Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Scholar Award

UC San Diego strives to promote postdoctoral scholars that embody the mission and high standards of this university. This award recognizes postdoctoral scholars who conduct outstanding research, exhibit leadership, mentorship and service as he/she progresses toward a defined career. Postdoctoral scholars are individuals who have recently completed a doctoral degree and, under the oversight of a faculty mentor, continue research training in preparation for a career in academe, industry, government, or the nonprofit sector.

2016 Chancellors Awards Postdocs


The award recognizes a postdoctoral scholar who:

  • Excels in research by displaying intellectual merit, ethical conduct, professional behavior and the ability to demonstrate research innovation and productivity (i.e. scholarly distinctions, publications, presentations, inventions, performances, products, etc.) as well as the nominee’s research having a significant impact on the field and/or society.
  • Assumes a leadership role by preparing manuscripts, funding applications, organizing workshops or conferences, and mentorship by advising graduate and undergraduate students.
  • Shows a strong service record by volunteering in campus, professional and/or other organizations.


The nominee must be a UC San Diego Postdoctoral Scholar (in titlecodes 3252, 3253, or 3254) with at least one year of UC San Diego postdoctoral experience (at time of nomination) under the mentorship of UC San Diego faculty member or Research Scientist. Postdoctoral Scholar may also self-nominate.

  • The nomination must include a letter of support from the faculty mentor and a self-nomination statement, two endorsement and Department Chair signatures. If the postdoctoral scholar is nominated by the faculty mentor, the letter of support will suffice as the nomination statement. There is no limit as to how many postdoctoral scholars can be nominated by a faculty or per department. However, if the faculty mentor nominates more than one, s/he should list the number of postdoctoral scholars that he/she mentors and how the nominee(s) rank among them.
  • Nomination statement should be 1-2 pages and demonstrate the postdoctoral scholar’s excellence in research at UC San Diego and contribution to the betterment of society based on the supporting evidence in the nomination package and why the postdoctoral scholar merits the distinction this award represents.  If the postdoctoral scholar self-nominates, a letter of support from the faculty mentor must be included in the nomination PDF.
  • Two endorsements are required and may be from other postdoctoral scholars, research/project scientists, graduate students, undergraduate students and colleagues that have been mentored by the nominee as well as UC San Diego campus, professional and/or volunteer organizations that the nominee has or currently serves. Endorsement letters (one page limit/endorser) may be submitted in the nomination PDF. Three total endorsements are allowed per nomination.
  • Current curriculum vitae (CV) for the postdoctoral scholar nominee (with postdoctoral appointment history, i.e. locations, dates and mentors). The CV should include awards, honors, publications, presentations, inventions, performances, etc., as well as professional memberships, volunteer organizations and relevant activities. Accomplishments achieved while a postdoctoral scholar at UC San Diego should be highlighted.

Application Process

Nomination materials should be assembled by the principal nominator in a one PDF (multiple PDFs need to be combined into a single PDF).  The nomination packet should be submitted in an email to the Office Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholars at This email should be titled: 2016 Postdoc Nomination Last name, First Name of postdoctoral scholar (expl: “2016 Postdoc Nomination Doe, Jane) and cc each endorser/co-nominator and department chair. The deadline for nominations is September 2, 2016.

A complete nomination PDF should include (in this order):

  • Nomination Form completed by the faculty mentor or postdoctoral scholar, which must be signed by the two endorsers and the Department Chair.  Nominations may include up to three endorsers and that third endorser signature may be included on a separate page after the nomination form.
  • Letter of support (1-2 pages) per faculty mentor(s), unless faculty mentor is nominating the postdoctoral scholar.  If the faculty mentor is the nominator, then only the nomination statement needs to be submitted.
  • Nomination statement completed by the nominator (1-2 pages) explaining how and why the nominee is an outstanding postdoctoral scholar by demonstrating his/her excellence in research and active role in the advancement of society, such as in advocacy, leadership and teamwork.
  • If applicable, endorsements letters for the nomination (one page limit/endorser). Limit of three total endorsements per nomination.
  • Current curriculum vitae for postdoctoral scholar. The CV should include awards, honors, publications, presentations, inventions, performances, etc., as well as professional memberships, volunteer organizations and relevant activities. Accomplishments achieved while a postdoctoral scholar at UC San Diego should be highlighted.

Click here for: Postdoc Nomination Form

Selection Process and Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by an internal selection committee composed of Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Director of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs, faculty and postdoctoral scholar. Awardees will be selected by the Vice Chancellor for Research based upon recommendation of this committee.

Ceremony and Award

Each Postdoctoral Scholar Award recipient will receive $1000 to promote his/her career development. The recipient will receive an engraved plaque and congratulatory letter from Chancellor Khosla.  Also, the recipient will be honored on additional plaque that will reside in the Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs.

The recipients will be recognized at the 2016 Postdoctoral Scholar Appreciation Lunch on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, in Price Center Ballroom B, following the Postdoctoral Research Symposium in Price Center Ballroom A and B. The mentor and postdoctoral nominator(s) are expected to attend the ceremony.

Awardees will be notified by October 3, 2016.


Hu 2013 Chancellors Award Postdoc

Che-Ming Jack HuPh.D. 

Postdoctoral Scholar in Nanoengineering

Faculty Nominator: Liangfang Zhang, Ph.D.

Kuo 2013 Chancellors Award Postdoc

Ping Piu Kuo, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Faculty Nominator: Stojan Radic, Ph.D.

Melis 2013 Chancellors Award Postdoc

Carl Melis Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar in Physics

Faculty Nominator: Adam Burgasser, Ph.D.

Tolson 2013 Chancellors Award Postdoc

Kristen TolsonPh.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar in Reproductive Medicine

Faculty Nominator: Alexander (Sascha) Kauffman, Ph.D.



Gordts 2014 Chancellors Award Postdoc

Philip GordtsPh.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar in Cellular & Molecular Medicine

Faculty Nominator: Jeffrey Esko, Ph.D.

Lin 2014 Chancellors Award Postdoc

Ann Lin, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar in Pediatrics

Faculty Nominator: Victor Nizet, M.D.

Kristin Palmsten, Sc.D., Postdoctoral Scholar in Pediatrics; Faculty Nominator: Christina Chambers, Ph.D., MPH
Matthew Stroud, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar in Medicine; Faculty Nominator: Ju Chen, Ph.D.
2015 Chancellors Awards Postdocs
For questions, please contact Ginger Hazen at or (858) 822-5915.

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