NARST 2024 Outstanding Doctoral Research Award (ODRA) Full Nomination

NARST 2024 Outstanding Doctoral Research Award (ODRA) Full Nomination

The Outstanding Doctoral Research Award (ODRA) is the highest award that NARST bestows on a dissertation judged by colleagues on the Selection Committee to have the greatest significance in the field of science education research from among all dissertations nominated for the award that year.  The ODRA Committee is now soliciting nominations for the 2024 award from all current NARST members who completed a dissertation within 15 months prior to August 31, 2023. Submissions are to be sought from as wide a field of candidates as possible to be inclusive of gender, age, geographical area and ethnicity, as well as research perspectives. 

Judging will occur in two rounds. The first round of judging will be based on the ten-page abstract. From these, a small group of finalists will be asked to submit one electronic copy of the complete dissertation. The final decision of the committee will be based on the complete dissertation. All applicants will be notified of their status after the first round of judging is completed.

The ten-page abstract should be structured to describe clearly the following:

  1. purpose or objectives of the study
  2. conceptual/theoretical framework
  3. research approach/method
  4. data sources and methods of analysis
  5. findings or results
  6. conclusions and implications; and
  7. significance of the study

It is suggested that nominees model their abstract after conference proposals submitted for NARST; abstracts should foreground rationale, methods, and results.

Judging in both rounds (for abstracts and dissertations) will be based on the following three central questions:

  1. Is the question being asked of importance to the community of science educators?
  2. Is the research approach and its implementation thorough and appropriate for the research question(s)
  3. Are the results and conclusions appropriate for the context of the study?

Specific criteria considered in relation to these questions include: the significance of the research problem/area; conceptual/theoretical background; thoroughness of the research approach and methods; identification of conclusions/outcomes and their implications for science education; clarity and coherence of communication; and overall originality or creativity. In the past, successful applicants have been those able to make a case for the significance of their study to the science education community as a whole; and/or who convinced the reviewers of the originality of the questions asked or methods employed.

Submission Procedure: Persons wishing to be considered for the award must submit an e-mail to the ODRA committee chair with the following attachments (in pdf format):

  1. One file containing a ten-page, double-spaced abstract (margins are limited to 1-inch all around using 12 cpi font)
  2. One file containing a five-page abbreviated bibliography (spacing your option, 1-inch margins, 12 cpi font)
  3. One file containing a cover sheet which includes the author’s name, address where they can be reached through January 2024, e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers, title of the study, the name and address of the institution where the dissertation was completed, a list of the members of the dissertation committee, and the date the dissertation was passed. The cover sheet should be signed by the major advisor/professor/supervisor or chair of the dissertation committee. An electronic signature is acceptable.
  4. A signed statement acknowledgement of compliance with the NARST Code of Ethical Conduct (, which should say: I hereby represent that (a) I have read, am familiar with and believe that I meet the eligibility requirements for the award for which I am under consideration; (b) I have not been finally determined by an appropriate body to have engaged in conduct which would constitute a violation of Sections B. (including without limitation plagiarism and scientific misconduct) or D. (including without limitation unlawful harassment or discrimination) of the NARST Code of Ethical Conduct (NARST website:; and (c) I have not knowingly violated any aspect of the NARST Code of Ethical Conduct. 

Alternatively, the dissertation supervisor/director can send an e-mail to the Chair of the Outstanding Doctoral Research Award Selection Committee endorsing the application and attesting to the accuracy of the information provided in the application. Please note that this is not a letter of advocacy but merely to confirm the information listed in #3, above.

Please note: The title of the study should appear on the first page of the abstract, but the author’s name and other identifying information should appear ONLY on the cover sheet.

Questions regarding this award should be directed to, Julia Plummer (, Chair of the ODRA Committee, on behalf of members: Judith Lederman, Jayma Koval, Michal Zion, Mary E. Short, Guopeng Fu, Eunjin (EJ) Bahng, Nilay Ozturk, David C. Owens, Maia Elkana, Colby Tofel-Grehl, David Stroupe, Dina Tsybulsky, Noemi Waight, Mindy Chappell.

Please send your abstract to the Chair, Julia Plummer ( Nominations are due July 31, 2023. Please put “ODRA” in the subject line of your email. We regret that the committee will not consider incomplete or late applications.

Julia Plummer

ODRA Chair