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Elwood S. Buffa Doctoral Dissertation Award

The Elwood S. Buffa Doctoral Dissertation Award identifies and recognizes outstanding doctoral dissertation research in the development of theory for the decision sciences, the development of methodology for the decision sciences, and/or the application of theory or methodology in the decision sciences. Prize award of $1,000.

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2024



To be eligible for consideration, a submission must meet the following criteria:

  1. The doctoral dissertation has to have been accepted by the degree-granting institution within the previous calendar year (i.e., between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023 for 2024 annual conference). That is, the student must have met the requirements of graduation with a Ph.D. or DBA in the time period specified.
  2. Finalists must register for and attend the 2024 Annual Conference of the Decision Sciences Institute as finalists will present their research in a special live session. They are expected to attend the Awards Luncheon on Monday to be present to receive the award and check.
  3. Submissions must be received by June 1.

Submission Procedure

Applications must include:

  1. A nomination letter is required from the dissertation advisor that:
    1. Introduces the doctoral student, the dissertation advisor supervising the dissertation, and the degree-granting institution.
    2. Argues for the worthiness of the doctoral dissertation.
    3. Provides contact information for both the doctoral student and the dissertation advisor.
    4. Follows this naming convention: the student’s LAST NAME_FIRST NAME-Nominating Letter (for example, Smith_Jennifer-Nominating Letter.pdf]
  1. A pdf file nominating executive summary that:
    1. Includes the following sections:
      • Description and justification of the importance of the theoretical/pragmatic problem that the doctoral dissertation addresses.
      • Delineates the research questions that stem from the theoretical / pragmatic problem.
      • Explains the methods being used, in sufficient detail for referees with no a priori exposure to the doctoral dissertation to evaluate methodological rigor.
      • Discusses the major findings in terms of its contributions to theory and/or to practice.
      • Highlights future research opportunities stemming from this doctoral dissertation, and the limitations of the work.
    2. Refers the reader to specific tables, figures, sections, etc., of the dissertation (for example, [See _____, page ___].
    3. Meets formatting guidelines:
  • Is no longer than 10 double-spaced, 8.5×11, pages with 1- inch margins using a 10-12 point font.
  • Includes a header with:
    1. The most relevant discipline within which the doctoral dissertation falls.
    2. The dominant method(s) used in the conduct of the doctoral dissertation research.
    3. Follows this naming convention: LAST NAME_FIRST NAME-Executive Summary.
  1. A single pdf file of the complete dissertation, named: LAST NAME_FIRST NAME-Dissertation.


The Nominating Letter, Executive Summary, and dissertation should be submitted as three separate e-mail attachments sent to [coordinator email] with the subject line BUFFA_submission_LAST NAME_FIRST NAME.  Finalists will be announced in September.


The Buffa Awards committee, composed of a chair and four experienced scholars, will review the submissions. Winners will be selected based on reviews received, the committee’s own review, and rankings.

Questions about the Elwood S. Buffa Award for the 2024 Annual Conference of the Decision Sciences Institute can be directed to the chair:

Arash Azadegan | Rutgers Business School| aazadegan@business.rutgers.edu