Awards Review Process and FAQs


Various Committees review the SOT and Supported Awards.

The Awards Committee reviews applications for most of the awards whose recipients are recognized during the Awards Ceremony at the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. Nominations for most of these awards must be submitted by a sponsor and a seconder who are Full members of SOT and write distinct letters in support of the candidate. The supporting documentation and CV must indicate the candidate’s achievements in toxicology as well as how the candidate fulfills the award criteria and are critical in the review of each nomination. Visit the individual award pages to find the requirements for each award and to access the online award nomination or application form, when applicable.

The Board of Publications selects the Toxicological Sciences Paper of the Year Award, and the Education and Career Development Committee, Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education (FUTURE) Committee, Committee on Diversity Initiatives, Postdoctoral Assembly, and Graduate Student Leadership Committee select recipients of specific awards as determined by SOT Council.

Applications for SOT and Supported Awards for students and postdoctoral scholars will be reviewed by the appropriate Committee, and application or nomination procedures are specific for each award. Student and postdoctoral awards also are available through Regional Chapters, Specialty Sections, and Special Interest Groups. Candidates may apply for any award for which they are eligible and may receive multiple awards, whether sponsored by a Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, or Specialty Section. Unless otherwise stated in the individual award description, only one SOT-administered award may be presented to one individual. Policies related to travel awards are determined by the provider (SOT, Regional Chapter, Specialty Section, or Special Interest Group).

Awards FAQs

General Information

SOT Awards Committee:

  • SOT Achievement Award
  • SOT Arnold J. Lehman Award
  • SOT Distinguished Toxicology Scholar Award
  • SOT Education Award
  • SOT Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award
  • SOT Founders Award (for Outstanding Leadership in Toxicology)*
  • SOT Leading Edge in Basic Science Award
  • SOT Merit Award
  • SOT Public Communications Award
  • SOT Toxicologist Mentoring Award
  • SOT Translational Impact Award
  • SOT Translational/Bridging Travel Award
  • SOT Undergraduate Educator Award*
  • Colgate-Palmolive Award for Student Research Training in Alternative Methods^
  • Colgate-Palmolive Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in In Vitro Toxicology^
  • Colgate-Palmolive Grant for Alternative Research^
  • Graduate Student Travel Support*
  • Syngenta Fellowship Award for Human Health Application of New Technologies^

*denotes SOT Endowment–funded award
^denotes Supported Award

Board of Publications:

  • Toxicological Sciences Paper of the Year Award

Committee on Diversity Initiatives:

  • Diversity Initiatives Endowment Career Development Award
  • Perry J. Gehring Diversity Student Travel Award
  • Undergraduate Diversity Program Advisor Travel Awards
  • Undergraduate Diversity Program Student Travel Awards

Education and Career Development Committee:

  • Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program
  • Supplemental Training for Education Program (STEP)
  • Graduate Intern Fellowship in Toxicology (GIFT)
  • New Experiences in Toxicology Program (NEXT)

Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education (FUTURE) Committee:

  • Domestic ToxScholar Outreach Grants
  • International ToxScholar Outreach Grants
  • Internship Program Support
  • Regional Chapter Undergraduate Activities Funding
  • SOT Undergraduate Research Award
  • Undergraduate Faculty Research Grant
  • Undergraduate Faculty Development Grant

Graduate Student Leadership Committee:

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Leadership Award

Postdoctoral Assembly:

  • Best Postdoctoral Publication Award

Other student and postdoctoral awards are available through Regional Chapters, Specialty Sections, and Special Interest Groups. Candidates may apply for any award for which they are eligible and may apply for and receive multiple awards as long as there is no specific policy associated with an individual award that may prevent this. Policies related to travel awards are determined by the sponsor (SOT, supporting organization, Regional Chapter, Specialty Section, or Special Interest Group).

Awards Committee members are elected by the membership based on the requirements established in the SOT Bylaws and after having been nominated by the SOT Nominating Committee. Awards Committee members are established national and international experts in their discipline and have garnered excellent research credentials and recognition.

The Awards Committee annually selects award recipients via a process similar to a review or study section. The Awards Committee reviews all valid award nominations and applications and considers each candidate’s achievements and qualifications, which are outlined in the letters of recommendation and CV required for most of these honors.

Each nomination or application is reviewed by a team of Awards Committee members who assign quantitative scores to candidates to present to the full Committee for consideration. The Committee then engages in discussion and debate until a final recipient is selected by consensus. All conflicts of interest are disclosed before selections are made, and those Committee members who have conflicts of interest concerning a particular candidate recuse themselves from the discussion and selection of the award for which the corresponding candidate applied or was nominated. This ensures a fair and impartial selection process for all candidates.

Yes. The Awards Committee selects the annual recipients of SOT Awards and Supported Awards, and their decisions cannot be overturned by SOT Council.

