Collections  [National Diet Library] (Public Web site) You can search for doctoral dissertations in electronic form from “Advanced Search> Doctoral Dissertations”.

You may consider visiting National Diet library or making a request of photocopy via Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Services.

  • User Registration  [National Diet Library] (Public Web site) Doctoral Dissertations are mainly held in Kansai-kan (in Kyoto) of NDL. So if you need to use them in Tokyo Mail Library, it must be transferred from Kyoto to Tokyo.  It takes some days, and you will be required for User Registration.
  • Interlibrary Loans  (Library Web site) In general, you cannot order actual materials of doctoral dissertations, and a request for photocopy must be less than half of the total number of pages due to Japanese Copyright Law. For the request exceeding the regulation, you need to obtain permission from the copyright holder directory by yourself.

Doctoral Dissertations Overseas

When searching for overseas doctoral dissertations, it is important to check web based theses and holding institutions as well as for domestic. In addition to that it might be effective measures to purchase by databases or vendors. The following information are also useful for searching.

   Overseas Doctoral Dissertations (General Information) | Reserch Navi [National Diet Library] (Public Web site) *in Japanese only   The characteristic of this site is substantial links to regional guides around the world.

  • NDL SEARCH [National Diet Library] (Public Web site) National Diet Library also collects overseas doctoral dissertations from the late 1950's. Kansai-kan (in Kyoto) holds European and North American doctoral dissertations mainly in the field of science and technology. On the other hand, Tokyo Main Library hold some of humanities and social sciences related to Japan.

Check whether the full text is available on internet. The following information are also useful for searching.

   Overseas Doctoral Dissertations (Internet Resources) | Reserch Navi [National Diet Library] (Public Web site) *in Japanese only

  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (PQDT Global)  [ProQuest] (Library subscription database) The database of record for graduate research both at the PhD and MA level.
  • Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations(NDLTD)  [NDLTD] (Public Web site) Search and browse electronic theses and dissertstions from over 70 institutions - mostly US, but some other countries.
  • WorldCat.org   [OCLC] (Public Web site)]  WorldCat.org lets you search the collections of libraries in your community and thousands more around the world..

If the full-text of overseas doctoral dissertations you need is not available on internet, it might be effective measures to purchase by databases or vendors. You may use the thesis much faster and with low costs than ILL or visiting the holding library.

  • Dissertation Express   [Proquest,via Sunmedia Co.,Ltd] (Public Web site) *in Japanese only A dissertation search and sales service provided by Proquest.You can use this service from the website of Sunmedia, an authorized distributor, and you can also request Sunmedia to obtain your thesis by e-mail or fax after searching (application by individuals).
  • 丸善雄松堂 米国学位論文  / MARUZEN-YUSHODO Dissertation Service Center [MARUZEN-YUSHODO Co.,Ltd.] (Public Web site) *in Japanese only This site allows you to search and purchase mainly US dissertations.

Holding Libraries

If the overseas doctoral dissertation is not available neither to use on internet nor to purchase through databases/ vendor, the next step is to search the actual holding library such as an university library or a national library of the country. But please consider the time and costs for making a request via ILL service, and visiting the institution.

  • Interlibrary Loans  (Library Web site) In addition to photocopy, sometimes the actual material (books form, microfilms, etc.) is available for overseas ILL.  But please be noted the shipping cost depends on the weight, the parcel,  and the delivery fee on one way/ both ways .
  • Using non-Waseda Libraries  (Library Web site) Depending on the circumstances, a letter of introduction is required to use the library you are planning to visit. So please check the WEB site of the institution in advance.
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  • Last Updated: Jan 31, 2024 3:23 PM
  • URL: https://waseda-jp.libguides.com/research-navi/find_theses

Theses & Dissertations

Authorship expectations.

