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News & Press: Events

Call for Nominations for the 2021 Distinguished Service Award

Friday, July 24, 2020   (0 Comments)
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July 24, 2020

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) Distinguished Service Award (DSA) represents appreciation for an individual that has demonstrated either a profound, sustained, or leadership contribution to improving the postdoctoral experience.

The award recognizes an individual who has contributed to improving the postdoctoral experience through:

  • Pioneering efforts to improve postdoctoral policies, benefits, and programs.
  • Influencing sustained leadership in national systemic and/or local change for the improvement of the postdoctoral experience.
  • Advocating and raising awareness of significant and important issues that have significantly altered the postdoctoral scholar landscape.
  • Contributing to professional development, career development and resource development for postdoctoral scholars.
  • Creating agency and opportunity for postdoctoral research and advancement into academic and nonacademic careers.

2021 Nomination Process

Deadline for submission: Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

To submit a nomination, please provide the following:

  1. Brief description of the nominee (250-word limit).
  2. Letter(s) of nomination/support for the nominee.
  3. Up to three (3) supporting documents (for example, publications or websites).

Submit the nomination package electronically by emailing it in one PDF formatted file to

The official selection committee will be responsible for reviewing nominations and making a recommendation to the NPA Board of Directors, who will give final approval to the selection. The recipient will be notified in November 2020. The 2021 DSA will be presented at the 19th NPA Annual Conference, April 16-18, 2021 in Philadelphia, PA*.

Past recipients**

2020: Lisa Schwiebert, Ph.D., professor of cell, developmental and integrative biology and senior associate dean for graduate and postdoctoral affairs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

2019: Mary Anne With, manager, postdoctoral program, Los Alamos National Laboratory

2018: Sam Castañeda, founding director, Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs, University of California, Berkeley

2017: Postdoc Executive Committee (PEC), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS)

2016: Nancy Schwartz, Ph.D., dean, postdoctoral affairs and co-director, Office of Graduate Affairs, University of Chicago

2015: Center for Cancer Training (CCT), National Cancer Institute (NCI)

2014: Shirley M. Tilghman, Ph.D., president emerita and professor, molecular biology at Princeton University

2013: Burroughs Wellcome Fund

2012: Philip Clifford, Ph.D., associate dean, Medical College of Wisconsin

2011: Science Careers and The Gladstone Institutes

2010: Trevor Penning, Ph.D., director, Center for Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET), University of Pennsylvania

2009: The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

2008: Shirley Malcom, Ph.D., director, Education and Human Resources Programs, American Association for the Advancement of Science

2007: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

2006: Laurel L. Haak, Ph.D., science director, Discovery Logics

2005: National Academies' Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy

2004: Ruth Kirschstein, M.D., senior advisor to the director, National Institutes of Health

*Please note that the NPA appreciates the highly dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is planning on a virtual component to the Annual Conference in April 2021.

**Title at the time the award was given