AAAS Mentor Awards


The 2018 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 regardless of nationality or citizenship. Nominees must be living at the time of their nomination.

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.

Nomination Procedures

You should provide:

  • Category of award (Lifetime Mentor Award or Mentor Award);
  • Position, institution, professional address, phone and fax, and home address, phone, and e-mail of the candidate;
  • Name, position, institution, professional address, phone, fax, and e-mail of the nominator;
  • A summary of the 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 vita (3-page maximum);
  • The total number of students the candidate mentored at the bachelor’s or master’s level who went on to the doctoral level at other institutions, and the total number of underrepresented students the candidate mentored at the doctoral level;
  • A list of students mentored with year PhD earned, institution and current employment;
  • 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.

All materials become the property of AAAS.


If you would like to nominate a candidate for the AAAS Mentor Awards, please submit applications and forms using one of the following methods:

E-mail Submission

Please submit the following application forms and all required materials via e-mail to Ysabel Woody and Neela White.

If you need to submit a paper application, please contact Ysabel Woody.

2016 Mentor Award Recipient

Dr. Ami Radunskaya, professor of mathematics at Pomona College, is honored for her work supporting women and women of color in Ph.D. attainment in the field of mathematics. 

2016 Lifetime Mentor Award Recipient

Dr. Margaret Werner-Washburne, Regents Professor Emerita of Biology at the University of New Mexico, is honored for her work in mentoring and research that led to a significant increase in Hispanic and Native American doctorates in the biological sciences.

You can read lists of past recipients of the Mentor Award and the Lifetime Mentor Award.


All materials must be received by August 15, 2017.

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.