  • Approval for Research (IRB)
  • Authorship Policy – Vice President for Research
  • Availability to Public
  • Academic Integrity for Graduate Students

Planning Tools and Resources

  • Thesis/Dissertation Informational Videos
  • Thesis/Dissertation Seminars
  • Thesis/Dissertation Deadlines
  • Planning Tool for Master's Students
  • Planning Tool for Doctoral Students

Writing Tools and Resources

  • Thesis/Dissertation Consultations
  • Bootcamps and Writing Retreats
  • Thesis/Dissertation Formatting Tutorials
  • Thesis/Dissertation Templates
  • Shared Consent Forms
  • Annotated Samples

Submission Tools and Resources

  • Thesis/Dissertation Format Checks
  • Thesis/Dissertation Checklist
  • Submit Your Thesis/Dissertation to ProQuest
  • Submit Creative Component to ISU Digital Repository

Embargoes and Copyright

  • Theses and Dissertations: Rights and Responsibilities
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Znaczenie słowa doctoral w języku angielskim

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  • He began a doctoral degree in education .
  • I did my doctoral research on religious art .
  • In 1966 he dropped out of a doctoral program at Stanford.
  • She is a doctoral candidate at Yale.
  • associate's degree
  • baccalaureate
  • bachelor's degree
  • Doctor of Medicine
  • doctorate in something
  • double major
  • Master of Science
  • Master's degree
  • postgraduate
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education
  • second degree
  • summa cum laude

doctoral | American Dictionary

Przykłady doctoral, tłumaczenie doctoral.

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be over the moon

to be very pleased

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Doctoral Dissertations


This list of doctoral dissertations was compiled by Akira Ikemi, Hideo Tanaka and Kumiyo Sakai.  It lists doctoral dissertations conducted on Focusing, Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy and Gendlin’s Philosophy as well as research studies using Focusing and its related methods, such as Thinking at the Edge (TAE) and the Experiencing Scale (EXP) in their methodologies.  We have excluded studies where Focusing or Gendlin’s philosophy were referenced but were not used as major components of the dissertations.  For better understanding, the titles were translated into English.  Viewers can click on the links to see the dissertation titles in their original languages.  We have compiled this list from databases, but we know that we are missing more dissertations.  If you find that your dissertation (or another dissertation you're aware of) is missing from the list, please inform us at the Gendlin Center . Also, if you spot mistakes or missing information, we appreciate your help in fixing them. 

Australia Doctoral Dissertations Jeremy Mah, PhD (2020), Focusing-oriented transformative coaching: Supporting the journey of personal and social change, Doctoral Dissertation, Macquarie University No links available Claudia Núñez-Pacheco, PhD. (2018) Designing aesthetic experiences from the body and felt sense, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Sydney https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/17839

Belgium Doctoral Dissertations Siebrecht Vanhooren, Ph.D. (2015) Loss of Meaning, Meaning-making Processes, and Posttraumatic Growth among Prisoners, KU Leuven Open Access

Mia Leijssen, Ph.D. (1996). Focusing processes in person-centered and experiential psychotherapy  KU Leuven (Dutch).   No links available

Brazil Doctoral Dissertations Messias, J.C.C. , Ph.D. (2007) The plural in focus: A study on group experience Doctoral Thesis, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas (Portugese) http://tede.bibliotecadigital.puc-campinas.edu.br:8080/jspui/bitstream/tede/393/1/Joao%20Carlos%20Caselli%20Messias.pdf

Canada Doctoral Dissertations Jean-Luc LeBlanc (1999). Eugene T. Gendlin's perspective on science: A critical examination (Doctoral dissertation, University of Ottawa) https://hdl.handle.net/10393/8466

John J. Shea (1980). Toward a process understanding of religious experience: William James and Eugene Gendlin (Doctoral dissertation, University of Ottawa) https://hdl.handle.net/10393/4032

Barbara Wilkes Davison (1975). Methods for effectively generating and developing self-experiencing and empathy: the communication workshop, Gendlin's promising instrumentations, hot spot focusing instructions, centreing (Doctoral dissertation, University of Waterloo) No Links Available

