Nominations are now open for the annual Nature Awards for Mentoring in Science, this year celebrating outstanding scientific mentors in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Launched in 2005, the global awards celebrate scientific mentors in a specific country or countries each year. The awards have previously focused on Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Nordic countries, South Africa and the UK.
Two prizes of €10,000 will be awarded, one for a mid-career mentor and one for life-time achievement in mentoring.
Defining the values of a good mentor, Editor-in-Chief of Nature, Dr Philip Campbell, says: “Over the years it has become clear that there are some key characteristics of laboratory heads that bode particularly well for younger scientists under their leadership.
“Outstanding mentors tend to have an outstanding command of their research field. They are highly accessible to the members of their lab. They can relate to individuals in a way that is specific to each person’s particular characteristics. And they know how to balance support on the one hand and, on the other, the nurturing of independent creativity, problem-solving, integrity and initiative.”
In an editorial to mark the invitation for nominations, Dr Campbell clearly sets out the timeliness of this award in Ireland and Northern Ireland. He also emphasises the importance of “tough but supportive laboratory mentors” and their crucial role in promoting scientific integrity.
Nominees for an award should be resident in Ireland or Northern Ireland at the time of the nomination and may be working in any discipline within the natural sciences. They may be nominated by colleagues and ex-colleagues or nominate themselves.
The closing date for nominations is Monday 4 August 2014. The winners will be selected by a panel of judges, chaired by Luke O’Neil, Chair of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin.