Research Excellence Awards

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Early Career Investigator Award

The Early Career Investigator Award recognizes new and early stage investigators who are innovators of the future, bring fresh ideas and technologies to existing research problems and pioneer new areas of investigation. This award is specifically designed to recognize an early career investigator who has made new, important and significant discoveries in research and who has dedicated significant effort to other academic activities such as education and service to the Medical Center.


The recipient of the Early Career Investigator Award will be recognized at the annual Excellence in Research Awards Ceremony and will receive an honorarium of $2,500.


  • Full-time UMMC faculty member with the rank of assistant professor or associate professor without tenure.
  • Be within 6 years of completing the terminal research training (post-doctoral) or within 6 years of completing medical training (residency or fellowship).
  • Solid track record of obtaining extramural funding and/or service on externally funded awards.
  • Evidence of scholarly contributions, including actively participating in research projects and publishing results in peer-reviewed journals. The evidence of research productivity must include at least 5 first or senior or corresponding author publications.
  • Evidence of service to UMMC (e.g., service on committees, teaching commitments and/or programmatic service).

Nomination criteria

Nominations may be submitted by any UMMC employee via the online nomination form. Nomination materials must include:

  • Letter of recommendation from the nominator clearly stating the candidate's eligibility for the award and a detailed description of why the candidate fits the criterion of an early stage investigator
  • Letter(s) of support from the candidate's supervisor(s) (division chief, department chair, dean, associate vice chancellor)
  • Candidate's CV, including a complete list of the candidate's publications and extramural funding information
  • Summary statement that describes the candidate's accomplishments that are the most important contributions for consideration for this award (two-page limit).

Review criteria

Candidates will be considered on the basis of their research contributions to the advancement of their specialty, overall impact of these contributions on their field and demonstration of commitment to the advancement of medicine. Candidates will be score based off the following criteria:

Research accomplishments

  • Impact of novel discovery
  • Pioneer in new areas of research
  • Original research in peer-reviewed journals
  • Research support generated through grants and contracts (federal, foundation and industry)
  • Other publications (e.g., review articles, book chapters, editorials)
  • Peer-reviewed research presentations (lecture, abstract, panel)


  • Peer review journal positions
  • Grant review panel membership
  • Local, regional and national organizational service relating to research
  • National and international speaking invitations
  • Recognitions or awards for teaching by students, fellows, residents or peers
  • Honors and awards

Research mentoring

  • Training of faculty/fellow investigators
  • Training of residents/students