Marlene D. King (1975). Between two worlds: the story of a boy, a case study in experiential psychotherapy (Doctoral dissertation, University of Alberta) No Links Available

Germany Doctoral Dissertations Tony Hofmann, Ph.D. (2017). Experiential Communication: How can complex situations be dealt with successfully?  Doctoral dissertation, University of Würzburg (German).  PDF

Japan Doctoral Dissertations Miho Yamada, Ph.D., (2021) Therapist's embodied empathy in psychotherapeutic practice: The use of dance/movement and felt sense Doctoral Dissertation, Gakushuin University (Japanese) http://hdl.handle.net/10959/00004977

Tomoko Hirano, Ph.D., (2020) A Study on focusing for human service professionals  Doctoral Dissertation, Kansai University (Japanese) http://hdl.handle.net/10112/00021330

Yoshiko Kosaka, Ph.D., (2020) Studies on the influences of symbol forms on symbolization of experiencing Doctoral Dissertation, Taisho University (Japanese) http://id.nii.ac.jp/1139/00001584/

Atsushi Okada, Ph.D. (2020) Feelings, sensations and body imagery: Gains in bodily sensations and Focusing Attitudes, Doctoral Dissertation, Tohoku University (Japanese) https://hdl.handle.net/10097/00128184

Yusuke Tsutsui, Ph.D., (2020) Studies on the development of PCAGIP Dreamwork:  How to find the meaning of dreams in a group  Doctoral Dissertation, Kansai University (Japanese) http://hdl.handle.net/10112/21327

Toshihiro Kawasaki. Ph.D., (2019) A Co-reflexive model of listening Doctoral Dissertation, Kansai University (Japanese) http://doi.org/10.32286/00018647

Rieko Kurino, Ph.D. (2019)  A Study of psychological and physiological responses on Focusing-Oriented music listening Doctoral Dissertation, Aichi Shutoku University (Japanese) https://hdl.handle.net/10638/00008135

Takako Higashiyama (Nakaya), Ph.D., (2018) A psychological study on the adaptive function of everyday focusing attitudes: From the perspective of psychological health, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Tsukuba (Japanese) https://hdl.handle.net/2241/00152233

Atsushi Ishikura, Ph.D. (2018) Presenting a model of self-exploration among participants of T groups: A model supported by the theory of reflexive thinking and the theory of experiencing, Doctoral Dissertation, Kansai University (Japanese) https://hdl.handle.net/10112/16648

Yasushi Kuba, Ph.D. (2018) The agency of the client: The psychotherapeutic significance of pointing to the phenomena, Doctoral Dissertation, Sophia University (Japanese) https://digital-archives.sophia.ac.jp/repository/view/repository/20183600189 (Clinical cases are omitted in the internet version for protection of their privacies.)

Shimpei Okamura, Ph.D., (2018) Studies on the functions of crossing in focusing Doctoral Dissertation, Kansai University (Japanese) http://doi.org/10.32286/00017618

Hideo Tanaka, Ph.D., (2018) The early days of focusing and the theory of experiencing: Studies on the background of how focusing was formed and practiced, Doctoral Dissertation, Kansai University (Japanese) https://hdl.handle.net/10112/17618 https://note.com/hideo_tanaka/n/n05c6653a9067 (Summary in English)

Hideaki Fukumori, Ph.D., (2017) Everyday mode of experiencing that affects university students’ life: The attitude of respecting experiencing Doctoral Dissertation, Kyushu University (Japanese) https://hdl.handle.net/2324/1866369

Tsuyoshi Aoki, Ph.D., (2016) A Study on scales and clinical application of the focusing attitude   Doctoral Dissertation, Kansai University (Japanese) http://doi.org/10.32286/00000226

Keiji Takasawa, Ph.D. (2016) Structure-bound experiential manner and psychological distance Doctoral Dissertation, Hosei University (Japanese) https://hdl.handle.net/10114/12273

