Divisions – Biology Mentor Awards

Apply for the Award

The CUR Biology Division Mentor Awards honor biology mentors for their sustained efforts in supervising undergraduate research students. Individuals may either be self-nominated or nominated by someone else. Nominators must be CUR Institutional or individual CUR members of the Biology Division. Nominations by the mentor’s research students are also accepted. Faculty mentoring interdisciplinary projects are eligible as long as such projects involve a major biological component. Awards will be made in three categories: Early Career, Mid-Career, and Advanced Career. 

  • Early Career:  Scientists with 1-9 years of experience mentoring undergraduate researchers. Although this generally corresponds to assistant professors, the committee recognizes that many mentors are not in tenure-track positions and that some scientists begin significant undergraduate research mentoring even before they obtain a tenure-track position.
  • Mid-Career: Scientists with 10-19 years of experience mentoring undergraduate researchers.
  • Advanced Career: Scientists with 20 or more years of experience mentoring undergraduate researchers.

Nomination Process, Application Process, and Deadlines

For Initial Nominations

  • To nominate a mentor, students or colleague must fill out the Nomination Form. The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2024.
  • The nominee will be contacted to determine if the nomination is accepted. If accepted, the nominee will be responsible for submitting all remaining materials outlined in the “required application materials”.



After nominations are confirmed

The following application materials are required to be submitted by all mentor nominees. The deadline for submission of these materials is April 15, 2024:

  • Complete Institutional Profile Survey and Nominee Information on the application form. 
  • Nomination Letter that can speak firsthand about the nominee’s mentoring of undergraduate research students (two-page limit; 1-inch margins, Times New Roman 12pt. font), written by the colleague nominator or the nominee (for student- or self-nominations). The letter should explain (a) the nominee’s personal commitment to research mentoring, (b) how the nominee individualizes mentoring strategies to fit student needs and limitations, and (c) how the nominee’s mentoring activity promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in undergraduate research. Additional information that gives more detailed insight into the nominee’s breadth of mentoring activities and/or mentoring philosophy and style is welcome. 
  • Nominee CV tailored to showcase mentoring activities, which should provide information regarding cumulative mentoring activities involving undergraduate research students (two-page limit, 1-inch margins, Times New Roman 12 pt. font). Please indicate the number of students mentored and over what time period, all peer-reviewed publications with undergraduate co-authors, presentations with undergraduate coauthors (noting if they were at regional or national venues), grant application submissions by your undergraduate students, student awards or honors for research, and career/graduate school outcomes for your research students.
  • Student Letters – Two recommendation letters from undergraduate research students who were mentored by the nominee within the past two to ten years (two-page limit, 1-inch margins, Times New Roman 12 pt font). Students should explain in their letter (a) how their mentor showed commitment to helping them achieve in areas of their life that mean the most to them (i.e., academic, career, or personal growth) and (b) how their mentor modeled positive behaviors and successful performance.  Additional information that gives more detailed insight into the mentor’s work on behalf of the student is welcome.


The CUR Biology Councilors will review the completed applications and will choose the winners. Recipients will be notified in the Spring of 2024.

Questions regarding the application process may be addressed to Jessica Clark, chair of the CUR Biology Division Mentor Award Committee or CUR@CUR.org.

2023 Award Recipients

Sami Raut, PhD

University of Alabama
at Birmingham
2023 Biology Division
Faculty Mentor Award
(Early Career)

Tony Frankino, PhD

University of Houston
2023 Biology Division
Faculty Mentor Award
(Mid Career)

Amanda Duffus, PhD

Gordon State College
2023 Biology Division
Faculty Mentor Award
(Mid Career)

Gregory Buck, PhD

Texas A&M University
at Corpus Christi
2023 Biology Division
Faculty Mentor Award
(Advanced Career)