At its first meeting of 2021, the NDLTD Board decided to open the Innovative ETD Award nomination process to support student efforts to transform the genre of the dissertation through the use of innovative research data management techniques and software to create multimedia ETDs.  ETDs submitted for this award must represent student efforts to transform the genre of the print dissertation through the use of technology. This award recognizes innovative use of software to create “cutting edge” ETDs. The application and integration of renderings, photos, data sets, software code and other multimedia objects that are included in the document will be considered as part of the innovation of the work. The deadline for receiving nominations to be recognized at ETD2022 is May 1st, 2022.

  • The nominated innovative thesis or dissertation must be for a degree earned in the 12 months prior to May 1st, 2022.
  • An ETD may be nominated by a representative (e.g., administrator, faculty member or librarian) of an institution or by a student themselves that provides necessary institutional documentation.
    • The nomination should include a link to the archived work, along with a brief statement about how the work uses technology to enhance the presentation of research. If the repository deposit has not been completed, it must be by the time nominations close.
    • The ETD must be distributed online as open access.
  • There may be up to three winners in this category.
  • Each winner will receive $1,000 and will be eligible to receive up to an additional $1200 in travel scholarship funding to attend the ETD Symposium*.
  • Nominations will be reviewed by the NDLTD Awards Committee. To avoid conflict of interest, institutions that currently employ Awards Committee members will not be eligible. Candidates will be informed about results until June 1st, 2022.
  • Winners are encouraged but not required to attend the ETD Symposium:
    • Innovative ETD award winners will be eligible to receive up to U.S. $1200 reimbursement towards the cost of their travel to attend the ETD Symposium.
    • Winners will also receive complimentary conference registration.
    • Winners who cannot attend the Symposium must submit an acceptance message to be presented at the Symposium Awards ceremony and distributed online. This message may be a video of 2-3 minutes or a written message of 500 words or less. 
  • Nominations must be submitted by webform to ETD Awards Committee Chair Charles Greenberg at
  • Nomination letters should include:
    • A brief description (1,000 words or less) of background information and details of the merits of and justification for the nomination.
    • Additional letters of support (i.e., from faculty, administration, students, Library or Graduate School Dean, Provost, etc.).
    • Complete contact information for both the nominator and nominee, including home and/or University postal and email addresses.

For more information about the ETD Awards program please go to

*I.R.S regulations require the NDLTD to report all award amounts distributed; citizens of the United States must provide a valid Social Security number to receive award distributions. Winners must agree to the conditions set forth in the eligibility requirements listed here and NDLTD policy. Winners must also agree to make acceptance/acknowledgments materials available to the NDLTD for the purpose of international promotions.