The IMA Hope Richardson Dissertation Award is given to foster and disseminate research in the practice of workplace learning and performance. It is presented to the person who has submitted the best doctoral dissertation for which a degree has been granted. The committee reserves the right not to issue the award should none of the submissions be deemed worthy.


  1.  The dissertation must report a study for which a doctoral degree was granted in the previous two years of the IMA Conference between January 1 and December 31 in even numbered years, i.e. 2014, 2016, 2018.
  2. The study must focus on some issue of relevance to the practice of mentoring, its application or evaluation to include higher education, business and industry, government, or youth-based mentoring program.
  3. All research methodologies will be considered on an equal basis, including, for example, field, laboratory, quantitative, and qualitative-investigations.
  4. The candidate must be recommended and sponsored by his or her committee chair. A committee chair may nominate more than one candidate who meets the criteria.
  5. All materials must be in English, in PDF or Word format and submitted by email attachments. Submissions must adhere to the format prescribed below.
  6. Current IMA Board of Directors are ineligible to submit.

Submission Requirements

Incomplete applications will not be processed or eligible for consideration.

The application must be in PDF or Word format, and be sent via email attachment identified by your first initial and last name followed by imadissawrd. Example: jsmith.imadissawrd.

  1. Letter of application from candidate which includes a description of the dissertation not to exceed 120 words. The candidate is to include a separate cover sheet that includes the candidate’s contact information, including work and home address, telephone numbers, and email address.
  2. A recommendation from applicant’s committee chair sent in email from email address of the academic institution as an attachment and also by US mail on institutional letterhead with the dissertation completion date noted in the letter to the IMA’s Hope Richardson Dissertation Award to Nancy Phenis-Bourke, Hope Richardson Chairperson: 6471 S. Fox Chase, Pendleton, IN 46064.
  3. Abstraction of the dissertation. The abstraction must not exceed ten (10) single-spaced pages including abstraction, figures, tables, and references using 1-inch margins; 10-point font, pages numbered, APA, and no author identification in the document body, header, or footer of manuscript. Submissions that exceed the page limitations or do not adhere to the required format will not be considered.
  4. The abstraction should include:

1) Summary of the problem
2) Purpose of the study and rationale (why is it important?)
3) Critique of relevant literature

Research Design and/or Methodology
1) Sample selection
2) Instrumentation and/or interview protocol
3) Data collection and analysis procedures

Results and Findings
1) For quantitative studies, provide sufficient statistics, including power, significance, effect size, and strength of relationship.
2) For qualitative studies, provide a concise analysis resulting from sufficient methodological rigor.

1) Strengths of the research
2) Limitations of the research.
3) Strengths and limitations may address the following topics:
Why was the overall design chosen a “good” (i.e., methodologically rigorous and appropriate) design?
What measurement and analysis problems did you encounter, and how did you resolve them?
4) Threats to validity.

Implications for Practice and Research
Particular attention will be given to those studies that thoroughly discuss the significance of the findings to the practice of workplace learning and performance.

The award winner will receive:

  • Commemorative plaque presented at the awards ceremony during the IMA Conference.
  • $1000 cash prize to be used for conference travel and expenses.
  • Designated place on the conference program to present the research.
  • Announcement of the award and a summary of the findings in IMA publications and on the Website.
  • All nominees will receive a 1-year paid membership in the International Mentoring Association with all benefits.

Entries must be received by midnight January 1 of the even number year during which the award is presented. No exceptions. Send entries to: Nancy S. Phenis-Bourke, Ed.D. Chair, IMA Hope Richardson Dissertation Award Committee 6471 S. Fox Chase, Pendleton, IN 46064 Mobile: 765.621.2471.