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Honorific Awards & Nominations

The SOM Awards Committee was formed to encourage and support the nomination of our deserving and hardworking faculty for honorific awards, some of which include substantial prizes. Our plan is to periodically provide information regarding upcoming awards (basic information, deadlines, and website link). We are aware there are numerous discipline-specific awards that are not listed. If you have a particular award that should be systematically emailed out annually, please contact Mary Frances Ypma-Wong at so it can be added to our records.

Faculty, please consider joining AAAS; it is an important organization lobbying for research. You must be a member (and paid dues) for four years to nominate as a Fellow. Nominees also must be a member for 4 years. 

Those considering nominating a UCI colleague, please fill out the nominate or request assistance form so the SOM leadership has a record of nominations submitted and can coordinate nominations if necessary. You can also request assistance with the nomination via the form. The SOM Office of Research may have recommendation letters on file and be able to provide other support.

Nominate or Request Assistance  »

The School of Medicine Awards Committee Members 

  • William E. Bunney, MD, Psychiatry & Human Behavior
  • Phang-Lang Chen, PhD, Biological Chemistry
  • Rongsheng Jin, PhD, Physiology & Biophysics
  • Dana Mukamel, PhD, Medicine, Public Health, Nursing
  • Ellena Peterson, PhD, SOM Admissions and Outreach; Medical Microbiology, Pathology
  • Hamid M. Said, PhD, PharmD, Physiology & Biophysics
  • Suzanne Sandmeyer, PhD, Vice Dean, Research; Biological Chemistry
  • Bert L. Semler, PhD, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
  • Os Steward, PhD, Anatomy & Neurobiology
  • Lari Wenzel, PhD, Medicine, Public Health, Associate Dean, Faculty Development
  • Brent Yunek, Executive Director Faculty Relations and Development Program, Health Affairs

List of Honorific Awards to Consider

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology »

Due March 1, 2020
Nominators and nominees must be a member of at least one FASEB Full Member Society but do not have to be members of the same society. Awards for women only.

  • Early-Career Award nominee must be within 7 years of their first independent faculty/research scientist position- unrestricted research grant of $5,000
  • Mid-Career Award nominee must be within 7 to 15 years of their first independent faculty/research scientist position- unrestricted research grant of $5,000.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the career contributions of established investigators- unrestricted research grant of $10,000.

Visit Website »

2020 Switzer Prize-UCLA »

Nomination suggestions due March 10
Final nomination due March 31, 2020 (note: the website may still show the incorrect date of 2/28/20)
Nominations are open to national and international candidates from any institution. Nominations may be made by an individual or institutions; self- nominations are prohibited. Please submit candidate names by March 10 here along with a line or two regarding the basis of the nomination as we would like to nominate individuals as an institution.

The Switzer Prize honors revolutionary discoveries in basic research in the biological and biomedical sciences and celebrates recent advances with the potential to inspire transformative breakthroughs in medicine. The prize is awarded to an individual investigator whose recent work has revealed new paradigms, illuminated biological processes or pathways, or explained the origins of pathologies or diseases. The recent work must show the potential for continued outstanding contributions to the field. The winner will receive a $25,000 honorarium and present an annual Switzer Prize lecture at UCLA. During a two-day visit, the recipient also will meet with students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members and others.  

Visit Website »

Gerontological Society of America »

Due March 31, 2020
The M. Powell Lawton Award recognizes outstanding contributions from applied gerontological research that have benefited older people and their care. The nominator must be a member of GSA, however, nominees can be nonmembers. The recipient receives $3000, an engraved plaque, and delivers a lecture at the GSA Annual Meeting.

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Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences »

Due April 1, 2020
This year the Foundation will award up to four prizes of $3 million each. One prize is specifically dedicated to Parkinson’s & Neurodegenerative Disorders. All prizes are individual and should recognize a single person’s contribution to the field of life sciences (made transformative advances in understanding living systems and extending human life) with special attention to recent developments.

Nominators are colleagues familiar with the nominee(s)'s work. No other requirements for nominee or nominator.

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American Chemical Society- Fellows Program »

Due April 1, 2020
The American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellows Program recognizes members of ACS for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and the Society.

