2019 Postdoc Mentoring Award Call for Nominations

The Postdoctoral Association at UCLA is currently accepting applications for the 2019 Postdoc Mentoring Awards, which recognize UCLA faculty who have benefitted the postdoc community through their mentorship. We encourage you to nominate outstanding mentors! Please see the award announcement and call for applications and pay close attention to the nomination guidelines and timeline.

Nominations must be submitted to the Mentoring Award Committee Chair (jsaldate@ucla.edu) no later than December 9, 2019.

Award History

“Great mentors are inspiring, instill confidence, and help you see the bigger picture. Great mentors do not aspire to create copies of themselves, instead they recognize the value, strength, and aspiration of each individual and actively help them achieve their personal career goals. Great mentors launch you on the path of becoming an established independent researcher and future collaborator.”

Mentoring graduate students and postdoctoral scholars is not part of the curriculum in graduate schools. It’s a role that is passed on from one generation of faculty to the next.

In 2012, the Society of Postdoctoral Scholars began honoring exemplary faculty mentors in recognition of the importance of excellent mentorship for postdoctoral research success. Today, through the Postdoctoral Scholars Mentoring Award the Postdoctoral Association at UCLA continues that tradition.

UCLA faculty members were honored at the Postdoctoral Scholars & Mentors Awards Ceremony on September 25, 2018 to express gratitude for their remarkable mentorship of  postdoctoral scholars. Fifteen faculty were nominated for the award and two were selected to receive the award which is meant to recognize faculty who:

  • act as positive role models
  • develop a supportive lab or work environment
  • collaborate in the research project
  • encourage confidence and creativity
  • foster excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • help establish professional networks at this campus and others
  • actively support the transition from postdoc to independent research or other career

2017/18 Awardees

Christopher Giza, Neurosurgery

Nominated by postdoctoral scholar: Saman Sargolzaei

“Dr. Giza has clearly shown excellent understanding of the importance of diversity, respecting and promoting equity and inclusion. He is a very humble individual with a great personality [and] he mentors people with heart.”

From a former postdoc: “Dr. Giza’s example has made me a better mentor. I find that I reach out more to junior faculty and fellows because of him – a sort of ‘paying it forward’, so to speak. I distinctly remember how good it felt to know he had respect for my achievements and faith in my future endeavors. He made me feel that my failures were no different from his nor from any other researchers.”

Patricia Johnson, Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics

Nominated by postdoctoral scholar: Francie Mercer

“Patricia shares openly about challenges in her personal and professional life with her mentees. I therefore knew I could always go to her about personal challenges that arose during my postdoc, and had a role model that was able to excel at her job while dealing with all of the curveballs that life throws.”

“[She] is outspoken about the need for a diverse scientific community and has created opportunities for countless trainees in her lab from all kinds of backgrounds and identities, including LGBT, first generation, international, Latinx, black, Muslim, pregnant women, and mothers.”

2017/18 Nominees

  • James Bowie, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Thomas Carmichael, Neurology
  • Bowen Chung, Psychiatry
  • Nina Eidsheim, Musicology
  • Nasr Ghoniem , Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Christopher Giza, Neurosurgery
  • Kent Hill, Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics
  • Yu Huang , Materials Science and Engineering
  • Patricia Johnson, Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics
  • Leanne Jones, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
  • Michael Jung, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Seulgi Moon, Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
  • Ali Mosleh, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Ertugrul Taciroglu, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Tommaso Treu, Physics and Astronomy

Past award recipients


  • Michael F. GreenPsychiatry
  • Edithe. D. London, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences; Molecular and Medical Pharmocology
  • Richard WirzMechanical and Aerospace Engineering


  • Aydogan OzcanElectrical Engineering & Bioengineering


  • Michelle CraskePsychology
  • Luisa Iruela-ArispeMolecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology


  • Douglas L. Black, Microbiology, Immunology, Molecular Genetics
  • Kendall N. Houk, Chemistry and Biochemistry


  • James BowieChemistry and Biochemistry
  • Mark CohenNeuroscience
  • Kelsey MartinBiological Chemistry