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Health Sciences Research Excellence Awards

The Health Sciences Research Excellence Award recognizes PhD students in the Department of Health Sciences who showcase research excellence in their wider academic and professional communities. Research excellence can be defined in a number of ways and may vary by discipline. Applicants are expected to highlight how their achievements demonstrate excellence within their field/discipline. Examples include receiving a predoctoral fellowship/dissertation award, high research productivity for their career stage (indexed through publications and/or conference presentations/posters) or receiving state or national awards.

To highlight and reward PhD Student research excellence, DHS will provide up to 4 awards of $500 (one per PhD issuing division), based on availability of funding. Applications related to health equity, access to care and/or other underrepresented scientific areas of interest (eg geographic regions, populations of interest, etc.) are especially encouraged. Unlike cycles of the previously named Research Ambassador Award, 2023-2024 awards are not linked to travel for a conference. Funds can be used to offset conference travel costs, provide dissertation support, or generate pilot data.

Research Excellence Awards are distributed annually. Applications are due February 15th by 5pm and decisions will be made by March 15th, 2024. Eligible applicants must be enrolled in one of the three DHS PhD programs (OS/OT, HMSC, SPHS). Applicants can only receive one Research Excellence Award (including previously being awarded a Research Ambassador Award) during their time in their PhD Program. To apply, applicants must submit the following to Patty Kinneer ( by 5pm on February 15th. Awardees are required to present (10-15 minutes) at the April 10th Health Sciences Research Forum at noon. This date is not negotiable.

To apply, applicants must send the following materials as a single PDF:

  1. Cover letter highlighting evidence of research excellence within their field (one-page maximum).
  2. Budget justification detailing how funds will be spent. Applicants must also outline any other research/travel funds available to them (no more than half a page).
  3. Nomination letter from primary mentor (one page maximum).
  4. Short CV (three-page maximum).

All applicants will automatically be considered for the award designated for their PhD Division. If students also wish to be considered for the Department-wide Research Excellence Award, they should state so in their cover letter.