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Distinction in Mentoring Graduate Students in Research Award

The purpose of this award is to honor and encourage the considerable efforts and accomplishments of faculty who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the mentorship of graduate students. The award is sponsored by the Office of Graduate Education and Life and the Research Office. Four finalists – one per Benedum category (Physical Sciences and Technology, Humanities and the Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Biosciences and Health Sciences) will be selected, with one chosen to receive a $5,000 award.

Who Is Eligible?

Any full-time graduate faculty member who has been engaged in significant graduate level research/creative work mentoring at West Virginia University for at least 5 years who has not received this award in the past 5 years may be nominated.

Making a Nomination 

Current and former graduate students, faculty, and staff are invited to nominate faculty who exhibit the qualities of excellent graduate research/creative work mentorship. Given the academic diversity on campus, there will be no single set of criteria appropriate to all nominees. Nominators are encouraged to think about the many and diverse ways in which faculty can contribute to the development and support of graduate students, including but not limited to:

  • Establishing a strong professional mentoring relationship with their student(s).
  • Acting as a role model for methods of inquiry, contributions to and/or artistic expression in the chosen field of study, and for the responsible and ethical conduct of research, scholarship, or creative activity.
  • Encouraging students to establish their own record of scholarly activity or performance, obtain external fellowships, prepare conference presentations, or engage in other professional development opportunities.
  • Providing a supportive environment that facilitates the development of best performance and talents from individual graduate students.
  • Providing career counseling and placement assistance, including consideration of placements outside of the academy when appropriate.
  • Actively helping students progress to degree in a timely fashion and develop the skills necessary to professional success in their chosen field.
  • Promoting a climate of respect and collegiality that enhances the graduate experience and increases students’ chances of success in a professional environment.
  • Exemplifying a professional with deep personal integrity, a strong ethical foundation, a solid commitment to inclusion and diversity, and achievable standards for personal excellence.
  • Creating a supportive environment for research, scholarship, and creative activity by fostering mutual respect and demonstrating sincere and active interest in the well-being of the student.
  • Maintaining accessibility by providing consistently open lines of communication.
  • Connecting students with the resources necessary to take full advantage of academic and professional opportunities and helping them develop their own local and national networks.
  • Providing intellectual and personal leadership that helps support, encourage, and promote students’ personal and professional development. This relationship is expected to provide a foundation for a student’s career long after the degree has been granted.

Nominations consist of a statement to the selection committee of why the nominee should receive the award (not to exceed 1,000 words). The statement should be uploaded onlineNominations are due Feb. 9, 2022, by noon.