Graduate School Mentoring Award for Postdoctoral Trainees

Nominations for 2020 has closed. Thank you for your support!

The Graduate School and the UW Office of Postdoctoral Affairs awards an annual Mentoring Award for Postdoctoral Trainees to recognize and honor the tremendous role postdocs play in student research and training at UW. The patience postdocs demonstrate in spending time investing in students, even while advancing their own research and career, is a model of what we would hope to see among mentors. As we heard over and over again in the letters, postdocs serve as mentors who guide, push and inspire students to become their best selves. The Mentoring Award recipient receives an honorarium of $2,000.

Nomination Process for Postdoc Mentoring Award for 2020

Has a postdoc made a difference in your life this year? Whether in the lab, in the field, or in the classroom, the Graduate School wants to acknowledge the essential role postdoctoral trainees play in our research and teaching missions here at University of Washington.

The Graduate School is seeking nomination for an exceptional UW postdoctoral trainee who dedicates time, energy and effort to mentoring graduate students. Nomination is simple. Write a nomination letter that gives an example (or many) of how this postdoc has impacted you as a mentor. Submissions should be in a single letter of 250-500 words, and can be submitted by students, postdocs, faculty or staff. Collaborations on letters are welcome, but multiple letters will not be accepted. If multiple letters are submitted, we will ask you to combine them into a single submission (reviewers are examining quality of impact the postdoc has made, not quantity of nominations).

A review committee will select finalists based on mentoring qualities so specific examples are encouraged. Finalists will be announced by April 1 and recognized at end of year ceremonies. The award winner receives $2,000 in discretionary funds.

In posting your nomination, please include the following elements:

  • Postdoc fellow’s name saved in the file name
  • Department affiliation, along with program or lab group, as relevant
  • Descriptive account of how the postdoc has served as a mentor for graduate students in particular, and other mentoring examples as appropriate
  • Your relationship to the postdoc (nominations can come from faculty, students, staff and fellow postdocs)

Questions? Contact Associate Dean Bill Mahoney, with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the Core Programs in the Graduate School at

Timeline for Nomination and Final Announcement

Nomination Process Timeline
Nomination Deadline February 29, 2020
Reviewing Nominations March 1–31, 2020
Decision and Announcement March 31, 2020
Award Ceremony May 2020

Postdoc Mentoring Award Winner for 2020

Dr. Kimberly Meier, Vision + Cognition Lab, Department of Psychology

Dr. Meier is a member of the Vision + Cognition Lab in the Department of Psychology, where she studies binocular visual development and disorders (e.g., amblyopia (“lazy eye”)). Among her many accolades, she was recognized for helping trainees with difficult experiments, assisting with goal setting, providing guidance towards future career paths, serving as a formal and informal mentor to all members of the lab and providing leadership throughout the Vision + Cognition lab, the UW Postdoc Diversity Alliance, as well as the UW postdoc community. Read more about her award and research here.

Postdoc Mentoring Award Finalists for 2020

  • Brett Palm, Atmospheric Sciences 
  • Bryce Taylor, Genome Sciences 
  • Elen Feuerriegel, Anthropology 
  • Katya Cherukumilli, Civil and Environmental Engineering  
  • Kimberly Meier, Psychology 
  • Nicholas Holschuh, Earth and Space Sciences 
  • Rachel Strickman, Civil & Environmental Engineering 
  • Shiri Levy, Biochemistry 
  • Simon Nilsson, Biological Structure 
  • Staci Amburgey, SAFS 
  • Vincent Roulet, Statistics

Past Postdoc Mentoring Awardees: 2014–2019

2019 Awardee

  • Dr. Gabriella Wolff, Research Associate in Biology

2019 Finalists

  • Michael Beyeler, Psychology
  • David Grossnickle, Biology
  • Matthew Hart, Pathology
  • Karla-Luise Herpoldt, Biochemistry
  • Kelly Hines, Medicinal Chemistry
  • Parisa Hosseinzadeh, Biochemistry
  • Kenneth Matreyek, Genome Sciences
  • Jillian Pintye, Global Health
  • Julia Ritterhoff, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

2019 Nominees

  • Ivana Bussi, Biology
  • Sam Bryson, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Tanvi Deora, Biology
  • Gilbert Martinez, Physiology and Biophysics
  • Irene Rembado, Physiology and Biophysics
  • Anindya Roy, Biochemistry
  • Jon Rueckemann, Physiology and Biophysics
  • Franziska Seeger, Biochemistry
  • Guozheng Shao, Material Science and Engineering
  • Han-Wei Shih, Biology

2018 Awardee

  • Laura Pina, Human Centered Design and Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering

2018 Finalists

  • Yonatan Bisk, Computer Science & Engineering
  • Scott Boyken, Biochemistry
  • Brian Daniels, Immunology
  • Tim Gallaher, Biology
  • Heather Gustafson, BioEngineering
  • John Guthrie, Oceanography
  • Kim Siang Khaw, Physics
  • Kenny Matreyek, Genome Sciences
  • Nigini Oliveira, Computer Science & Engineering
  • Jennifer Richards, Curriculum & Instruction
  • Matthew Shortridge, Chemistry
  • Vasu Tewari, Math

2018 Nominees

  • Antony Abraham, Pharmacology
  • Phillip Baker, Psychology
  • Jonathan Beardsley, Math
  • Matthew Bogard, Environmental and Forest Sciences
  • Paul Davidson, Aeronautics & Astronautics
  • Earlence Fernandes, Computer Science & Engineering
  • Louise Guard, Chemistry
  • Hilary Hayford, Biology
  • Brittney Hultgren, Psychiatry
  • Hsiang-Chieh (Roger) Hung, Chemical Engineering
  • Lalit Jain, Computer Science & Engineering
  • Eddie Kasner, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences
  • Deb Morrison, Learning Science & Human Development
  • Mitchell Omar, Pharmacology
  • Justin Roby, Immunology
  • Megan Streur, Nursing
  • Jenny Thao, Dentistry
  • Michelle Tigchelaar, Atmospheric Sciences
  • Amos Turchet, Math
  • Brian Wasko, Pathology
  • Xiuwen Zheng, Biostatistics

2017 Awardee

  • Damien Wilburn, Genome Sciences

2017 Finalists

  • Armin Alaghi, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Nirveek Bhattachajee, Bioengineering
  • Charles Cherqui, Chemistry
  • Giles Eperon, Chemistry
  • Clara Fuchsman, Oceanography
  • Atom Lesiak, Pharmacology/Psychiatry
  • Maya Rosen, Psychology

2017 Nominees

  • Miriam Ben-Hamo, Biology
  • Peter Hofsteen, Pathology
  • Sarah Holliday, Clean Energy Institute
  • Mrinalini Hoon, Biological Structure
  • Josh Kaplan, Pharmacology
  • Yannis Konstas, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Chloe Lahondere, Biology
  • Lindsey Madison, Chemistry
  • Kenny Matreyek, Genome Sciences
  • Andrew Rhines, Atmospheric Sciences
  • Aaron Robitaille, Pharmacology
  • Dan Shao, Anesthesiology/Pain Medicine
  • Caiti Smukowski Heil, Genome Sciences
  • Cristina Valensisi, Genome Sciences
  • Clement Vinauger, Biology

2016 Awardees

  • Christina Bandaragoda, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Stacia Dreyer, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs

2015 Awardee

  • Clare Towse, Bioengineering

2014 Awardees

  • Felice Dunn, Biological Structure
  • Irini Topalidou, Biochemistry

On behalf of the Graduate School, thank you to all of the postdocs on campus who contribute to our rich learning environment and the future of students.