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 is named honors Jean L. Flanigan, who, as Assistant Director and Director of Research with the National Education Association, 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 AEFA’s (now AEFP’s) first Board of Directors.


Candidates must have defended their dissertation or been awarded a degree by an accredited institution in the calendar year prior to the conference. For example, applicants for the award presented in the 2022 conference must have received their degree in CY 2021. 

Selection Criteria

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

  • Conceptually clear and important research question.
  • Comprehensive review of applicable literature.
  • Use of appropriate theoretical foundations, data, and methodology.
  • Novelty of the work in terms of research question, methods or findings. 
  • Discussion of the importance and relevance of the results to education finance and policy.
  • Clarity of exposition.
  • Independence of the work.


  • A $1000 cash award
  • Presentation of a plaque at the AEFP Annual Conference

Award recipients will be expected to attend the 2022 AEFP Conference to receive the award and to present their selected research in an Award Winners session.

Submission Process and Nominations

We encourage eligible candidates to apply directly by submitting the application materials listed below before the deadline. It is not necessary to be nominated by someone else.

AEFP members, dissertation directors, committee members, and others may nominate students or colleagues for the outstanding dissertation award by clicking this link. Nominations require only the nominee’s name and institution. The awards committee will follow-up by email to encourage the nominee and dissertation adviser to submit the required application materials. To the extent possible, nominators will remain anonymous to the nominee.

Submission Requirements

Applications must include:

  1. An electronic copy of the complete dissertation.
  2. CV
  3. The chair or a member of the dissertation committee must submit a separate letter or email of endorsement directly to the contact below. The letter should:
    • 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.
    • Indicate the nominee’s current position, and email address

Application Information

Deadline: December 31, 2021