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Call for 2019 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Competition

Friday, February 1, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Call for 2019 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Competition
in Innovation Management and New Product/Service Development 

Competition Chair:
Mike Stanko (North Carolina State University, USA) 

The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) announces its call for the 2019 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Competition. The aim of the competition is to foster rigorous academic research on innovation and new product/service development and encourage close ties between the academic and corporate worlds. Applicants may propose research on any aspect of the design and development, commercialization (including business models), adoption, management, or strategy of innovation or new products/services. Doctoral dissertations may take one or more perspectives on innovation or new products/services (market, organization, team, manager, consumer, etc.). Dissertation proposals that involve multiple research disciplines, cross functional lines, and those that make substantial advancement to our knowledge in the field are particularly encouraged. PDMA encourages applications for both this dissertation proposal competition as well as the 2019 Doctoral Consortium.

Benefits to Winner 

Winners of the competition will receive the following benefits: 

  • A cash award of $2,500
  • Access to the PDMA membership to collect data, if appropriate
  • Exposure to the academic community, when the winner makes a presentation of his or her results at the Academic Research Forum, part of the PDMA’s 2019 Annual Conference (to be held in October 2019 in Orlando, FL) – a condition of winning the competition. Note that an additional $1,000 towards travel costs to attend the PDMA conference will be provided. The conference provides an excellent networking opportunity with both academics and practitioners
  • A 1-year membership to the PDMA, which includes subscriptions to the online versions of the Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM) and Visions magazine (PDMA’s practitioner publication).

Evaluation Process 

Proposals will be evaluated in a double-blind review process by leading scholars in innovation and new product/service development. Reviewers will judge the proposals against traditional academic standards and the feasibility of completion. The winner will be announced in early summer 2019. 

Conditions for Submission 

  1. Applicants must be Ph.D. students or candidates in a field related to innovation management or new product/service development. Recent issues of JPIM may be helpful in identifying topically suitable research questions.
  2. Proposals must be either in the process of approval or be already approved by the student’s dissertation chair or committee. Where Ph.D. programs do not require a formal proposal approval, the student’s academic supervisor (Professor) should confirm that the final outline of the dissertation research (theoretically and empirically) is well established.
  3. The grant from the competition is intended to support the recipient’s dissertation research. Thus, only those dissertations that will be completed no sooner than within the next year are eligible to be submitted to the competition. Fully completed dissertations are not eligible.
  4. The proposal packet should be submitted electronically here. The proposal document should be uploaded as a Word document; all other files may be either Word or pdf documents. The proposal packet must include:
    • A one-page, single-spaced executive summary of the proposed dissertation research, clearly stating the dissertation title, research questions, method, and expected contributions. This executive summary also needs to include a statement regarding how the monetary award would be spent to help complete the dissertation,
    • A title page with all contact details,
    • A blind proposal document, not exceeding 15 pages in length, consisting of the following sections: introduction, conceptual background, hypotheses/conceptual model, method, theoretical contribution, and implications for innovation practitioners. If the dissertation consists of multiple essays, please include a section on the overarching theoretical framework, research objectives and contributions. The 15-page limit also includes references, figures, and tables. It should be double spaced and in 12-point font, with a 1” margin on all sides. The proposal document should follow the guidelines for authors submitting to JPIM),
    • A letter from the student’s committee chair or department head in support of the submission. If a letter from the student’s committee has already been written for an application to the 2019 PDMA Doctoral Consortium, the letter may be reused here, and
    • An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae (including a list of all completed doctoral coursework).

Please name all files using last name followed by document title. For instance, "Gonzalez_Exec_Summary.docx". 


Submission must be received no later than Monday March 4, 2019. Submit proposal packages here.

For questions, please email the competition chair at

1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252
St. Paul, Minnesota 55114 USA
tel: 1-651-290-6280
fax: 1-651-290-2266

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