The 2021 Mentor Awards
The two categories of the AAAS Mentor Awards (Lifetime Mentor Award and Mentor Award) both honor individuals who during their careers demonstrate extraordinary leadership to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering fields and careers. These groups include: women of all racial or ethnic groups; African American, Native American, and Hispanic men; and people with disabilities.
Both awards recognize an individual who has mentored and guided significant numbers of students from underrepresented groups to the completion of doctoral studies or who has impacted the climate of a department, college, or institution to significantly increase the diversity of students pursuing and completing doctoral studies. It is important to indicate in the nomination materials how the nominee’s work resulted in departmental and/or institutional change in terms of the granting of PhDs to underrepresented students. This can be documented not only with quantitative data, but may also be demonstrated through the student and colleague letters of support.
Such commitment and extraordinary effort may be demonstrated by:
- the number and diversity of students mentored;
- assisting students to present and publish their work, to find financial aid, and to provide career guidance;
- providing psychological support, encouragement, and essential strategies for life in the scholarly community;
- continued interest in the individual’s professional advancement.
Lifetime Mentor Award: A prize of $5,000 will be awarded. This individual will have served in the role of mentor for 25 or more years.
Mentor Award: A prize of $5,000 will be awarded. This individual will have served in the role of mentor for less than 25 years.
Both award category recipients receive: A monetary prize, a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration, and reimbursement for reasonable travel and hotel expenses to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting.
The award is open to all individuals, regardless of nationality or citizenship, who have mentored students at a U.S. institution.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is committed to equal opportunity for all persons, without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other protected categories. AAAS seeks as diverse a pool of award nominations as possible, including as well a wide range of disciplines, institutional types, and geographical locations.
- Nominations will be able to submit online. If you prefer to submit your nomination via postal mail, please contact Michael Feder. In addition to the web form, complete nomination packages will include:
- A Summary of Actions that form the basis for the nomination (about 250 words);
- A Letter of Nomination that enumerates the ways in which the person reflects the purpose of this award, including scholarship, activism, and community building;
- The candidate’s curriculum vitae (3-page maximum);
- A list of underrepresented students mentored with year PhD earned, institution and current employment. Please use the following templates:
- A maximum of five supporting letters from students and three supporting letters from colleagues representative of the different spheres in which the candidate has demonstrated effort, results, and commitment. Letters of nominations for candidates who are not direct doctoral mentors must indicate how the nominee mentored graduate students before and during the graduate school years.
- Nominations must be made in English.
- Please note: Nominees can be nominated up to three times. If you are nominating someone who has been nominated for either award in the past, please indicate so in your Letter of Nomination.
All materials become the property of AAAS.
2020 Mentor Award Recipient
Dr. X. Nancy Xu is professor of chemistry, biochemistry and biomedical sciences and biomedical engineering at Old Dominion University. Dr. Xu has an impressive track record of recruiting women, underrepresented minorities and first-generation college students to the fields of chemistry, biochemistry and biomedical sciences and engineering and to support their retention, inclusion and advancement. She has directed and mentored 12 postdocs, 18 Ph.D. students, three master’s students, 35 undergraduate students, and five high school students, many of them members of groups underrepresented in science.
2020 Lifetime Mentor Award Recipient
Dr. Angela Wandinger-Ness, is associate director for education, training and mentoring at the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center and endowed professor in the UNM School of Medicine’s pathology department. For nearly three decades — seven years at Northwestern University and 20 years at UNM — Wandinger-Ness has shown dedication to increasing the diversity of students pursuing doctoral studies in pathology and developing the skills necessary for her trainees to become successful scientists and effective mentors in their own right.
All materials must be received by June 30, 2020.
All award winners are expected to meet the commonly held standards of professional ethics* and scientific integrity. Do you know of any concerns that AAAS should be aware of regarding the nominee satisfying this expectation?
*Breaches of professional ethics might include sexual misconduct, racial discrimination, or other ethical violations. Sexual harassment or retaliation for declining, objecting to, or reporting harassment or other sexual conduct may constitute a serious breach of professional ethics.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is committed to equal opportunity for all persons, without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other protected categories. AAAS seeks as diverse a pool of award nominations as possible from a wide range of disciplines, institutional types, and geographical locations. Nominations that will result in a candidate pool having an equitable representation of women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities are especially encouraged.
Each year, AAAS recognizes significant contributions to science and the public’s understanding of science. Learn more about these awards and nominate a scientist, engineer, author, journalist or public servant for their outstanding work.