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Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) »

 All nominations due April 3, 2020

  • The Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Awards recognize outstanding contributions to medical education made by gifted teachers. Up to four awards are granted each year. Each awardee will receive a $10,000 prize, UCISOM receives a $2,500 grant for teaching activities, and our AΩA chapter receives a $1,000 grant for support of its activities. Only one nomination per medical school by the Dean; please submit your suggestion on this form by March 1.  
  • The Herbert W. Nickens Award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to promoting justice in medical education and health care equity in the United States. The awardee receives the Nickens Award and a $10,000 prize. Any faculty member can nominate.
  • Herbert W. Nickens Faculty Fellowship recognizes an outstanding junior faculty member who demonstrates leadership potential in addressing inequity in medical education and health care; demonstrated efforts in addressing educational, societal, and health care needs of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States; and is committed to a career in academic medicine. The recipient receives a $25,000 grant to support a project performed in the United States to support racial and ethnic minorities. Funding for the fellowship begins in November of the year the fellowship is awarded. The recipient will be required to submit a final narrative and financial report by November 2022. Only one nomination per medical school by the Dean; please submit your suggestion on this form by March 1.

Visit Website »

Biophysical Society Awards »

Due May 1, 2020
The Biophysical Society honors its members and recognizes excellence in biophysics via awards in eleven different categories. Society membership is a requirement for the nominator, nominee, and those submitting letters of support. A short description of select awards is below.

  • BPS Award in the Biophysics of Health and Disease honors a BPS member who has made a significant contribution to understanding the fundamental cause or pathogenesis of disease or to enable the treatment or prevention. 
  • Distinguished Service Award honors service in the field of biophysics and contributions beyond achievements in research.
  • Founders Award is given to scientists for outstanding achievement in any area of biophysics. These achievements are often reflected in the acceptance of and use by others in the field, either promptly or over a period of years.
  • Margaret Oakley Dayhoff Award is given to a woman who holds very high promise or has achieved prominence while developing the early stages of a career in biophysical research within the purview and interest of the Biophysical Society.
  • Michael and Kate Barany Award for Young Investigators recognizes an outstanding contribution to biophysics by a person who has not achieved the rank of full professor at the time of nomination.
  • Kazuhiko Kinosita Award in Single-Molecule Biophysics recognizes outstanding researchers for their exceptional contributions in advancing the field of single-molecule biophysics.
  • Ignacio "Nacho" Tinoco Award honors the scientific contributions, work, and life of an outstanding biophysical chemist, educator, and mentor.
  • Anatrace Membrane Protein Award was established to recognize an outstanding investigator who has made a significant contribution to the field of membrane protein research.

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Franklin Institute- 2021 Bower Award And Prize For Achievement In Science »

Letter of Intent to nominate due April 30, 2020
Submission due: May 31, 2020
The Franklin Institute seeks nominations for the 2021 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science of individuals who have made significant contributions to the scientific understanding of decision-making. The interdisciplinary field of decision-making integrates theory and methods from economics, psychology, neuroscience, computer science, and related areas to understand the mechanisms through which individuals and groups choose among competing possibilities and how these mechanisms guide behavior. Prize: $250,000 USD

Nominations from any individual or organization will be accepted, including self-nominations.

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Society of Neuroscience »

Numerous awards-most due June 5, 2020

  • Bernice Grafstein Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Mentoring- recognizes individuals dedicated women's advancement in neuroscience through mentorship.
  • Mika Salpeter Lifetime Achievement Award- recognizes an individual with outstanding career achievements in neuroscience who has also significantly promoted the professional advancement of women in 
  • Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience- honors an individual whose activities have produced a significant cumulative contribution to theoretical models or computational methods in neuroscience or who has made a particularly noteworthy recent advance in theoretical or computational neuroscience.
  • Louise Hanson Marshall Special Recognition Award- honors an individual who has significantly promoted the professional development of women in neuroscience through teaching, organizational leadership, public advocacy, or other efforts that are not necessarily research-related.
  • Julius Axelrod Prize- honors a scientist with distinguished achievements in the broad field of neuropharmacology (or a related area) and exemplary efforts in mentoring young scientists. 
  • Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience- honors an outstanding scientist who has made significant contributions to neuroscience throughout his or her career.

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International Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology »

Due June 15, 2020
This prize is awarded annually to one young scientist for the most outstanding neurobiological research based on methods of molecular and cell biology conducted by him/her during the past three years. Entrants must be a neurobiologist with an advanced degree received in the last 10 years and not older than 35 years of age. The individual is required to submit an essay along with other documents. No nomination required; please encourage young neuroscientists in your department to consider submitting.

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American Society for Cell Biology »

Offers numerous awards.

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American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology »

Offers numerous awards; nominations open in March.

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