Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholars Recognition Program
To recognize talented graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the chemical sciences who demonstrate leadership in mentoring, promotion of DEIR, and promotion of research safety.
ACS invites graduate programs in the chemical sciences and departments with postdoctoral appointments to select graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who’ve demonstrated exemplary achievements in any of the three categories:
- Leadership in Mentoring
- Leadership in the Promotion of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect
- Leadership in the Promotion of Research Safety
This recognition enables graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to be formally acknowledged for their contributions by their universities, organizations, and the American Chemical Society.
To qualify for this recognition, the nominee must be a current graduate student or postdoctoral scholar in the chemical sciences at the time of submission.
Individuals may only be nominated and recognized for one category in a given year.
One graduate student AND postdoctoral scholar may be recognized per certificate category each year. Departments are not required to nominate individuals in all three categories. Graduate students or postdoctoral scholars cannot self-nominate themselves for this recognition.
*ACS defines a postdoctoral scholar as an individual who has received a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and is engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training in academia, industry, government, and non-profit research organizations to enhance the professional skills and research independence needed to pursue their chosen career path.
*The deadline for 2023 nomination period has been extended until July 17, 2023.* The nomination period for 2023 is open! Please nominate individuals using the following survey link. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2023.
Departments in the chemical sciences with graduate students and postdoctoral researcher appointments globally may nominate a graduate student and/or postdoctoral scholar who has demonstrated outstanding efforts in any of the three categories:
- Leadership in Mentoring: This recognition category highlights outstanding efforts and impact in research and safety mentoring, broadly defined. Mentoring may involve peers in their own research group as well as outside groups, undergraduate/high school researchers, and participants in short-term research programs (e.g. summer programs, REUs, international exchanges).
- Leadership in the Promotion of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect: This recognition category highlights outstanding efforts that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect in the program. Activities may include participation in recruitment to enhance diversity, engagement in impactful conversations that strengthen the culture of inclusivity, and efforts to identify and eliminate inequities in the department/institution-wide.
- Leadership in the Promotion of Research Safety: This recognition category highlights outstanding efforts to promote safety in research environments, broadly defined. Activities may include exemplary service as a safety officer, participation in efforts to enhance safety culture and awareness, and leadership in promoting safety in areas outside of the wet laboratory, including safety issues associated with computational and theoretical chemistry.
Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars cannot self-nominate themselves for this recognition. Departments that nominate individuals for recognition in any of the three categories must provide their selection criteria as to why the individuals were nominated. This can come in many forms and can include, but not limited to, recommendation letters, evaluative rubrics, or other evidence-based supplemental documents.
New for the 2023 nomination period: If your department needs additional support in nominating graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, ACS is providing an optional sample rubric that departments can use if they wish to. The criteria outlined in these rubrics are designed to serve as a framework for the behaviors associated leadership in each of the three categories. Departments are not required to use this optional rubric in their selection processes and may choose to create their own set of nomination criteria and guidelines.
The nomination process is handled entirely by the individual academic institution or department and is carried out as follows:
- The Department provides nominations for one or more of the recognition categories listed above. Departments may submit nominations for any of the three recognition categories (Maximum one graduate student and/or postdoctoral scholar per recognition category).
- In the nomination, Departments will include their own criteria and evidence-based practices used to select the nominee(s).
- ACS will review submissions and department criteria.
- ACS notifies Departments if nomination(s) are approved, and recognition certificate(s) will be emailed to the Departments for distribution to those being recognized.
- The names and institutional affiliations of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars receiving recognition will be highlighted on the ACS website.
*ACS may request additional information from the recognized individuals.