Dissertation Award

Award Submissions Now Closed.

 The Flux Society is committed to investing in the scientific and professional development of its trainees. To this end, we are pleased to announce the Flux Student Dissertation Award. The purpose of this honor is to recognize an exceptional dissertation by one of the Societies trainee members.

Nominations will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Originality of the work
  • Excellence of the work
  • Significance of the work
  • Rigorousness of the work
  • Commitment and promise to the field
  • Engagement in science communication and outreach
  • Efforts to foster open science
  • Advocacy for diversity and inclusion

All these criteria should be enumerated in the application materials. The award winner receives complimentary registration and a 15-minute presentation slot at the next Flux Congress.

Note: It is only possible to be nominated once for this award.

Eligibility Criteria

Scientists eligible for this award should be a member of the Flux Society and thesis defense must have occurred during 2023-2024. Note: It is only possible to be nominated once for this award.

Nominations can be submitted via the button below. Self-nominations are also welcome.

Application Deadline Extended to April 22, 2024

Application materials

  1. Nomination Letter: The nomination letter should address how the nominee meets the criteria described above and describe that status of the dissertation. 
  2. Dissertation (full document)
  3. Nominee’s CV 

Applications now closed

Previous Dissertation Award Winners

2023 Winner

2023 Winner: Cat Camacho, Washington University in St. Louis 

2022 Winner

Divyangana Rakesh

Divyangana finished her PhD from The University of Melbourne, Australia in 2022 under the supervision of Prof. Sarah Whittle. Divyangana's thesis focused on examining the association between early adversities (like socioeconomic disadvantage and maltreatment), brain development, and mental health in young people. Her work has shown that early adverse experiences are associated with neurodevelopmental alterations during childhood and adolescence, and that these deviations from typical brain development are in turn associated with mental health. Her work has also demonstrated that positive psychological and environmental factors (such as positive home and school environments as well as temperament) may buffer some of the risk conferred by exposure to early adversity.

Previously, she completed a Masters in Research (Neuroscience) from University of Bordeaux, France in 2018, an MBA from MICA, India in 2013 and BSc. (Hons) in Biochemistry from University of Delhi, India in 2011.

One-on-One Interview with Divyangana Rakesh
(July 2022)

Congratulations to Divyangana Rakesh, winner of the 2022 Flux Dissertation Award! Dr. Rakesh recently completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Melbourne, where she conducted developmental cognitive neuroscience research with her supervisor Prof. Sarah Whittle. Her winning dissertation, entitled “Associations between early adversity, brain development, and mental health during adolescence”, demonstrated that both childhood maltreatment and low SES are associated with widespread alterations in brain structure and function, revealing neurobiological pathways through which adversity can impact children’s mental health and wellbeing.




2021 Winner

2021 Winner: Cameron Ellis, Yale University



2020 Winner

2020 Winner: Denise Werchan, New York University School of Medicine 


2019 Winner

2019 Winner: Katie Insel, Columbia University Zuckerman Institute