The Office of Graduate Education honors quality mentoring through two annual awards. These awards go to select faculty members affiliated with the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) who demonstrate excellence in mentoring graduate students.

Letters of nomination will be accepted from current and former graduate trainees, and a letter of support from a faculty member is also required. Read below for eligibility information and about the nomination process. Please consider nominating your mentor!



To be eligible for this award, the nominee must:



Both Mentoring Awards

  • Demonstrate high integrity and professionalism, show respect for trainees
  • Clearly articulate expectations and set aside sufficient time to support trainee development
  • Support scientific growth and development of trainees, demonstrated by record of trainees’ co-authorships and professional accomplishments
  • Value diversity and promote a sense of belonging to create an inclusive lab environment
  • Provide opportunities to network both within the university and within the scientific field of interest to enable the trainee to meet their goals
  • Exhibit a strong commitment to facilitating trainee career development
  • Note: Strong nomination letters provide specific examples of how the mentor has demonstrated these qualities

Award-Specific Criteria

Nova Award for Mentoring Award for Excellence in Basic Science Mentoring
  • Mentor trainees at a variety of career stages
  • Though they may not have a long track record of mentees, they are clearly demonstrating strong mentorship and creating a productive and supportive lab environment
  • While not required, faculty receiving this award are often Assistant Professors or Associate Professors
  • Demonstrate long-term commitment to supporting trainees beyond their training period in the lab
  • Have a track record of students who graduate in a timely fashion and go on to successful scientific careers of any sort
  • While not required, faculty receiving this award are often Associate Professors or Full Professors


Nomination Process

  • Nomination must come from a PhD trainee (either current or former) who entered through BBSP
  • Nominations must include
    1. At least one letter (and up to three letters) from current/former PhD trainees summarizing the nominee’s qualifications for the award (2 pages max each). Letters may be cosigned by multiple trainees.
    2. A list of past graduate trainees and current career status
    3. A support letter, preferably from the Director of Graduate Studies, Chair the department, or another faculty colleague (2 pages max)

***Trainee nominators must reach out to a faculty member and provide the nomination link when requesting that they submit a letter of support for the mentor.***


2022-23 Award Nomination Information

  • Deadline for nominations: January 31, 2023 by 11:59pm

If you have any questions about the nomination process or experience difficulty with the nomination site, contact Dave McDonald, PhD at