Call for Proposals

AAA 2017 Doctoral Dissertation Competition

Submission Deadline:  November 7, 2016


The American Academy of Advertising is pleased to announce its 2017 Doctoral Dissertation Competition.  The competition exists to promote doctoral research in advertising. Each award is in the range of $1,000 to $2,500. In addition to the standard awards, the Dunn Award is given for outstanding proposals in the area of international advertising. Awards are based on a competitive review of dissertation proposals.

Any topic in advertising may be addressed. Winners must grant the Journal of Advertising right of first refusal on any papers resulting from the dissertation. Recipients receive half of the award at the time of selection and half of the award when the dissertation has been defended successfully. Recipients have three years from the time of the award to complete their dissertation and receive the second half of the award. For example, winners of the 2017 Competition must complete the dissertation and have the committee chairperson send a letter notifying the Chair of the AAA Research Committee by December 31, 2020.

Only members of the American Academy of Advertising working on their dissertations at the time of proposal submission are eligible for these awards. If funded, you must also maintain membership until you complete your project. Submissions based on completed or near completed dissertations are not eligible; submissions should be in the proposal stage.  Applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate program.

Applicants must submit a proposal package including the following documents. It is important to follow guidelines with regard to length and format. Proposals that do not meet the guidelines will not be entered in the competition.


Contents of Electronic Submission Package

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL SUBMISSIONS SHOULD BE SENT ELECTRONICALLY in the formats indicated below. Submissions should include the following: 

1  A letter of endorsement from the faculty member chairing the dissertation committee. The letter verifies the credibility of the proposed topic and timetable for completion. This letter must be signed by the dissertation chairperson and sent in a pdf file.


2  A cover email, including the following:

                     The proposal's title.

                     The author's name, affiliation, and current contact information (address, phone, e-mail).

                     The name and contact information for the faculty member chairing the dissertation committee.

                     A list of faculty on the dissertation committee.

3  To ensure that your paper is blind reviewed, do not include a title page with the proposal itself (your cover email will serve as your “title page”). Additionally, per the instructions below, you must delete all properties from your proposal.

                     Procedure for deleting properties for e-mail submission (in Word 2007):

                     Click the Microsoft Office Button and point to Prepare.

                      Click Inspect Document, and in the Document Inspector box be sure Document Properties and Personal Information are checked.

                     Click Inspect and then select Remove All for Document Properties and Personal Information.

                      Save the document.

4  The dissertation proposal. Because proposals are double blind reviewed, the student's name, geographic location, or school affiliation should not be revealed in the body of the proposal. Each proposal should include:

                     A timetable. The timetable shall outline the schedule for the completion of the dissertation, including the expected dates of the final defense and graduation.

                     A budget that itemizes the expenses required to complete the proposed research.


Proposal Contents & Organization

The proposal’s text should motivate the topic through a thorough but brief literature review. The review should include a one paragraph statement that describes the importance of the contribution made by the proposed research. The literature review is followed by a set of research questions or hypotheses that are derived from the review. Questions/hypotheses are followed by a methodology section that succinctly outlines the research design, including the recruitment procedure (if any) to be used. If appropriate, authors should identify dependent and independent variables, treatment manipulations, experimental designs, data analysis techniques, statistical models, etc. in this section.

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition, provides an excellent resource for the style, contents and organization of a research paper and is strongly recommended to students.


Format Requirements

Proposals that fail to meet these guidelines will not be entered in the competition.

   10 page limit. The 10 pages includes the body of the proposal plus all tables and references, but does not include the budget and timetable. The latter items should be included in an appendix.

   Contents must be double spaced.

   12 point Times New Roman font (or equivalent).

   1 inch margins on all 4 sides.

   Title of proposal at the top of page one.

   Page numbers.

The submission package – including the proposal and letter of endorsement -- must reach the Chair of the Research Committee by 5pm on Monday, November 7, 2016. This is a received by deadline. Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged via email. Fax or postal mail submissions are not accepted. Winners will be notified by the end of February 2017. The awards are announced at the AAA Conference and communicated to the membership through the AAA Newsletter.


Please email your materials and all questions to:

Dr. Les Carlson

Chair, AAA Research Committee

Email:   lcarlson3@unl.edu


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