Heizer Dissertation Award

Call for Submissions: The 2024 Heizer Doctoral Dissertation Award in New Enterprise Development


The Heizer Doctoral Dissertation Award in New Enterprise Development recognizes and honors outstanding doctoral research in the area of new enterprise development.


The Award highlights research on the founding, financing, management, growth, and development of high potential new ventures, with venture capital investing, or with corporate entrepreneurship. Dissertations addressing small, high-tech ventures may also qualify. 

Dissertations dealing primarily with small business, family business, minority business, or support systems (other than venture capital) are not appropriate for the Heizer Award (see the NFIB Award Call).


The Award consists of a cash prize of $2,500 and a plaque commemorating the winner’s achievement.

  1. Fit with the specific focus of the Heizer Award as described above.
  2. Overall scholarly quality.
  3. Relevance of the work for the practice of new enterprise development as defined above. While scholarly quality and fit are the primary criteria, winning dissertations must have well-developed implications for practitioners in the area of new enterprise development.


The 2024 Heizer Award is open to authors who, in the calendar year 2023, completed all requirements for their doctoral degree, as supported by documentation from the awarding institution. This includes any coursework, public defense, revisions, etc. that are required for earning the degree. (Formal ceremonies such as graduation and promotion that are customary, but not required, can take place after 2023.) If some requirements have not been completed by 2023, candidates are encouraged to submit for the 2025 competition.


Submitters should provide electronic documentation of (1) Evidence of completion (see “Eligibility” above) and (2) The following two SEPARATE nomination documents:

  1. A cover page containing the dissertation title, the name of the dissertation author, the name of the awarding university, the names of all dissertation committee members, and the date when the dissertation was officially completed.
  2. A one-page dissertation abstract providing a synopsis of the dissertation summary, and a subsequent 15-page dissertation summary including references. The total should be 16 pages maximum. NO APPLICANT NAMES OR OTHER IDENTIFYING INFORMATION SHOULD BE INCLUDED. The summary should describe the issues and topics studied in the dissertation, with particular attention to the following six aspects: (1) the quality and comprehensiveness of its research questions and literature review, (2) the quality and rigor of its conceptual development, specification of underlying assumptions,  derivation of hypotheses and propositions, and operationalization of variables, (3) the appropriateness and creativity of its overall research design, sample, and site selections, (4) the comprehensiveness of its data gathering methods and measurement techniques, (5) the appropriateness and effectiveness of its data analysis techniques, and (6) the impact of its findings on the area of new enterprise development, to determine its overall quality, innovativeness, effectiveness, and comprehensiveness as a research work. The summary should also address the novelty and importance of the dissertation’s implications for practice.

Both documents should be typed single-spaced with double spacing between paragraphs on 8.5 by 11-inch paper in 12 point New Times Roman font with 1 inch margins all around. Failure to follow the formatting guidelines will lead to elimination of the proposal from further consideration.


Submissions should be sent electronically no later than 5:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (UTC -5 hours), January 22, 2024 to Rachida Justo at rachida.justo@ie.edu – Please include in the Email Subject line “2024 Heizer Dissertation Award Submission Materials”


Authors can submit their work for consideration for ONLY ONE of the ENT Division’s dissertation awards. Thus, those who submit for the Heizer Award cannot also be eligible for the National Federation of Independent (NFIB) Doctoral Dissertation Award and vice versa. It is the submitter’s responsibility to submit to the Award which best fits the nominated work.

Award Winners

2023 Jungkyu Suh (New York University) for the dissertation titled “Essays on Science and Innovation.” 

2022 Amir Sariri (Purdue University) for the dissertation titled “Three Essays on the Role of Information in the Development of Early-Stage Startups.” 

2021 Jiaju (Justin) Yan (Baylor University) for the dissertation titled, “Exploring The Unknown Requires Leveraging Uncertainty: Two Essays On A Real Options Perspective On The Pattern And Decision Making Of Entrepreneurial Internationalization.

2020 Laura Lecluyse (Ghent University) for the dissertation titled, “Opening up the black box of science park effectiveness.”

2019 Cheng Gao (Ross School of Business/University of Michigan) for his dissertation titled "Strategy and Entrepreneurship in Nascent Industries."

2018 Marius Tuft Mathisen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) for his dissertation titled "The Growth of Research-Based Spin-offs: Unleashing the Value of Academic Entrepreneurship."

2017 Arjan Frederiks (University of Twente) for “On the use of Imagination by Entrepreneurs.”

2016 Lien Denoo (Ghent University) for “Antecedents and performance implications of new ventures' business model development processes in the mobile health industry.”

2015 Sergio Costa (University of Porto) for "Business model change in early-stage university spinoffs.”

2014 Yuliya Snihur (IESE Business School) for “Business Model Innovation: Exploring the Concept, its Antecedents Consequences.”

2013 Laura Huang (U. of Pennsylvania) for “A test of the impact of gut feel on entrepreneurial investment decisions.”

2012 Andrew L. Maxwell (U. of Waterloo) for “Business Angel Decision Making.”

2011 David W. Williams (Georgia State University) for “Why do different new ventures internationalize differently? A cognitive model of entrepreneurs' internationalization decisions.”

2010 Nathan Furr (Brigham Young University) for “Cognitive Flexibility: The Adaptive Reality of Concrete Organizational Change.”