Ryuhei Koizumi, Ph.D. (2015) The theory and clinical practice of "thinking about" as a method of focusing-oriented psychotherapy Doctoral Dissertation, Nagoya University (Japanese) https://hdl.handle.net/2237/22340

Yasuhiro Suetake, Ph.D. (2014) Studies on the clinical significance of Gendlin's Process Model  Doctoral Dissertation, Hosei University (Japanese) https://hdl.handle.net/10114/9497

Hiroyuki Hoshika, Ph.D., (2013) The five experiential steps from imagery to carrying forward  Doctoral Dissertation, Mukogawa Women's University (Japanese) https://iss.ndl.go.jp/books/R100000002-I027708897-00

Kumiyo Sakai, Ph.D., (2013) Studies on the awareness of feeling processes: Empirical investigations of the theory of experiencing Doctoral Dissertation, Rikkyo University (Japanese) https://iss.ndl.go.jp/books/R100000002-I024872876-00

Tadayuki Murasato, Ph.D., (2011) On the philosophy of the implicit by E.T.Gendlin as a basis of psychotherapy Focusing and TAE, Doctoral Dissertation, Hosei University (Japanese) https://iss.ndl.go.jp/books/R100000002-I000011297195-00

Daisuke Oshioka, Ph.D., (2011) Empirical studies in the constitution of psychotherapy training models utilizing verbalizations of the felt sense in group interaction Doctoral Dissertation, Tokyo Seitoku University (Japanese) https://iss.ndl.go.jp/books/R100000002-I000011205503-00

Hiroyuki Uenishi, Ph.D.,(2011) Quantitative studies on focusing in daily life Doctoral Dissertation, Kansai University (Japanese) http://doi.org/10.32286/00000309

Kie Yano, Ph.D., (2011) Studies on the Interaction where the client’s life is carried forward in psychotherapy Doctoral Dissertation, Kansai University (Japanese) https://iss.ndl.go.jp/books/R100000002-I023977651-00

Maki Miyake, Ph.D., (2008) Rating the interview with the experiencing scale and the experiential response: A study of experiencing and psychotherapy Doctoral Dissertation, Kansai University (Japanese) https://iss.ndl.go.jp/books/R100000002-I000009721837-00

Yuko Amano, Ph.D., (2007) A new method to deal with disliked felt senses: A focusing method of understanding the felt sense of a precious other  Doctoral Dissertation, University of East Asia (Japanese). https://iss.ndl.go.jp/books/R100000002-I000008556432-00

Akiko Doi, Ph.D., (2007) A study on the referencing process observed in the humanistic approach: How we touch down inside Doctoral Dissertation, Kobe College (Japanese) https://iss.ndl.go.jp/books/R100000002-I000008589432-00

Yoshimi Itoh, Ph.D. (2006) Studies on creating space in focusing Doctoral Dissertation, Nagoya University (Japanese) https://hdl.handle.net/2237/6627

Yuko Morikawa, Ph.D., (2005) Studies and development of a method to bring the focusing manner of experience to daily life Doctoral Dissertation, University of East Asia (Japanese) https://iss.ndl.go.jp/books/R100000002-I000007881818-00

Kiyoshi Hiramatsu, Ph.D., (1999) Basic clinical research on the interview process in sand play therapy Doctoral Dissertation, Hyogo University of Teacher Education (Japanese) https://iss.ndl.go.jp/books/R100000039-I002076799-00

Yasuyuki Kira, Ph.D., (1999) The presentation and empowerment of the concept of the sense of subjectivity in counseling Doctoral Dissertation, Kyushu University (Japanese) https://iss.ndl.go.jp/books/R100000039-I002025428-00

Yoshihiko Morotomi, Ph.D., (1992) Egoism and countering egoism in personality development Doctoral Dissertation, University of Tsukuba (Japanese) https://hdl.handle.net/2241/2160

