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 honors Jean L. Flanigan, who, as Assistant Director and Director of Research with the National Education Association (NEA), 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 the  first Board of Directors.


Candidates must have been awarded a doctoral degree by an accredited institution in the two academic years prior to the conference. For example, applicants for the award presented in the 2024 conference must have received their degree in academic years 2021-22 or 2022-23.

Selection Criteria

The AEFP Awards Committee will evaluate the submitted dissertations based on the following criteria:

  • Conceptually clear and policy-relevant research question(s)
  • Comprehensive review of applicable literature
  • Use of appropriate theoretical foundations, data, and methodology
  • Novelty of the work in terms of research question(s), methods, or findings
  • Discussion of the importance and relevance of the results to education policy or practice
  • Clarity of exposition
  • Relevance to or consideration of issues related to justice, equity, diversity, and/or inclusion 
  • In addition, the awards committee will look favorably on nominees with a history of engagement in AEFP.


The recipient will receive a monetary award and a plaque presented at the annual AEFP conference.

Submission Process and Nominations

Anyone may nominate students or colleagues for the Outstanding Dissertation Award. Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged. It is not necessary to be nominated by someone else.

Submission Requirements

Nominations must include:
  • An electronic copy of the complete dissertation
  • CV
  • (Optional) If the nominee has past engagement with AEFP that is not reflected in their CV, a brief description of that engagement can be included in the nomination form
The chair or a member of the dissertation committee must submit a letter indicating their support for this nomination. This endorsement should do the following:
  • 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.

Nomination Information

Nominators should submit details via the nomination form link here. 
Dissertation chair or members should submit a letter of nomination on behalf of the applicant electronically here:
Jean Flanigan Outstanding Dissertation Award Letter of Recommendation Form