Student Awards

Outstanding Research Paper Awards

The Outstanding Research Paper Awards recognize graduate students and postdocs who have been the first or co-first author of an outstanding peer-reviewed original research paper published during the previous calendar year (January 1 - December 31, 2022 for the 2023 award cycle). Publications will only be considered once (i.e. an e-publication at the end of 2022 cannot be considered in 2022 and again when in print in 2023). 

PI's should submit the following materials to nominate a graduate student or postdoc:

  • A brief nomination letter (1 page maximum) explaining:
    • The importance of the paper within/beyond the research discipline
    • The specific contributions of the nominee to the paper of interest. The reputation of the journal where the article was published is not considered in evaluating nominations; rather, the scientific merit of the nominee's contribution will be used to select awardees.
  • A PDF of the nomination paper.

Nominations will be accepted through February 19, 2023. Please email your nominations to We anticipate making multiple awards for 2022 based on the number of meritorious nominations. Separate awards will be made to graduate students and postdocs. The winners will be announced at the Annual MBS Retreat.

Diversity and Inclusion ASCEND Award

The mission of the Molecular Biosciences Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is to create a welcoming workplace where trainees, faculty and staff can all flourish and achieve excellence. To further these goals the DEI Committee has developed a new Award that seeks to Advance Science, Community, Education and National Diversification (ASCEND). 

The MBS ASCEND Award acknowledges that academia is not a level playing field, and the challenges to getting here, to getting the chance at running the race, are often immense.  We therefore want to hear your stories, your challenges, your triumphs as you press forward to inspire your peers and to inspire the next generation of scientists. If you have overcome a disadvantage, been a champion for diversity and inclusion, or spent time uplifting your community, we invite you to tell us your story by applying for the ASCEND award. Any Ph.D. student in good academic standing and working in an MBS lab is eligible. Winners will be selected by the MBS DEI Committee.

Submit applications here. Applications will be accepted through March 3, 2023. 

Supporting materials required:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae.
    • Please include "Your name_ MBS DEI ASCEND 2023_CV" in the subject line/document title. 
  • At least one and no more than three letters of recommendation; at least one of these letters should come from a current or former supervisor or professor.
    • Please include "Your name_ MBS DEI ASCEND 2023_Letter1" in the subject line/document title. 
  • A written statement describing your efforts or challenges in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion (no more than two pages max).
    • Please include "Your name_ MBS DEI ASCEND 2023_Statement" in the subject line/document title. 

*CVs, statements, and letters can be emailed to:                 

Applications are accepted in the Spring and winners announced at the Annual MBS Retreat on March 27, 2023. Please contact with any questions.

The ACSEND award is supported by the A.P. Bradie Endowed Fellowship in Memory of Professor I. M. Lewis.

Faculty Awards

Outstanding Teaching Award

Each year the Department of Molecular Biosciences recognizes faculty for their outstanding contributions to learning in the classroom with the Outstanding Teaching Award. Exemplary faculty should consistently demonstrate outstanding teaching, which includes all activities in which faculty members engage to facilitate learning of their students both in and out of the classroom.

For departmental awardees to be nominated by the department for the CNS teaching award, they may not have received the CNS award in the last seven years. 

The award committee will look for evidence that the nominee:

  • Stimulates intellectual curiosity in students
  • Shows evidence of being current in field/discipline
  • Demonstrates commitment to student learning as instructor, role model, or positive influence on career development of students
  • Reflects on past teaching experience to improve current practice and utilizes best practices in pedagogy
  • Shows consistency in teaching excellence (have taught for at least three semesters)
  • Respects the principles of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the classroom 

This year, two awards will be presented: one for Assistant Professors and one for Associate/Full Professors. The Outstanding Teaching Award nominations are accepted through March 11, 2023. Self-nominations are welcome. The MBS Outstanding Teaching Award(s) will be announced at the MBS Annual Retreat.

Please contact with any questions.

Submit nomination here