Puerto Rico Doctoral Dissertations Peter Lehmann Sutphen, Ph.D.  (2000). Beyond the postmodern impasse: Understanding the constraint of meaning in narrative therapy through Gendlin's philosophy Doctoral dissertation, Carlos Albizu University   No links available

United Kingdom Doctoral Dissertations Jenny M. White, Ph.D.  (2017) A phenomenological enquiry into focusing on music Doctoral Dissertation, University of East Anglia  https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/67665/1/A_Phenomenological_Enquiry_into_Music_Thesis_FINAL_VERSION.pdf

Anna Magee, Ph.D. (2014) The creative dance of love and consciousness: An integral, phenomenological inquiry into the experiences of belonging and not-belonging Doctoral Dissertation, University of East Anglia.   https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/52070/

Sarah Luczaj. Ph.D .(2015) Felt senses of self and no self in therapy Doctoral Dissertation, University of East Anglia. https://www.academia.edu/65242103/Felt_senses_of_self_and_no_self_in_therapy

Alan Tidmarsh, Ph.D. (2013) An exploration of focusing-oriented therapy for addictions. Doctoral Dissertation, University of East Anglia https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/48047/

Greg Madison, PhD. (2005) 'Existential Migration': Voluntary Migrants' Experiences of Not Being-at-Home in the World. City University, London UK https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/14787/1/Madison,%20Gregory%20%20Vol.%201.pdf

United States of America Doctoral Dissertations Chia-Yun Chiang, Ph.D.  (2020). Focusing-oriented art therapy and connectedness: Art as a means to spiritual care for Asian seniors. Doctoral dissertation, Notre Dame de Namur University https://scholar.dominican.edu/art-therapy-electronic-theses-2015-2021/42/

William H. Sterner, Ph.D. (2018). The Science of Poetics and the Poetics of Science: Recovering Aristotle’s Empirical Science in the Context of Our Loss of Teleological Significances. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Chicago. PDF

Leslie Anne Ellis, Ph.D.  (2015). Stopping the Nightmare: An Analysis of Focusing Oriented Dream Imagery Therapy For Trauma Survivors with Repetitive Nightmares   Doctoral dissertation, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2015-99221-053

Rashmi Chidanand, Ph.D.  (2014). A quantitative study exploring the effects of Focusing-Oriented Arts Therapy: Internet Protocol (FOAT-IP) on stress, anxiety, depression, and positive states of mind in South Asian women Doctoral dissertation, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. No Links Available

Sarah Nokes-Malach, Ph.D. (2012) A Phenomenological-Hermeneutic Study of Adept Practitioners’ Experiences of Focusing. Doctoral Dissertation. Duquesne University.  https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/985/

Charlotte Leona Frye, Ph.D.  (2007). Educational implications of Gendlin's philosophy of experiencing Doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign https://hdl.handle.net/2142/80009

William R. Dinneen, Ph.D.  (1997). Theoretical consistency between psychotherapy and psychotherapy research instruments: The Experiencing Scale and the Referential Activity Scale in experiential and psychodynamic psychotherapies Doctoral dissertation, New School for Social Research No Links Available

Letitia C. Hitz, Ph.D.  (1994). Effects of changes in experiencing level of therapist responses on client experiencing Doctoral dissertation, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville No Links Available

Claudia A. Clark , Ph.D. (1990). A comprehensive process analysis of focusing events in experiential therapy  Doctoral dissertation, The University of Toledo No Links Available

Randall Gus Oberhoff , Ph.D. (1990). The role of attention in experiential focusing Doctoral dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin No Links Available

William Thomas Swaine, Ph.D.  (1986). Counselor training in experiential focusing: effects on empathy, perceived facilitativeness, and self-actualization   Doctoral dissertation, St. John's University, New York No Links Available

Susan Porter Gantt, Ph.D.  (1984). A view of psychotherapy: an integration of experiential psychotherapy and existential-phenomenological philosophy Doctoral dissertation, Georgia State University No Links Available

