Jean Flanigan Outstanding Dissertation Award


The Association of Education Finance and Policy’s (AEFP) Jean Flanigan Outstanding Dissertation Award is intended to recognize exemplary dissertation research by doctoral students in the area of education finance and policy. The award is named honors Jean L. Flanigan, who, as Assistant Director and Director of Research with the National Education Association, was instrumental in developing the field of school finance. She directed the Estimates of School Statistics published by the NEA in the early 1970s as well as other research in the field. She was also a member of AEFA’s (now AEFP’s) first Board of Directors.


Candidates must have defended their dissertation or been awarded a degree by an accredited institution in the calendar year prior to the conference. For example, applicants for the award presented in the 2024 conference must have received their degree in CY 2023. 

Selection Criteria

The AEFP Awards Committee will evaluate the submitted dissertations based on the following criteria:
  • Conceptually clear and important research question.
  • Comprehensive review of applicable literature.
  • Use of appropriate theoretical foundations, data, and methodology.
  • Novelty of the work in terms of research question, methods or findings. 
  • Discussion of the importance and relevance of the results to education finance and policy.
  • Clarity of exposition.
  • Independence of the work.


The winner will receive a $1,000 award and a plaque presented at the annual AEFP conference.

Award recipients will be expected to attend the 2024 AEFP annual conference to receive the award and present their research in an Award Winners session. 

Submission Process and Nominations

We encourage eligible candidates to apply directly by submitting the application materials listed below before the deadline. It is not necessary to be nominated by someone else.

AEFP members, dissertation directors, committee members, and others may nominate students or colleagues for the outstanding dissertation award here. Nominations require only the nominee’s name and institution. The awards committee will follow-up by email to encourage the nominee and dissertation adviser to submit the required application materials. To the extent possible, nominators will remain anonymous to the nominee.

Submission Requirements

Applications must include:
  • An electronic copy of the complete dissertation
  • CV

The chair or a member of the dissertation committee must submit a separate letter or email of endorsement directly to the contact below. The letter should:
  • Attest to the nominee's eligibility
  • Specify the meritorious nature of the dissertation, including a discussion of the student’s contribution of any co-authored piece of the dissertation.
  • Indicate the nominee's current position, and email address

Application Information

Applicants should submit their details via the application form button on the right. 
Dissertation chair or members should submit a letter of recommendation on behalf of the applicant electronically here: 

Jean Flanigan Outstanding Dissertation Award Letter of Recommendation Form

Application Deadline: 
December 31, 2023

Application Form

Nomination Form