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RCSA Announces New Award for Cottrell Scholars

RCSA is creating a new award to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of Cottrell Scholars.

RCSA President Robert Shelton announced the TREE Award (Transformational Research and Excellence in Education) at the 20th-annual Cottrell Scholar Conference in Tucson, AZ.

The TREE award is also meant to encourage the improvement of undergraduate education at research universities, Shelton said.

Eligibility - Eligibility for the $25,000 award is limited to Cottrell Scholars. Nominees must be at least six years beyond the year of their CS award. For the 2014 competition, eligibility will be limited to Scholars who received their award in 2008 or earlier.

Nature of the Award - The TREE Award includes a commemorative plaque or trophy, and an unrestricted $20,000 sent to the awardee’s institution in recognition or his or her scholarly work. The recipient is encouraged to use these funds to advance research and educational projects. An additional $5,000 is provided to support lectures and travel to other institutions to communicate broadly the recipient’s innovative research and educational accomplishments.

Nomination Process - Two nomination letters must be provided for the TREE Award. One letter must come from the chair of the nominee’s department, and the second letter must come from a Cottrell Scholar. Both letters should highlight the exceptional research and educational accomplishments of the nominee.

Application Contents – The nominee must provide a short (4-page limit) essay that has two components of equal weight. The first part must describe the nominee’s transformational research, which could be a single publication or a larger body of work that has had a transformative impact on a field of research. The second part must describe the nominee’s excellence in education, which again could be a single example (e.g., outreach program, textbook) or a larger body of work (e.g., continuous national leadership, etc.) that clearly distinguishes the accomplishments of the nominee. Educational accomplishments that reach beyond the nominee’s home institution will be considered as particularly meritorious.

Award Timeline – Completed applications are due by close of business November 1, 2014. All materials must be submitted electronically as pdf files to RCSA Program Director Silvia Ronco at sronco@rescorp.org. The award will be announced in March 2015.

Selection Process – A selection committee composed of senior Cottrell Scholars and members of the RCSA scientific staff will review applications and make recommendations to the RCSA president. Final selection will be approved by the president and members of the RCSA Board of Directors.

Presentation of the Award – The TREE Award will be highlighted in two venues. The awardee will be asked to give a plenary talk at the Cottrell Scholar Conference, and a session or reception will be organized at either an ACS or APS national meeting in honor of the awardee. RCSA will also provide funds for promotion of the award in professional journals.

Questions may be addressed to Silvia Ronco, program director, Research Corporation for Science Advancement (sronco@rescorp.or, or 520-71-1111.) Download pdf for posting.

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