Saturday, August 15, 2015


TO:                           All University of Minnesota Faculty
FROM:                     The University of Minnesota Postdoctoral Association (PDA)
SUBJECT:              Call for Nominations: Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar Award

DEADLINE: August 26, 2015

We seek your nominations for candidates for the University of Minnesota Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar Award. The award recognizes extraordinary performance and achievement of postdoctoral scholars at the University of Minnesota. All full-time, tenure-track or tenured faculty with direct postdoctoral mentoring experience are eligible to submit nominations. Up to two awards will be made: one for a junior postdoc (less than 3 years), and one for a senior postdoc (more than 3 years). Each recipient will receive an honorarium of $400* and will be recognized during Postdoctoral Appreciation Week in September 2015.


All postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral associates and research associates within five years of obtaining their PhDs who hold appointments at the University for a minimum of six months but less than five years are eligible for nomination. The postdoctoral nominee must have been mentored by the nominating faculty member (although it is not necessary that the nominator be the nominee’s principal research advisor), and must have a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Minnesota through fall semester 2015 or beyond.

Selection Criteria

Although achievement can be defined in many ways, the purpose of the Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar Award is to recognize outstanding contributions to research, scholarship and/or creative activities on a national or international level and to acknowledge scholars who have actively pursued opportunities and resources to enhance their intellectual and professional development. Award recipients will be selected based on the criteria below, which exemplify the qualities and practices of an outstanding postdoctoral scholar.

  • Scholarly Achievement, Fellowships/Grants: postdoc has sought out opportunities to apply for fellowships, grants, and other awards.  They have demonstrated the potential for a successful career by securing either institutional funding (e.g. T32 fellowship) or external funding (NIH, etc.) to support their work.
  • Scholarly Achievement, Publications/Presentations: postdoc should have a strong publishing record (e.g. authored or co-authored a book or publications in leading academic journals recognized by scholars in their field.).  If the postdoc is more junior, they should have a record of presenting research at national and international meetings. Competitive selection for oral presentations and posters are considered more prestigious.  Preferably they would obtain travel awards or receive a presentation award for their presentation.  
  • Growth: the nominee should demonstrate evidence of strategic use of the postdoctoral appointment for intellectual, technical and professional development. The postdoc should seek opportunities to learn new techniques and seek training to develop professional skills such as grant writing, lab management, institutional review, committee work, teaching, mentoring and leadership, networking or presentation skills.
  • Service: The postdoctoral scholar should exhibit leadership within their work/lab group as well as service or leadership within the department/institution. The postdoc should seek to to build and engage in a significant intellectual community in order to enhance the overall scholarly, intellectual, and creative development of the postdoctoral community at the University of Minnesota and/or national level such as involvement in a professional organization.

How to Nominate a Candidate

All full-time, tenure-track or tenured faculty with direct postdoctoral mentoring experience are eligible to submit nominations. To nominate a scholar, submit a copy of the nominee’s CV and a nomination letter of no more than 2 pages (single–spaced) electronically as a Word or PDF file to Faculty mentors may nominate only one scholar; however, scholars may be nominated by one or more faculty members. In the case of nominations by more than one individual, a single letter of nomination may be submitted.

Your nomination letter should:

  • Address the characteristics of outstanding scholars described above. While you are encouraged to keep your comments brief, make sure to provide appropriate and relevant details about the scholar. The applicants will only be judged on their experiences as a postdoctoral scholar.
  • Include the nominee’s contact information and your contact information (name, campus address, email), as well as the contact information for any co-nominators. In cases where there is more than one nominator, a primary contact should be identified.

Please direct questions to

DEADLINE: August 26, 2015

*Honorarium will be subject to taxes and related deductions as the payment of university funds must go through the employment system.

The PDA is supported by the Graduate School
321 Johnston Hall    101 Pleasant Street SE    Minneapolis, MN 5545