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Mid-South Educational Research Association

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Annual Meeting

Outstanding Thesis/Dissertation and Distinguished Paper Awards

Direct all questions regarding these awards to the Distinguished Papers Committee chair, Rachelle Miller.

Deadline: July 15, 2019

Each year, MSERA recognizes up to one thesis or dissertation with the 
Herbert M. Handley Outstanding Thesis/Dissertation Award and up to one other scholarly paper with the James E. McLean Distinguished Paper Award. Submissions are blind-reviewed by committees, and the primary author of each receives a plaque and cash award.



Herbert M. Handley Outstanding Thesis/Dissertation Award

Any current member of MSERA who 1) completed a thesis or dissertation in 2018 that was submitted in partial fulfillment of degree requirements at a college or university within a member state of MSERA and 2) does not seek the James E. McLean Outstanding Paper Award and this award in the same year is eligible for this award. 

To be considered for this award,
the author must use the online submission process to submit an abstract of no more than 500 words as outlined in the Call for Papers. The proposal should be submitted with the same title as the paper submission. The proposal must be accepted for presentation at the annual meeting before it can be considered for award. In addition, a PDF copy of a summary of the dissertation/thesis must be sent to the MSERA Distinguished Paper and Outstanding Dissertation/Thesis Awards Committee Chair, Rachelle Miller. The paper summarizing the dissertation/thesis must follow APA (6th ed.) style guidelines and may not exceed 25 double-spaced, typewritten pages, including narrative, tables, and references. Both the online abstract submission and the copy of the paper must be received by July 15, 2019. Author name and institutional affiliation should be provided on a cover sheet separate from the copy to be reviewed. The title of the dissertation/thesis summary should appear on both the cover sheet and the PDF copy.

Review for the award is a three-step process. First, the Program Committee will review the abstracts of the submitted thesis/dissertation summaries to determine if they will be accepted for presentation at the Annual Meeting. Second, the Distinguished Papers Committee will review the papers and identify the most outstanding among those submitted. The chair will ensure that each submitted summary receives a minimum of three blind reviews by members of the Distinguished Papers Committee. Third, the chair will identify five papers receiving the highest composite reviews (or all summaries if fewer than six entries are submitted), and those will then be reviewed a second time by members of the Distinguished Papers Committee based on all possible pairwise comparisons. 

Abstracts must be submitted at the web site (go to Call for Papers). In addition, a PDF copy of the complete dissertation/thesis summary must be sent to the MSERA Distinguished Paper and Outstanding Dissertation/Thesis Awards Committee Chair, Rachelle Miller.

The submission judged to be most outstanding at the conclusion of the review process will be declared winner of the competition. The chair will announce the award winner, recognize the thesis/dissertation director, and present the award winner with a plaque and $250 at the business meeting on the Thursday evening of the Annual Meeting.

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James E. McLean Oustanding Paper Award

Any current member of MSERA who does not seek the Herbert M. Handley Outstanding Thesis/Dissertation Award and this award in the same year is eligible for this award.

To be eligible for this award, the author must use the online submission process to submit an abstract of no more than 500 words as outlined in the Call for Papers. The proposal should be submitted with the same title as the paper submission. The proposal must be accepted for presentation at the annual meeting before it can be considered for award. In addition, the complete paper should be submitted electronically in PDF format and sent to the Chairperson of the Distinguished Paper Awards Committee, Vice President/President Elect Rachelle Miller. The paper must follow APA (6th ed.) style guidelines and may not exceed 25 double-spaced, typewritten pages, including narrative, tables, and references. The author name(s) and institutional affiliation(s) should be provided in a separate PDF file from the paper submission. The title of the paper should appear on both PDF file submissions. Both the online abstract submission and PDF files must be received by July 15, 2019.

Review for the award is a three-step process. First, the Program Committee wll review the Call for Proposals' submissions to determine if they will be accepted for presentation at the Annual Meeting. Second, the Distinguished Papers Committee will review the papers and identify the most outstanding among those submitted. The chair will ensure that each submitted paper receives a minimum of three blind reviews by members of the Distinguished Papers Committee. Third, the chair will identify five papers receiving the highest composite reviews (or all summaries if fewer than six entries are submitted), and those will then be reviewed a second time by members of the Distinguished Papers Committee based on all possible pairwise comparisons. 

The submission judged to be most outstanding at the conclusion of the review process will be declared winner of the competition. The chair will announce the award winner at the business meeting on the Thursday evening of the Annual Meeting. The winner will receive a plaque and is eligible to receive a $500 reimbursement to support travel expenses to present the paper at the next American Educational Research Association annual meeting.


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