Outstanding Dissertation

Outstanding Dissertation Award (ODA)

The International Organization of Chinese Physicists and Astronomers (OCPA) welcomes nominations for the Outstanding Dissertation Award (ODA). The award is given annually to up-to-four Ph.D. recipients of Chinese ethnicity world-wide, in the field of physics and/or astronomy. Each year the award carries a total cash prize of USD $1000. Each recipient may receive a maximum of USD $500.


An ODA candidate should be nominated by his/her thesis advisor and should have received the Ph.D. degree within the past two calendar years. Please follow the announcement for details. The following materials should be submitted to support the nomination:

  1. A brief statement by the nominator describing the research work for which the candidate is nominated and its potential impact.
  2. A curriculum vitae and a list of major publications of the candidate.
  3. Three letters of recommendation.

We strongly encourage that all nomination materials be submitted in PDF format to the Awards chair by email. Please follow the Award Announcement for details.  The nomination will be active for 2 calendar years, subjected to the conditions delineated above. The nomination material should be sent directly to the Chair of the OCPA Awards Committee.

Details of the nomination for the current year can be found in the announcement listed at: https://ocpaweb.org/home/tag/awards


2023 Winner

2022 Winner

2021 Winners

2020 Winners

  • Dr. Yanan Dai (Ph.D. in Physics, University of Pittsburgh)
    Thesis title: Imaging Light with Photoelectrons on the Nano-Femto Scale 
  • Dr. Xiaojuan Ni (Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, University of Utah)
  • Dr. Dihao Wang (Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Ohio State University)
    Thesis title: Ultrafast Dynamics and Photochemical Mechanisms of Bilin-based Photoreceptors

2019 Winners

  • Yang Wan (Weizmann Institute of Science, graduated from Tsinghua University)
  • Lei Feng (University of Maryland, graduated from the University of Chicago)

2018 Winners

  • Chaojie ZHANG (University of California Los Angeles, graduated from Tsinghua University)
  • Zhelin Zhang (Tsung-Dao Lee Institute, graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
  • Jing Li (Los Alamos National Laboratory, graduated from Pennsylvania State University)
  • Shaowei Li (UC Berkeley, graduated from UC Irvine)

2017 Winner

  • Yuxiang Zhao, USTC, Ph.D., Stony Brook University
    Citation: For his significant contributions to a number of new analyses of the transversity data and to hardware and simulations for the SoLID project.

The inaugural winners are:

  • En-Chuan Huang, U Illinois Ph.D., UIUC
    Citation: For his significant role in the analysis of data from the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino experiment leading to a precise determination of a neutrino mixing angle responsible for the phenomenon of neutrino oscillation, and for his major role in a global analysis setting a stringent limit on the existence of a new type of neutrino.
  • Guo-Qian Liao, Institute of Physics Ph.D., IoP/CAS (Nominated by Yu-Tong Li; IoP/CAS)
    Citation: For his excellent experimental and theoreticalwork in investigating intense-terahertz (THz) radiation from relativistic laser-solid interactions, especially demonstrating coherent THz transition radiation with energies of sub-mJ/pulse, and demonstrating mode conversion mechanism from laser-excited plasma waves to THz radiation.
  • Feihu Xu, U Toronto Ph.D., MIT (Nominated by Hoi-Kwong Lo; U. Toronto)
    Citation: For his outstanding Ph.D. thesis work at the University of Toronto on quantum information, particularly quantum cryptography. Dr. Xu has made key contributions to both the theory and experiment of quantum cryptography. He was among the first to hack successfully a commercial quantum key distribution system. And, he was the first in the world to implement experimentally a loss-tolerant protocol that takes encoding flaws in quantum key distribution into account.
  • Ming Yi, Stanford Ph.D., UC Berkeley
    Citation: For her pioneering contribution in elucidating the electronic structure of iron based superconductors.