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Herbert W. Nickens Award

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Deadline: Friday, April 2, 2021 at 11:59 PM 

The Herbert W. Nickens Award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to promoting justice in medical education and health care equity in the United States. Dr. Herbert W. Nickens was the founding vice president of the AAMC Division of Community and Minority Programs, now Diversity Policy and Programs. Dr. Nickens’ passionate leadership contributed greatly to focusing national attention on the need to support underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities in medicine.

The awardee receives the Nickens Award and a $10,000 prize. The awardee will also present the Nickens Lecture at Learn Serve Lead 2021: The AAMC Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX.

Learn about Dr. Herbert W. Nickens’ contributions to academic medicine in Reflections on Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Medicine commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Nickens award.

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Herbert W. Nickens Award

Dr. Nickens believed that a multidisciplinary approach is needed to address inequities in health. Nominees from a wide range of fields are encouraged, including medicine, dentistry, education, law, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social and behavioral sciences. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Exemplary contributions to promoting social justice in medical education and health equities.
  • Record of achievement in promoting social justice.
  • Contributions have had a significant national impact.

The nomination packet must include:

  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae, including current address.
  • One (1) nomination letter that explains the nominee's qualifications for the award by:
    • Highlighting specific work in the United States to promote social justice in medical education and health equities; and
    • Including at least two (2) brief testimonials interwoven into the letter that support their contributions to promoting social justice in medical education and health equities.

Note: The letter must be doubled-spaced, have one-inch margins, and be written in Times New Roman 12-point font, and must not exceed six pages.

The committee will not review additional materials.

Completed nomination packages should be submitted on the award nomination site by Friday, April 2, 2021 at 11:59 PM. Late nominations will not be considered.

  1.  The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 2, 2021, 11:59 PM PST.
  2. The selection process will be completed by June 2021. The award recipient will be notified at the time of selection.
  3. All nominees for the award will be notified of the recipient and status prior to Learn Serve Lead 2021: The AAMC Annual Meeting.
  4. The national award recipient will be announced and honored during Learn Serve Lead 2021 in San Antonio, TX.

The Herbert W. Nickens Award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to promoting justice in medical education and health care equity in the United States.

Nickens Award recipients come from a wide range of fields including medicine, dentistry, education, law, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social and behavioral sciences. 

Cato T. Laurencin, MD, PhD, is the 2020 Herbert W. Nickens Award recipient. Dr. Laurencin has distinguished himself throughout his 40-year career as a phenomenal physician-scientist and a courageous leader in social justice, equity, and fairness.

Learn more about previous recipients.