Mitchell Leaska Dissertation Research Award

The Mitchell Leaska Dissertation Award honors the memory of Mitchell Leaska who was Professor of English at the Steinhardt School for more than 40 years. This fund awards a $5,000 non-renewable stipend to help students in financial need complete their doctoral dissertations. Awards are available to students whose doctoral programs are in mathematics education, science education or doctoral programs in applied psychology (counseling, developmental, PSI), educational sociology, or social studies education.


$5,000 stipend

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible to participate in this program, you must:

  • Be a doctoral student whose doctoral programs are in mathematics education, science education, applied psychology (counseling, developmental, PSI), educational sociology, or social studies education. If you are not enrolled in one of the above programs then you must provide additional justification as to why you feel your research is related to one of these fields.
  • Have an approved dissertation proposal
  • Not be the recipient of any other current dissertation support funding

Application Procedure:

  • Complete the online application
  • Provide the required supporting documents, listed below, as one rolling PDF to
  1. Two letters of support (these can either be sent seperately by your letter writer or included in your application packet)
    • From your dissertation chair and
    • From one other individual who is not a member of the dissertation committee but who is familiar with your work;
  2. 10-page synosis of dissertation proposal
    • Should not exceed 10 pages (minimum Arial 11 pt font, 1/2" margins, double spaced) excluding all pictures, graphs, and tables).
    • The following sections must be included:
      • Background & Significance
      • Program Overview, Design, and Procedures
      • Dissemination
  3. The outcome of review letter from the proposal defense;
  4. IRB Approval Letter
  5. Timeline for completion of dissertation
  6. Budget narrative indicating how the funds will be used.
  7. If required, additional justification of how your proposal fits within one of the programs of interest (only required for students whose doctoral program is outside of those listed in the eligibility criteria).


  • October 6, 2016 for Fall award
  • February 1, 2017 for Spring award

Award decisions will be made within 30 days after deadline and awards will be made shortly thereafter.

Previous Recipients

Spring 2015

 Jessica Harding
Applied Psychology
Dissertation Title: Maternal education and children's outcomes: Understanding predictors and potential mechanisms.
Luke Stark
Media, Culture, and Communication
Dissertation Title: Self-Managed Feeling: Psychology and Interaction Design from Smartphones to the ‘Anxious Seat'.”
Fall 2013

Grace Kim
Occupational Therapy
Dissertation Proposal: The Effects of Attentional Focus on Motor Training of the Upper Extremity Using Robotics with Individuals after Chronic Stroke.