This annual award recognizes two individuals who have completed dissertations deemed by the Awards Committee as with significant impact on the field in terms of methodological and substantive contributions. 

Two awards are given annually to doctoral degree recipients or candidates from two broad academic areas. The four fields of competition alternate each year, as specified by the National Council of Graduate Schools. 

This year's deadline for nominations has passed.

Review past Lancaster Awardees List of Disciplines About the Lancasters

2024 The Winifred and Louis Lancaster Dissertation Awardees

Lancaster Awardee

Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering 

S. Shailja
PhD Candidate
Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)

Reeb graphs for topological connectomics of the human brain

Dr. B.S. Manjunath

Evan Greenberg

Social Sciences 

Evan Greenberg
PhD Candidate 

Remote Sensing of River Mobility: Quantifying the Controls, Timescales, and Stratigraphic Record of River Movement

Dr. Vamsi Ganti

About the 2024 Fields of Competition 

To be eligible for this year’s competition, dissertation completion must fall in the period of July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024 (no exceptions).

​Nomination Deadline and Selection Process

All faculty letters of support and department nomination materials must be submitted to the Awards Committee of the Graduate Council before the Spring Quarter deadline. The winner will be selected based on the content of the dissertation abstract and letters of recommendation. The deadline for this year's nominations has passed.

Award Details 

The two Lancaster dissertations are entered into a national competition sponsored by the Council of Graduate Schools. In past years, three Lancaster Award winners have been recipients of the national prize. A check for $1,000 and a plaque will be awarded upon completion of entry for national competition. Award recipients will be members of the Graduate Division Commencement Ceremony’s Platform Party, where they will be presented with their award.

The Lancaster Award Fields of Competition: A Complete List of Disciplines

Winners of the Lancaster Dissertation Awards will be UC Santa Barbara's nominees for national competitions in their respective fields. 

Biological/Life Sciences
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Ecology, Evolution, Marine Biology, Marine Science, OR Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology


Humanities and Fine Arts
Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, English, Film and Media Studies, French, Hispanic Languages and Literature, History, History of Art and Architecture, Linguistics, Media Arts and Technology, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, OR Theater and Dance

Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering
Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Earth Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Environmental Science and Management, Mathematics, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Media Arts and Technology, Physics, OR Statistics

Social Sciences
Anthropology, Chicana and Chicano Studies, Communication, Counseling, Clinical ad School Psychology, Economics, Education, Environmental Science and Management, Feminist Studies, Geography, Global Studies, Political Science, Psychology, OR Sociology

About Winifred and Louis Lancaster

The UC Santa Barbara Winifred and Louis Lancaster Dissertation Awards are named after two community leaders who contributed time, talent, and financial resources to UC Santa Barbara for more than half a century. Winifred and Louis Lancaster were civic-minded philanthropists who played a central role in establishing the UC Santa Barbara Foundation and providing support to other key nonprofit organizations in the Santa Barbara area.

​For more information about the Winifred and Louis Lancaster Annual Dissertation Awards, please contact the Graduate Division.