Jerry Louis Jennings, Ph.D.  (1984). Experiential psychotherapy: its theory, research, clinical practice, and historical development Doctoral dissertation, University of New Hampshire No Links Available

Jack L. Loynes, Ph.D.  (1984). Effects of experiential focusing on anger experiences of separated or divorced men Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University No Links Available

William Barbosa Gomes, Ph.D.  (1983). Experiential psychotherapy and semiotic phenomenology: a methodological consideration of Eugene Gendlin's theory and application of focusing Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale No Links Available

Thomas M. Marino, Ph.D.  (1983). The effects of experiential focusing on group cohesiveness and the depth of group interaction Doctoral dissertation, The University of Maine No Links Available

Carol Adams Whatley, Ph.D.  (1983). Focusing in the composing process: the development of a theory of rhetorical invention based on the work in psychotherapy of Eugene T. Gendlin Doctoral dissertation, Auburn University No Links Available

Jacqueline Henderson, Ph.D.  (1982). The effect of training with biofeedback and experiential focusing on increasing experiencing ability Doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California No Links Available

Richard N. Bettinger, Ph.D.  (1981). Experiential focusing and letting go to experience Doctoral dissertation, Boston University School of Education No Links Available

Kevin Corcoran, Ph.D. (1980). Experiential focusing and human resource development: a comparative study of pre-conceptual and conceptual approaches to the training of empathy Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh No Links Available

John F. Beckman, Ph.D.  (1979) An investigation into the effects of the existential-experiential training mode over time on the experiential focusing ability of counselor trainees. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Southern California. No Links Available

James Robert Iberg, Ph.D.  (1979). The effects of focusing on job interview behavior Doctoral dissertation, University of Chicago No Links Available

Jeanne Weiss King, Ph.D.  (1979). Meditation and the enhancement of focusing ability Doctoral dissertation, Northwestern University

Bruce Warner Shackleton, Ph.D.  (1979). The interaction between ego development and experiential focusing in the process of creative thinking Doctoral dissertation, Boston University School of Education

Jill M. Tarule, Ph.D.  (1978). Patterns of development transition in adulthood: an examination of the relationship between ego development stage variation and Gendlin's experiencing levels Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University No Links Available

Francis William Chiappa, Ph.D.  (1977). Experiential focusing and the memory-monitoring process Doctoral dissertation, Case Western Reserve University No Links Available

John Paul Gray, Ph.D.  (1976). The influence of experiential focusing on state anxiety and problem-solving ability Doctoral dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology No Links Available

Richard Riemer, Ph.D.  (1975/1976). Effects of brief reevaluation counseling on experiential focusing Doctoral dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles No Links Available

Linda Elaine Olsen, Ph.D.  (1975). The use of visual imagery and experiential focusing in psychotherapy  Doctoral dissertation, The University of Chicago No Links Available

Rosanne Orenstein, Ph.D.  (1973). Comparison of two methods of teaching focusing to hospitalized psychiatric patients Doctoral dissertation, Syracuse University No Links Available

Dennis Lee Wack, Ph.D.  (1972). An exploratory study of experiential focusing Doctoral dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University No Links Available

Arthur M. Freedman, Ph.D.  (1971). Focusing ability and depth of experiencing Doctoral dissertation, The University of Chicago No Links Available

Alice Brill Platt, Ph.D.  (1971). The utilization of hypnosis to facilitate focusing ability Doctoral dissertation, University of Chicago No Links Available

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Controversial U.S. politician sues UNB for releasing his widely criticized PhD thesis

Doug mastriano says unb leaked his thesis, resulting in lost potential revenue from book sales, speaking gigs.

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The University of New Brunswick has become the target of legal action by a Republican politician in Pennsylvania who's accusing the school of leaking his doctoral thesis and of participating in a scheme to discredit his research on a First World War hero.

Doug Mastriano, a U.S. Army veteran and state senator, is suing UNB and several of its faculty members following a wave of criticism directed at the thesis he wrote on Sgt. Alvin C. York that earned Mastriano a PhD from the university in Fredericton.

