Health Sciences Faculty Mentor Award

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Health Sciences Division seeks to honor exceptional mentoring and advising by higher education faculty across all subdivisions of health sciences with an Outstanding Mentorship Award.  Mentors are leaders and role models for those involved in undergraduate research, scholarship, or creative activities. Health science disciplines are those that focus on health or health care as the core curriculum.

The award recognizes transformative mentoring and advising of the following:

  • Undergraduate students in mentor-led health science research projects;
  • Undergraduate students through the integration of undergraduate research into the academic curriculum and coursework in health sciences;
  • Undergraduate students and/or faculty by utilization of diversity and inclusion best practices in health science education and research.

Each award will consist of a cash award to the recipient, a certificate of recognition, recognition through CUR’s media outlets, and a letter of commendation from CUR that shall be sent to the recipient’s institution.

Please submit all application materials to by April 15, 2020.


Faculty members in health science disciplines are eligible for the award. Individual or institutional CUR membership is a requirement.

One award will be made in each of the categories below. In the case of exceptional applications, more than one award may be given in the same category for a total of 3 awards.

  • Early Career:  Faculty who have 0-7 years teaching/mentoring experience
  • Mid-Career:  Faculty who have 7-15 years teaching/mentoring experience
  • Advanced Career:  Faculty who have 15 or more years of teaching/mentoring experience


A faculty member may be nominated for the mentor award with nominations from former students and colleagues encouraged.  Self-nominations are also accepted.  Nominations are due April 15, 2020.

Nomination Process 

The nomination packet should include:

  • A nomination letter highlighting the nominee’s contributions to the mentoring of students in health sciences
  • A maximum three-page curriculum vitae (CV) of the nominee tailored to showcase undergraduate mentoring activities, which should include any publications, presentations, exhibitions, and/or performances with undergraduate coauthors.
  • A first-person written narrative of no more than three pages (maximum of 750 words) that speaks to the nominee’s professional and personal commitment to mentoring with specific illustrations. The statement may offer examples of student successes, innovative approaches to mentoring, curriculum development that enhances research, or other evidence of mentorship and advocacy on behalf of undergraduate research with particular attention to health science.    
  • Student letters – Two recommendation letters from current or former undergraduate research students mentored by the nominee (two-page limit for each letter). Students should explain (1) how their mentor contributed to their success and (2) how their mentor was a role model or inspiration. Additional information that gives more detailed insight into the mentor’s work on behalf of the student is welcome.  

Review Process

A committee composed of three councilors from the Health Sciences Division will review applications. It is anticipated that the winning mentor will be notified by May 15, 2020.

Selection Committee Procedure

Nominations will be evaluated and ranked on the following basis:

  • Evidence of undergraduate student mentoring
    • The number of students mentored in research
    • Identification of the utilization of diversity and inclusion best practices in health science education and research.
  • Evidence of professional development of students mentored
    • The number of students presenting their work at conferences and meetings.  National and discipline specific conferences are generally considered more important than internal or regional conferences
    • The number of publications co-authored by students.  Publications in discipline specific journals should be considered more important than those in general undergraduate research journals.
    • Evidence of activities with the research program that develop students into effective researchers.  These activities should provide support that enables student success and the integration of undergraduate research into the academic curriculum and coursework.  Examples:  structured mentoring programs which pair students early in the program to those who are more advanced, regular faculty student meetings, expectations for students to write research reports and give presentations, etc.
    • Specific examples as described in the letter of application and the letters of support by the colleague and students.
    • Reflective discussion of mentoring goals in the three page first person narrative.
  • Evidence of impact and success
    • Clear evidence of how the research experience has impacted post-graduate success in graduate school or in student’s careers.
    • Awards received by students for their presentations or publications.
    • Awards or grants received by faculty for mentoring students.
    • Publications or invited presentations given about mentoring students.
    • Specific examples as described in the letter of application and the letters of support by the colleague and students.

Questions may be addressed to the chair of the Health Sciences Division, Leann Laubach.

Founded in 1978, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) focuses on providing high-quality and collaborative undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity. Among the many activities and networking opportunities that CUR provides, the organization also offers support for the professional growth of faculty and administrators through expert-designed institutes, conferences, and a wide-range of volunteer positions. The CUR community, made up of nearly 700 institutions and 13,000 individuals, continues to provide a platform for discussion and other resources related to mentoring, connecting, and creating relationships centered around undergraduate research. CUR’s advocacy efforts are also a large portion of its work as they strive to strengthen support for undergraduate research. Its continued growth in connections with representatives, private foundations, government agencies, and campuses world-wide provides value to its members and gives voice to undergraduate research. CUR is committed to inclusivity and diversity in all of its activities and our community.

CUR focuses on giving a voice to undergraduate research with learning through doing. It provides connections to a multitude of campuses and government agencies, all while promoting networking and professional growth to its community.