Here are some helpful tips for potential nominators and nominees based on our experience with multiple organizations, award committees, and review of the literature on gender equity and stereotyping, as well as our analysis of over 2850 awards and 92100 award recipients. A useful source of detailed information is the product of an NSF sponsored program, Advancing Ways of Awarding Recognition in Disciplinary Societies, a collaboration with AWIS. ( Click here for Collaboration Report)Diversifying Awards --> 7 Steps
1. Get nominated.
- Self-nominate or ask a colleague to nominate you. Remember, if you aren't nominated you can't win!
- DON'T: Pass up an award because you think you won't win.
- Check previous award winners. Is their work similar to yours or that of your nominee?
- Check award timelines. Make sure to give yourself ample time to put together the best application.
- Think about the achievments that are the most important for this award. Will it highlight your strengths?
- Find out who has been/ will be on the award committee. If you know a current or past committee member, contact that person to ask about the award process.
- Volunteer to serve on an awards committee.
- Look into unacknowledged rules (e.g. although the award language doesn't say so, some awards may emphasize a major discovery while others may require sustained scholarly contributions over a whole career).
4. Decide on the most effective nominator or secondary nominator
- How many nominators/seconders will be needed?
- Consider award experience. People who have previously received the award or been on the selection committee are both good choices.
- Consider prestige. Ask arbiters of quality in the field.
- Consider personal commitment: Select people who are excited to endorse the candidate's success!
- Identify the specific role that the nominators/seconders will play and discuss it with them when you request letters. Will they write about a certain aspect of your work and career? Are they able to write about you from a personal point of view and/or from the point of view as an arbiter of quality in the field?
- Be specific in your request.
- DON'T: Ask someone who may see the nominee as competition for the award.
- DON'T: Ask someone if you are concerned that she or he may not follow-through.
- DON'T: Ask someone about whom you may have doubts.
- FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. Award applications may be discarded if you fail to abide by the instructions.
- Confirm receipt of the materials.
- Language and semantics carry weight in the reader's eye. Men's themes are often competitive and dominant; women's are more compassionate and nurturing. The masculine style usually makes for a stronger application, in part because awards committees are not aware of their implicit bias favoring male writing (though it is important to change this as well).
- For more detailed information, see the webinars put out by the Association for Women in Science. This work was supported by the NSF ADVANCE Grant #0930073.
- BE PERSISTENT! Award recipients often have to "wait their turn" on a list.
- Find out whether or not the nomination will be carried forward. If not, find out what additional information is required.
- DON'T: Be discouraged!
- Suggestions are welcome. Send us your questions and concerns to facilitate preparation of this section.