SOT Awards and Supported Awards

SOT Awards are funded through the Society and/or the SOT Endowment Fund. Supported Awards are funded via a supporting company but are administered by the SOT Awards Committee.

At the bottom of each award page, there is a notation for “Award Group,” which will state “SOT” or “Supported.”

SOT Council approves the creation of all Supported Awards. Please contact SOT Headquarters to discuss Supported Award opportunities.

Award Eligibility and Restrictions

Current members of the Awards Committee can be nominated for an SOT Award, but they cannot receive the award while serving on the Awards Committee and for a year after their term on the Committee has ended, as stated in the SOT Bylaws.

Please review the requirements for the specific award. For some, if you submit an application for SOT membership before the October 9 award application deadline, your membership status will be classified as “pending” and you will be considered eligible to receive those awards.

Your portion of the membership application must be complete and submitted by October 9. If a sponsor letter has not yet been submitted, you will not be disqualified from award eligibility. However, it is your responsibility to follow up with your sponsor to ensure that your application is complete by the next membership review deadline. To remain eligible, you must be accepted as a member by the time you receive the award.

A member can be nominated for multiple SOT Awards as long as eligibility requirements for each individual award are met.

No, but given the prestige of SOT Awards, it is unlikely that one member will receive more than one SOT Award in a given year. Previous award recipients often are nominated for additional awards in subsequent years. Carefully read the award requirements to ensure your candidate meets the criteria.

Preference will be given to nominees who have not received one of the following SOT Awards in the past two years: Achievement, Arnold J. Lehman, Distinguished Toxicology Scholar, Education, Enhancement of Animal Welfare, Founders, Leading Edge in Basic Science, Merit, Public Communications, Toxicologist Mentoring, Translational Impact, Translational/Bridging Travel, and Undergraduate Educator Awards.

Making a Nomination

Historically, for SOT Awards, SOT members do not self-nominate but rather nominate scientists that they feel are worthy of receiving an SOT Award. This process can occur with or without the knowledge of the nominee.

For some awards, candidates may apply or self-nominate for the award, as long as a Full member other than the candidate writes the initial or seconder letter.

Please refer to each award’s description to determine criteria for each award.

Please follow the instructions outlined for the individual award. Some require a CV, but specifics may vary.

For national SOT Awards, the Awards Committee requires a standardized length for CVs included in nomination packages. CVs must be a maximum of 10 pages in length and should highlight the candidate’s most significant professional accomplishments as they relate to the criteria for the award. Awards Committee members are required to review only 10 pages of each CV; therefore, submitting a longer CV does not strengthen an award nomination.

No. The SOT Awards process is based on the selection of the best candidate and is not a “popularity contest.” It is better to put more time into writing two unique, quality letters than spend time soliciting additional letters of support for a nomination. For awards requiring two letters of support, Awards Committee members are required to review only those two letters; therefore, submitting additional letters does not strengthen an award nomination.

The strongest nomination packages include two letters that are distinct from one another to offer more detailed support of the candidate’s qualifications. Nomination packages that include very similar letters of nomination offer less information than those that include recommendations that are varied in content. Letters of nomination should be specific and descriptive while also maintaining a level of concision.

For letters that require authorship by Full members of the Society, only active membership will be considered as fulfilling this requirement. Individuals who have let their SOT membership expire will not be considered as SOT members for purposes of this criterion.

SOT Award nominations are reviewed for three years and then retired unless the nominator resubmits the nomination, in which case the three-year timeline resets. If a candidate is not selected for an award, nominators are strongly encouraged to update their nomination packages for the next review cycle to ensure that the nomination materials are as up-to-date as possible and reflect the candidate’s most current accomplishments.

Awards not bestowed by the Awards Committee are often valid only for the current year. Please refer to each award’s description for criteria regarding the life cycle of each award nomination.

Logistics for Notifying and Recognizing the Award Recipient

A member of the Awards Committee will contact the Full member who submitted the nomination and give them the option to notify the recipient. SOT Headquarters staff contacts the nominee only upon being informed that the nominee is aware that they have been selected to receive the award. For awards not requiring a nomination, the awardee will be contacted directly.

In addition to the prestige of receiving the award, SOT Awards administered by the SOT Awards Committee include a monetary stipend. Award recipients are recognized in that year’s Annual Meeting promotional materials and on the SOT website. Awardees also are presented with a plaque at the SOT Awards Ceremony during the Annual Meeting. Current year recipients and a guest also are invited to attend the President’s Reception at that year’s Annual Meeting.

Other recognitions are defined in the individual award information.

No, award recipients are responsible for their own travel expenses to the SOT Annual Meeting unless the award is designated as a travel award to support meeting expenses.

All members of SOT are responsible for paying the Annual Meeting registration fees unless otherwise stated in the award description. An award recipient may ask SOT Council for an Annual Meeting registration fee waiver.