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Promising Researcher Award

NCTE Promising Researcher Award Competition in Recognition of Bernard O'Donnell

2015 Award Recipient and past award winners 


Established in 1970; given by the NCTE Standing Committee on Research, the Promising Researcher Award Competition is open to individuals who have completed dissertations within the approximately two years immediately preceding the award year (for the 2015 award year, between December 1, 2012 and January 31, 2015).

Studies entered into competition should be related to the teaching of English or the language arts, e.g., language development, literature, composition, teacher education/professional development, linguistics, etc., and should have employed a recognized research approach, e.g., historical, ethnographic, interpretive, experimental, etc. In recognition of the fact that the field has changed in recent years, the Committee on Research invites entries from a variety of scholarly perspectives.

Candidates must submit a manuscript based on their original research. Manuscripts should be written in a format, style, and length appropriate for submission to a research journal such as Research in the Teaching of English, College Composition and Communication, Curriculum Inquiry, Teaching and Teacher Education, or Anthropology and Education. Manuscripts range normally between 25-50 double-spaced, typewritten pages (table, figures, references, and appendices are considered part of the “manuscript”). 

Although manuscripts should conform to the publication standard of the above-mentioned journals, selection for the Promising Researcher Award does not guarantee eventual publication in those journals.

Manuscripts submitted for the competition may be unpublished, under consideration or accepted for publication at, or already published in a research journal, so long as they are formatted for blind submission, without reference to publication status, and follow the other manuscript preparation requirements below.

Manuscript Preparation

Manuscripts must take the form of self-contained research articles prepared for blind, peer-reviewed submission. Research in any other form (abstract, dissertation report) or format (reprint, published article) cannot be considered in this competition.

All manuscripts must have at least 1" margins at the top, bottom, and both sides and must be double-spaced and in standard (12") Times New Roman or Arial font.  Applicants should prepare a manuscript with all author references removed from the document and file name for a blind, peer-review process. If the article has been published in a research journal, any formatting or other references to the article's publication status should also be removed.

Applicants should also include a separate cover sheet with title and author information. The name, current address, position, and telephone number of the entrant should be transmitted along with the manuscript to facilitate communication between the selection committee and the entrant. This information should be on the cover sheet only. 

Award Submission

Accompanying all manuscripts must be a written statement verifying that the research was completed within the specified completion dates. This signed, original letter must come from someone other than the candidate (e.g., the major professor or a researcher knowledgeable in the field), who is sponsoring the candidate.

Manuscripts should be sent as Word attachments to by March 1.


Manuscripts received on or before March 1, will be transmitted to members of the selection committee for evaluation. Results of the judging will be available after May 15. Entrants will be notified of the results shortly thereafter. Manuscripts will not be returned to authors.

Dates and Deadlines

December 1, 2012-January 31, 2015
Completion dates for research entered
March 1  Deadline for receipt of manuscripts 
May 15 Results of final judging will be available


The award recipient will receive a complimentary NCTE Annual Convention registration, a certificate, an award announcement in NCTE's journals, a one-year NCTE membership, and a one-year subscription to Research in the Teaching of English (RTE).


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