Translational Science 2020 Awards

The submission portal for Translational Science 2020 Awards is now closed. Winners will be notified in early February.


Key Dates for ACTS Awards

  • Friday, November 1, 2019: Award Submissions Open
  • Friday, January 10, 2020: Award Submissions Close
  • Monday, February 3, 2020: Winners Notified 


Distinguished Investigator.png        Distinguished Educator.png        Trainee Award.
Team Science        Top Ten CR Forum        AFMR Awards
PhRMA Awards       



ACTS Distinguished Investigator Award

Three awards will be given at Translational Science 2020 that recognize senior investigators (above the age of 45) whose innovative research or education leadership has had a major impact on or through clinical and translational science. The recipients of these awards will each be awarded $1,000 and compensation for travel expenses.

The awards include:

  • The Edward H. Ahrens, Jr. Award for Outstanding Achievement in Patient-Oriented Research: Recognizes achievement in bench-to-bedside translational research. Emphasis is on transformational scientific achievement.
  • Translation from Proof-of-Concept to Widespread Clinical Practice: Recognizes achievement in the realm of implementation and dissemination of translational solutions to illness and clinical problems.
  • Translation into Public Benefit and Policy: Recognizes achievement in applying translational research findings into effective public policies that promote health or “implementation and dissemination of translational solutions.

Learn more about the selection criteria.

  • Nominations are invited of senior investigators who have had national impact by virtue of contributions to clinical and translational science in each of the above designated categories.

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ACTS Distinguished Educator Award*

This award will be presented during Translational Science 2020 a clinical and/or translational investigator who has distinguished him or herself as an educator, mentor and leader, resulting in significant scientific accomplishments by the next generation of clinical and translational researchers. This award recognizes global innovation and impact in education for the health sciences. Students and trainees are also invited to submit nominations. The recipient of this award will be awarded $1,000 and compensation for travel expenses.

Learn more about the selection criteria.

  • Distinguished career as a clinical investigator
  • Widely recognized innovation and impact in health sciences education in the context of a clinical research training program
  • Outstanding success as a mentor
  • Documented national leadership in clinical research education programs, issues and funding

*Please note that ACTS board members are ineligible for this award.


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ACTS Outstanding Trainee Awards

Three awards will be given at Translational Science 2020 that recognizes outstanding accomplishment of trainees at the pre-doctoral, post-doctoral and early faculty (K) level. This award recognizes those whose translational research progress will have either immediate impact or potential to impact policy, care or public health in the short term. The recipients of these awards will each be awarded $500 and compensation for up to $500 in travel expenses. There is a requirement that the research be submitted as an abstract for presentation at the meeting.

The awards include:

    • The Predoctoral Scholar Award recognizes achievement in translational research at the pre-doctoral level. Emphasis is on transformational scientific potential. Work is not expected to be independent, but nominations should emphasize the trainee’s input, innovative thinking and/or contributions to the work. Examples of outstanding achievement include receipt of substantial funding for their work, the potential for immediate or near-term impact on care, policy or practice.
    • The Post-Doctoral Award recognizes high productivity and impact of post-doctoral work. Team science is valued and high productivity should be interpreted in terms of quality and not only quantity. Nominations should emphasize the post-doc’s contributions to the work. Potential evidence of high productivity includes prior publication history, potential for changing care or health policy, and significant funding for highly innovative work.
    • Early (Faculty) Career Development Award recognizes high productivity and impact of early faculty research. Team science is valued and high productivity should be interpreted in terms of quality and not only quantity with an emphasis on the scholar’s contributions to the work. Potential evidence of high productivity includes prior publication history, potential for changing care or health policy and significant funding as PI.

Learn more about the selection criteria.

  • Each institution may nominate only one awardee in a calendar year. The nominee may be in any one of the three categories (one nomination per institution). Institutions nominating more than one candidate force the committee to choose which, if any, application moves forward.
  • Nominations are invited of pre- and post-doc scholars and early career faculty (career development awardees) whose work has the potential to or is beginning to have national impact by virtue of contributions to clinical and translational science.
  • Although the abstracts submitted for the meeting include unpublished work, part of the selection criteria for the Trainee Awards will include the candidates’ publication history. This may include first authorship on a publication for Predoctoral Scholars, and evidence of high productivity including high impact and/or highly innovative publications for Post-Doctoral and Early Career Scholars.

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Team Science Award

This award has been established by ACTS to acknowledge and catalyze the growing importance of interdisciplinary teams to the translation of research discoveries into clinical applications and eventually widespread clinical practice. Proactive interaction between academic and industry researchers is particularly crucial to continue progress and accelerate drug development.

The team selected to receive the 2020 Team Science Award will collectively be recognized during Translational Science 2020. The representative from the team will be cited at the meeting for their leadership role in fostering team science.

Learn more about the selection criteria.

For the purpose of this award, a team is comprised of independent faculty-level researchers providing complementary interdisciplinary expertise, each of whom have made separate substantive and quantifiable contributions to the research being recognized. Team members may be working within the same institution or at several institutions. If researchers are in the same institution, they must have clearly separate funding and research spaces. Teams comprising academic and industry researchers, as well as community partnerships and advocacy communities, will be accepted.

The research the team does should be high impact and transdisciplinary. To read a detailed example of a Team Science Award nomination, click here.

Additional requirements:

  • The name and contact information for one main point of contact who currently serves on the team being nominated must be included.
  • A list of all members of the team, their professional titles and affiliations, with a description of each member's substantive and quantifiable contribution to the team, must be included.
  • The primary concentration of research area must be indicated.
  • A narrative describing in-depth the research accomplishment or accomplishments for which the team is being nominated, as well as the significance and impact of the research, must be included.
  • A descriptive list of institutional support of the team, such as pilot funding, technology transfer offices, shared resources, etc., must be included.

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CR Forum Top Ten Awards

The Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments in clinical research from across the nation. The awards honor major advances in the biomedical field resulting from the nation’s investment in research to benefit the health and welfare of its citizens.

Nominations should represent innovation, creativity and scientific advancement, contribute to the understanding of human disease and/or human physiology, demonstrate impact on the prevention, diagnosis and/or treatment or increased understanding of the disease state. Projects must have been conducted at a U.S. institution and published in a peer-reviewed journal in calendar year 2019.

The nominations deadline is Monday, November 18, 2019. For eligibility and submission instructions, visit the CR Forum website.

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AFMR Outstanding Investigator Award

An Outstanding Investigator Award is presented annually to an AFMR member in recognition of excellence in biomedical research. Applicants must be a member of the AFMR and preferably forty-five years of age or less. Nominations should be made by two individuals who are thoroughly familiar with the work of the candidate. One of these individuals should be associated with an institution at which some of the work was performed and the other co-nominator from a different institution.

Learn more about the selection criteria.

  • Investigative work has provided innovative insight and had significant impact on a major scientific or clinical problem
  • Demonstrated intellectual and scientific independence
  • AFMR National Officers and Councilors shall be excluded from consideration for the award during their tenure on the National Council and for three years thereafter.

Visit AFMR's website to learn more and apply. Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 15, 2020.


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PhRMA Foundation Translational Medicine & Therapeutics Awards

The PhRMA Foundation is currently accepting applications for Translational Medicine & Therapeutics fellowships and grants. Up to four (4) awards will be presented at Translational Science 2020. Award categories include:

  • Pre-Doctoral Fellowships ($50K/year - up to two years)
  • Research Starter Grants (up to $100K for one year)

Visit the PhRMA Foundation website to learn more and apply.

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Nomination Materials and Submission Instructions