Mitchell Leaska Dissertation Research Award

Mitchell Leaska Dissertation Research Award

This award honors the legacy of Mitchell Leaska, a distinguished professor who taught English and Humanities at NYU Steinhardt for almost 40 years. In the spirit of his work, we are pleased to support the financial needs of doctoral student research as they work toward completion of their dissertation. Awards are available to students whose doctoral programs are in applied psychology (counseling, developmental, PSI), educational sociology, social studies education, mathematics education, or science education.


 A $5,000 stipend will be awarded to one recipient per semester, excluding summer.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicant Must:

  • Be a doctoral student in one of the aforementioned programs.  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 other current dissertation support funding.

How to Apply

Submit in a continuous PDF file as described below. Page numbers and applicant name must appear on each page. Use 1 inch margins and 12-point font.

  • Complete Cover Page 
  • Synopsis of Dissertation Proposal (3-5 pages)
    • The following sections must be included:
      • Background and Significance
      • Project Overview, Design, and Procedures
      • Project Execution, Timeline, and Dissemination
      • 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).
  • Budget and Budget Narrative
  • IRB Approval Letter
  • Timeline for completion of dissertation
  • One letter of support from either your dissertation chair or from one other individual who is not a member of the dissertation committee but who is familiar with your work
  • The outcome of review letter from the proposal defense

Submission Process and Deadline

Full proposals must be submitted electronically no later than 5:00 pm October 27, 2017 to

  • October 27, 2017, for Fall award
  • TBD for Spring award

The file should be submitted as one continuous pdf with naming convention as follows:

  • Semester/Year, Award Name, Applicant Last Name (ie: Fall 2017 Leaska-Jones)

Previous Winners

Spring 2017

Chiao-ju Fang
Occupational Therapy
Dissertation Title: "A Comparison of the Participation Levels of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Inclusive versus Specialized Settings and Its Relationship with Time in Resource Rooms."

Fall 2016

Alexandra Freidus
Teaching and Learning
Dissertation Title: "Searching for Equity:  School Desegregation, Teaching, and Learning in Gentrifying Brooklyn."
Spring 2016

Vanessa Coca
Applied Statistics, Social Science, and Humanities
Dissertation Title: "Stratification into Higher Education by Race and Class and the Role of High Schools."

Fall 2015

Alexandra Aylward
Applied Statistics, Social Science, and Humanities
Dissertation Title: "Mass Incarceration and the School Context: Educational Outcomes, School Climate, and Teacher Expectations."

L. Trenton Marsh
Teaching and Learning
Dissertation Title: "Understanding how school-context and individual-level ideologies about success informs the everyday practices of teachers and administrators, and its implications on Black, working class students and their caregivers in a “no-excuses” charter school."