"Defendants embarked on a racketeering enterprise to deprive Col. Mastriano of his intangible property interests in his PhD, his books, and his speaking engagements," says the lawsuit, filed in Oklahoma by lawyer Daniel Cox.

The lawsuit also names UNB president Paul Mazerolle, David MaGee, vice-president and director of research, and Drew Rendall, dean of graduate studies at UNB.

It alleges the three conspired to publicly release Mastriano's thesis, resulting in "a substantial loss and deprivation of his intangible property interests."

A man with white hair wearing a suit and pink tie sits and smiles into the camera.

None of the claims in the lawsuit have been tested in court.

CBC News asked UNB for an interview with Mazerolle about the allegations.

In an email, spokesperson Marcia Seitz-Ehler said UNB is unable to comment because the matter is before a court.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. district court for the Western District of Oklahoma on May 31, and documents indicate notifications of summons were issued to the named defendants on July 2.

The lawsuit says it was filed in that court because James Gregory III, one of the named defendants, lives in that jurisdiction. The suit says all other defendants are subject to personal jurisdiction in that district, "because a substantial part of the events giving rise to the claims" occurred there.

CBC News attempted to contact James Gregory III, who is listed in the lawsuit as living in Edmond, Okla., but was unsuccessful.

James Gregory Jr. is a U.S. academic who was vocal in his criticisms of Mastriano's thesis.

CBC News contacted Gregory by phone in the state of Louisiana, where he resides. He said he had not been served notice of the lawsuit and therefore would not comment.

Critique prompted investigation

Attempt to reach Mastriano through his office were not successful.

Mastriano is a retired U.S. Army colonel who in May 2019 was elected a state senator for Pennsylvania's 33rd district.

Known for his socially conservative views, he rose to national prominence for his support for former president Donald Trump and the debunked conspiracy theory that the 2020 U.S. presidential election was rigged in favour of President Joe Biden.

Two men stand at a rally holding microphones.

With Trump's endorsement, Mastriano ran in 2022 for governor of Pennsylvania but was defeated by Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro.

In 2013, Mastriano received his PhD from UNB, with his thesis focusing on York, who achieved fame for killing 25 Germans on a battlefield in France. York's heroics inspired a Hollywood movie, with actor Gary Cooper in the lead role.

A year later, Mastriano used his thesis as the template for a book he published, even while his thesis remained under wraps, thanks to an unusually lengthy embargo on its release.

That didn't stop other academics, however, from questioning claims in the book, prompting calls for UNB to release his thesis publicly.

A statue of First World War hero Sgt. Alvin C. York, located on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, Tenn.

In 2022, UNB conceded and published the thesis, which several academics have said is riddled with fabricated footnotes and unsubstantiated claims.

In spring 2023, UNB appointed a committee of three professors to investigate the allegations of academic fraud in Mastriano's thesis.

Under UNB policy, the investigation committee was required to submit its recommendations to the university within 60 days, but any findings the committee might have reached have not been released to the public. 

Mastriano seeking millions from UNB

While Mastriano's lawsuit takes aim at academics outside UNB who questioned his work, a key element of the lawsuit focuses on UNB's decision to release his thesis.

The lawsuit alleges its 2022 release, despite Mastriano's request to keep it embargoed until 2030, constituted election interference and allowed his work to be stolen by another academic, who at the time was also working on a book about York.

Fall foliage is in the foreground, with two red brick campus buildings in the background

An exhibit attached to the lawsuit shows a July 2022 letter from Drew Rendall, the UNB graduate studies dean, informing Mastriano that his thesis was being released immediately.

Rendall, in the letter, told Mastriano that university guidelines provide for a maximum embargo duration on graduate theses of only four years, adding that Mastriano's request "greatly exceeds" the school's embargo limits.

