WIESS SCHOOL OF NATURAL SCIENCES

Faculty and Staff Awards

How to Submit a Nomination

Nominations are accepted from current Rice faculty, staff or students. Nominees must have primary appointments in the Wiess School of Natural Sciences. Self-nominations are not accepted. Submit each nomination as a single combined PDF. All nominations are due on February 8 of each year. The citation should be a sentence or short paragraph describing the nominee’s contributions, and it should be suitable for publication in an announcement of award winners. For award nominations that require a CV, 5-pages or fewer is preferred.

If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Michaelis at stephanie.michaelis@rice.edu.

Button to submit a nomination

Awards

Exemplary Faculty Award

Conferred on one NSCI faculty member (any rank) each year in recognition of outstanding achievement in research, teaching and service at Rice.
Nomination materials: nomination letter (800-word limit), citation and CV of nominee

2023 Winner: Anthony Várilly-Alvarado, Mathematics
For outstanding research in diophantine geometry; for outstanding teaching recognized by winning the George R. Brown Award for Superior teaching multiple times; and for a distinguished record of service in the university and mathematical community, including being at the forefront of efforts to build a diverse and inclusive mathematical community at Rice and nationally.

past recipients


Breakthrough Research Award

Conferred on one tenured NSCI faculty member each year in recognition of an outstanding research advance within the past 5 years at Rice.
Nomination materials: nomination letter (600-word limit), citation and CV of nominee

2023 Winner: Alan Reid, Mathematics
For his mathematical work on Profinite Rigidity, developing transformative techniques to attack a fundamental problem that has frustrated mathematicians for 50 years.

past recipients


Rising Star Award

Conferred on one NSCI tenure-track assistant professor each year in recognition of outstanding research achievement at Rice.
Nomination materials: nomination letter (600-word limit), citation and CV of nominee

2023 Winner: Adrienne Correa, Biosciences
For trail-blazing research on the microbiology of imperiled coral reef ecosystems that bridges fundamental discovery with practical problem-solving and restoration.

past recipients


Excellence in Postdoctoral Research Award

Conferred on one NSCI postdoctoral researcher each year in recognition of outstanding research done during the postdoctoral appointment at Rice. (A nominee must be employed at Rice as a postdoctoral researcher at the time of nomination in order to be eligible.)
Nomination materials: nomination letter (600-word limit), citation and CV of nominee

2023 Winner: Andre Izidoro, Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences
For outstanding research contributions in the field of dynamics of planet formation, including topics of formation of our Solar System, coupling between outer and inner solar systems, water delivery to Earth, and formation of Super-Earth and mini-Neptune exoplanets.

2023 Winner: Ruwan Senaratne, Physics and Astronomy
For performing pioneering and novel experiments that reveal the remarkable separation of the spin and charge excitations of a strongly interacting Fermi gas confined to 1D.

past recipients


Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Natural Sciences

Conferred on one NSCI faculty member (any rank) each year in recognition of outstanding instruction at Rice.
Nomination materials: nomination letter (600-word limit), citation and CV of nominee

2023 Winner: Jamie Catanese, Biosciences
For tireless dedication to undergraduate mentorship and pedagogical advancement — instructing and constantly improving massive laboratory courses and deepening the scientific community’s understanding of teaching and learning.

past recipients


Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring Award

Conferred on one NSCI faculty member (any rank) each year in recognition of outstanding undergraduate mentoring or academic advising at Rice.
Nomination materials: nomination letter (600-word limit), citation and CV of nominee

2023 Winner: Cassandra Diep, Kinesiology
For dedication as a mentor and advisor for students in public health beyond the classroom and graduation.

past recipients


Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award

Conferred on one NSCI faculty member (any rank) each year in recognition of outstanding graduate student mentoring at Rice.
Nomination materials: nomination letter (600-word limit), citation and CV of nominee

2023 Winner: Jeff Hartgerink, Chemistry
For outstanding contributions to the mentoring of students at all levels, particularly graduate students.


Excellence in Outreach Award

Conferred on one NSCI faculty or staff member each year in recognition of outstanding outreach and public promotion of STEM.
Nomination materials: nomination letter (600-word limit), citation and CV of nominee

2023 Winner: Pat Reiff, Physics and Astronomy
For over 30 years of sustained dedication and excellence in STEM public outreach.

past recipients


Outstanding Faculty Service Award

Conferred on one NSCI faculty member (any rank) each year in recognition of outstanding service to the department, school or university.
Nomination materials: nomination letter (600-word limit), citation and CV of nominee

2023 Winner: Stan Dodds, Physics and Astronomy
For over four decades of dedication to advising, laboratory and general curriculum development, and university service that ensures that Rice’s students receive a world-class education.

past recipients


Ruth Parks Award for Distinguished Service

Conferred on one NSCI staff member each year in recognition of more than 7 years of distinguished service to the department, school or university.
Nomination materials: nomination letter (600-word limit) and citation

2023 Winner: Abby Vacek, Chemistry
For outstanding work organizing Department of Chemistry functioning and assisting faculty, students and other researchers in their everyday activities.

past recipients


Outstanding Staff Service Award

Conferred on one NSCI staff member in their first 7 years at Rice in recognition of exemplary service to the department, school or university.
Nomination materials: nomination letter (600-word limit) and citation

2023 Winner: Selena Zermeno, Chemistry
For exemplary administrative support of the NSF Center for Adapting Flaws into Features as well as individual Chemistry faculty and their groups.


2022-23 Committee
Richard Gordon, Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Chair
Dan Carson, Biosciences
Pengcheng Dai, Physics and Astronomy
Shelly Harvey, Mathematics
Laura Kabiri, Kinesiology
Jim Tour, Chemistry