Doctoral Excellence Award

Successful candidates exhibit exceptional qualities in research, scholarship, service, and collaboration. Nominees' efforts should represent highly original work that is an unusually significant contribution to the field, and their contribution to the project should be clear. In addition, nominees should have made significant contributions to the scientific community through involvement in activities that support the laboratory, department, school, institution, or national science organizations. 

A maximum of one student per PhD program will be selected each year, but it’s possible a program may not have a student selected in a particular year. The School of Medicine’s graduate program directors will review the nominations and select recipients of each award.

In addition to the Doctoral Excellence Award, graduate students can be nominated via the process above to receive the Hughes Award in Developmental Biology or Embryology.

Different nomination procedures apply to the Krampitz Award from the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, and the Olson Award from the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences. To learn more about those awards, contact the appropriate departments.

Nominee Eligibility

The DEA is open to graduating PhD students from a qualifying PhD program that have completed all doctoral requirements and have their degree conferred at the August 2023, January 2024 or May 2024 commencements.

Nominator Eligibility

Nominations for this award are accepted from Chairs, Graduate Program Directors, research mentors, thesis committee members, and students may self-nominate.

Qualifying PhD Programs

  • Biochemistry
  • Bioethics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Translational Sciences
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Genetics and Genome Sciences
  • Molecular Biology & Microbiology/ Molecular Virology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Neurosciences
  • Nutrition
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology and Biophysics
  • Systems Biology & Bioinformatics


Materials Needed to Submit Nomination

  • Nominee's Name
  • Nominee's Doctoral Program
  • Nomination Letter
  • Nominee's CV
  • Letter of Support 

The nomination letter will serve as the letter of support for faculty nominators. Students that self-nominate require a letter of support in addition to the nomination letter. The letter of support will be requested by email, so please be prepared to provide the email address of the letter writer. 


Winners receive a certificate, medal, and small monetary award at the Graduate and Postdoctoral Award Ceremony, and award information will appear in the commencement booklet.


If you have any additional questions, please contact Hua Lou at For assistance with technical issues, please contact Malana Bey at