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2016 Emerald/HETL Education Outstanding Doctoral Research Award

Meet our previous winners

Image: Dr Micah Modell"This award means ... that it gains this important line of research visibility within the scholarly community. It validates for me the significance of the problem in the eyes of those whose judgement matters the most."

Find out more...

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International recognition for the best doctoral research in education

Announcing the winners

Emerald Group Publishing and the Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL) are delighted to offer a grant award for a doctoral research project in the field of education. The award recognizes excellence in research in the field of education.

The winner will receive a cash prize of $1,500, an award certificate, free registration to a HETL conference where they will have the option to present their paper, and one free copy of an Emerald/HETL book. In addition to the research award it is also hoped that the findings of the research can be published in the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education (JARHE).

Up to two Highly Commended Doctoral Research Awards will also be bestowed. Each winner will receive an award certificate and one free copy of an Emerald/HETL book.


  • Dr Lauren Margulieux
    Dissertation Title: Using Subgoal Learning and Self-Explanation to Improve Programming Education
    Institution: Georgia State University, USA (PhD conferred by Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
    Doctoral Mentor: Professor Richard Catrambone

Highly Commended

  • Dr Bruce Hilliard
    Dissertation Title: Optimising viewer comprehension and shaping impressions and attention – Through the formatting of content in tools like Microsoft PowerPoint
    Institution: Murdoch University, Australia
    Doctoral Mentor: Professor Jocelyn Armarego
  • Dr Zoroayka Sandoval
    Dissertation Title: The Development of an E-Learning Usability Scale for Higher Education
    Institution: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, USA
    Doctoral Mentor: Professor Maria Elena Corbeil

About the judging panel

Emerald would like to thank the following members of the judging panel, co-ordinated by Dr Patrick Blessinger, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education:

  • Dr. Patrick Blessinger, St. John’s University, USA
  • Dr. Barbara Cozza, St. John’s University, USA
  • Dr. Leslie Hitch, Northeastern University, USA
  • Dr. Norah Jones, University of Glamorgan, UK
  • ​Dr.​ Martin Reardon, East Carolina University, USA
  • ​​Dr. Michele Eodice, University of Oklahoma, USA
  • ​Dr. Krassie Petrova, Auckland University of Technology, NZ

Awards topics

The dissertation topics should be in the areas of higher education, teaching/instruction, learning, curriculum, assessment, service, or any directly related area such as educational leadership, management, policy, development, research, technology, internationalization, teacher preparation, counselling, etc. See Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education for topic examples.

The competition is open to anyone who has completed, or will complete, their doctorate between 1 October 2013 and 1 March 2017.

Judging criteria

The entries will be judged by a panel of experts chosen from the JARHE Senior Editors and Editorial Advisory Board as well as the HETL Research and Innovation Advisory Board. Entries are judged on the following criteria:

  1. Significance/implications for theory, practice, and policy.
  2. Originality, innovation, and potential impact.
  3. Appropriateness, application, and rigor of methodology.
  4. Quality of data collection/analysis and research findings.

Short-listed applicants may be required to answer further questions as appropriate from the judging panel. Winners will be required to submit an unpublished paper, sole- or joint-authored, derived from the research, within six months of winning the award. The panel reserves the right not to select a winning paper if, in their judgment, none of the entries are considered satisfactory.

The competition is open to anyone who has completed, or will complete, their doctorate between 1 October 2013 and 1 March 2017.

Please note that the decision of the judges is final.

Key dates

  • The closing date for applications was 1 March 2017.
  • Winners will be announced in May 2017.

For further information, please read the Frequently Asked Questions.


Sharon Parkinson
Publisher - Education
E-mail: sparkinson@emeraldinsight.com