GeoCUR Early Career Distinguished Mentor Award

The Geosciences Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research has established an annual award to recognize faculty, scientists, and educators engaging in original and successful mentoring of undergraduate research activities who demonstrate dedication to the scholarly success of their students.

Award Citation

The Geoscience Division of the Council of Undergraduate Research (GeoCUR) recognizes the critical work of developing best practices in undergraduate research. This awards highlights individuals that place undergraduate research at the center of professional activities. GeoCUR annually recognizes individuals who are initiating creative, impactful, and/or innovative undergraduate research activities.


All Geoscientists involved in the mentoring of undergraduate research and/or who are developing new undergraduate research programs or opportunities. This award intends to recognize those in the earlier stages of integrating undergraduate student research into their career research program. Generally, nominees for this award fit into one or more of these categories:

  • Mentoring UG for 10 years or fewer
  • Recently transitioned to undergraduate research
  • Not more than 10 years since Masters or PhD
  • Pre-tenure

Evidence of best practice undergraduate research includes, but is not limited to:

  • Expanding research opportunities to reach new communities or groups to foster inclusive excellence
  • Establishing pathways and programs to engage a wider target audience for UG experiences
  • Incorporating research activities into the classroom and service learning
  • Developing leadership in the undergraduate research enterprise
  • Student-mentor collaborations culminating in student presentation or publication opportunities
  • Publishing studies on teaching and learning effectiveness in undergraduate research

Candidates need not to meet all of these criteria and may achieve the spirit of the award through other activities. The awardees will be recognized with a brief citation and certificate from the Geoscience division of the National Council for Undergraduate research as well as on the GeoCUR website.

Application Process

Nomination (including self-nominations) materials: (1) A one-page detailed narrative from the nominee explaining how they meet the criteria of the award and up to five-page CV that is focused on interactions with students. (2) Three letters of support, one from a student research participant, one from someone who can comment on the nominee’s professional role (e.g. from someone within the nominees’ institution, department, program, professional organization), and a third at the discretion of the application.

Send completed nomination packet to: Questions and inquiries can be addressed to Erin Kraal ( or Dan Brabander (
Applications are accepted beginning December 1 and are due January 15th. Awardees will be selected and notified by early March.

Applications from a range of individuals and institutional settings are encouraged. GeoCUR recognizes that exemplar mentorship can take in settings ranging from community colleges/2YCC, primarily undergraduate institutions, research universities, national laboratories, and industrial partnerships. The Geoscience Division of CUR represents a wide range of disciplines and this award follows the AGI definition of geoscience (geology, hydrology, planetary science, marine science/oceanography, atmospheric and space science, climate science, geochemistry, petrology, paleontology, environmental science and related fields).

Posted in GeoCUR Bytes

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