2021 Call for Distinguished Mentor Award Nominees

To honor those who have distinguished themselves as mentors, The Graduate School seeks nominations of faculty who have demonstrated excellent mentorship in multiple ways that may include:

  • Demonstrating leadership and initiative at the program level to improve mentorship access and quality for graduate students and postdocs. Facilitates a mentorship community, whether formal or informal, that enhances or expands mentorship opportunities.
  • Promoting/participating in mentorship that supports diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Providing intellectual leadership. Models a record of excellence in research and/or creative work, teaching skills, research, and artistic presentation and publication; ensures that students and postdoctoral scholars master the content and skills of their discipline; clearly articulates expectations and holds students and postdoctoral scholars to high standards.
  • Creating a supportive environment for research, scholarship, and/or artistic production; respects student and postdoctoral scholar goals and assists them in goal attainment; provides students and postdoctoral scholars (potentially even those outside of their “own group”) with the resources necessary to take full advantage of institutional, academic and professional opportunities (publications, conferences, networking, etc.).
  • Promoting successful and timely completion of students’ degree  programs and postdoctoral scholar projects, proactive and effective in student and postdoctoral scholar post-training placement.
  •  Acting as advocates for students and postdoctoral scholars individually or collectively, helping them overcome problems, discord, or barriers.
  •  Integrating students and/or postdoctoral scholars into the broader   culture of the discipline.

Recipients of The Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Distinguished Mentor Award will receive an award of $2,500. Up to three awards will be made in 2020.



Nominees must be faculty members who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the mentorship of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Nominators may recognize the many forms that mentorship can take. We encourage the nomination of women, faculty of color, and members of other groups historically underrepresented in their disciplines. Please note, nominees who have received a Distinguished Mentors Award within the last 5 years are not eligible.

Nomination procedure

Nominations may be submitted by current and former graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty. Please send nomination submissions to the following:

Email submissions: postdocs@gradschool.utah.edu


Distinguished Mentor Award
The Graduate School
302 Park Building
201 S Presidents Circle
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Nominations should include the following:

  1. A cover sheet (use this form).
  2. Nominating letter (3 pages maximum) addressing the outstanding work of the nominee and describing how the nominee’s mentoring efforts go above and beyond the usual levels of excellent mentorship that is expected of all Ph.D. and postdoctoral mentors at the University of Utah.
  3. Current curriculum vitae for the nominee (5 pages maximum). The CV should include material that is mentoring focused, including a list of past graduate students/ postdoctoral scholars with their placement/position upon leaving the University of Utah.
  4. At least three, but not more than five, additional letters of support from colleagues and former Ph. D. students, MS Students, and postdoctoral scholars. At least two of these letters should be from current or former mentees.
  5. A letter from the Department Chair or Dean supporting and evaluating the nomination. This letter should address the unique and outstanding aspects of the nominee’s work including efforts to increase equity and diversity, inclusivity, leadership, and initiative at the programmatic or community level, etc.

Selection Process

Nominations will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary selection committee composed of faculty (including past recipients of the Distinguished Mentor Award, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students). Awardees will be selected by the Dean of The Graduate School based upon recommendations of this committee.


The nomination deadline for the 2021 Distinguished Mentor Award is February 12, 2021.