  • A controversy-courting U.S. politician causes stir on Canadian university campus
  • UNB releases controversial U.S. politician's PhD dissertation after months of refusals

Mastriano's lawsuit also alleges UNB participated in a scheme to deprive him of his "property interests" associated with his PhD thesis by opening the investigation into it.

UNB launched the investigation in spring 2023, and the lawsuit claims UNB notified Mastriano last December that the university was relaunching the investigation into it.

The lawsuit makes no mention of what the investigation determined, or whether it's concluded.

The lawsuit says Mastriano is seeking up to $100 million in damages from UNB, and a minimum of $1 million from each of the individually named defendants.


doctoral dissertation znaczenie

Aidan Cox is a journalist for the CBC based in Fredericton. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Aidan4jrn.

Related Stories

  • UNB kept quiet about Mastriano controversy because of U.S. elections, president says
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CA Honey Queen is a UCR entomology graduate student

doctoral dissertation znaczenie

Following a competitive process, the American Beekeeping Federation has crowned UCR entomology graduate student Emilia Burnham the 2024 California Honey Queen spokesperson. 

Emilia Burnham in beekeeper boots with sunflowers

Burnham’s reign as queen will be defined by outreach to K – 12 youth groups, schools, and community programs about honeybee-related topics. These topics include how crops are pollinated, how dependent agriculture is on honeybees, and how to help keep bees healthy.

“I want to promote the science behind honeybees and teach others about their fascinating societies,” Burnham said. 

At UCR, Burnham studies Nosema ceranae , a harmful honeybee fungal pathogen which causes Nosemosis, also known as Nosema disease. Infection of adult bees at a young age can cause the bee to have difficulty digesting food and a shortened lifespan. When queen bees are infected, they can cease laying eggs. 

In the last 20 years, dramatic declines in honeybee populations have been reported throughout the world, putting food security at risk. Nosema disease is one of several factors responsible for the decline. 

Burnham is part of a team at UCR’s Center for Integrative Bee Research aiming to develop new treatments for Nosema and other threats to bee colonies, including repelling bees from crops treated with toxic insecticides.

As she educates Californians about bees, she wants them to know that there are two aspects to honeybee immunity — innate, genetic immunity, and social forms of immunity. “How bees organize their hives and the way they groom themselves, as well as each other, helps them defend against different pathogens,” Burnham said. 

Finally, California’s new honey queen wants people to know that there are actions they can take to help endangered native bees, and that taking these actions also helps honeybees. “Native bees can help support honeybee populations. With more and diverse native bees providing pollination services, the burden on managed bees can be lessened and may help decrease competition between honeybees and native bees,” she said. 

One such action people can take is planting sunflowers, and other native plants. The pollen from these plants helps support the immune systems of honeybees as well as native bees. It has also been found to help them defend against internal pathogens, such as Nosema cerana e and Crithidia bombi . 

Having attained this position, Burnham is now eligible to compete for the American Beekeeping Federation’s national title of American Honey Queen spokesperson. She will travel to Reno, Nevada in January for the competition. 

Related Awards

Ucr soil researcher wins outstanding dissertation award, ucr bioengineering professor becomes aimbe fellow, ucr chemist timothy su joins 2024 class of cottrell scholars, gift to ucr results in new undergraduate fellowship.


  1. What Is a Doctoral Dissertation? Writing Guide and Expert Tips

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  27. Controversial U.S. politician sues UNB for releasing his widely

    In 2013, Mastriano received his PhD from UNB, with his thesis focusing on York, who achieved fame for killing 25 Germans on a battlefield in France. York's heroics inspired a Hollywood movie, with ...

  28. CA Honey Queen is a UCR entomology graduate student

    CA Honey Queen is a UCR entomology graduate student. Author: Jules Bernstein. July 15, 2024 Following a competitive process, the American Beekeeping Federation has crowned UCR entomology graduate student Emilia Burnham the 2024 California Honey Queen spokesperson. ... UCR soil researcher wins outstanding dissertation award.