GBS Student Leadership Award


This student nominated award recognizes graduate students in the Biosciences who have made outstanding and notable academic, professional, social, and/or service contributions for the University of Virginia and the local community.  This award is meant to commend well-rounded graduate students who have served as leaders either at the University of Virginia or in the local community.  The following includes a list of accomplishments that would be of importance to this award:  participation in leadership at the University-wide level, participation in student organizations, teaching experience, community service, research accomplishments, mentorship activities, and outreach to the University and greater Charlottesville areas.


Nominees must meet the following requirements:

1. He/she must be either a current doctoral candidate in his/her fourth year or higher, or a student who graduated the summer or fall semesters prior to the GBS Symposium.

2. He/She must be in a program included under the GBS umbrella at the University of Virginia.

3. He/she must not have previously won the GBS Student Leadership Award.

Nomination Packet:

  1. Primary nominating letter from a University of Virginia Bioscience graduate students.
    • Students cannot nominate themselves
  1. Up to 3 additional letters/testimonials from current University of Virginia graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty.  (One page limit per letter)
    • One letter must be from the nominee’s primary research mentor
    • Former University of Virginia graduate students or post-doctoral students may submit letters, as long as their date of completion at the University is no greater than one year from the time of letter submission.
    • If re-nominating a student from a previous year, the student serving as the primary nominating letter will re-submit all materials (nominating letters, and extra materials from Nominee) will be re-solicited.

Deadline for submission of Nomination Packet is 5:00PM February 9th, 2024.

  1. All remaining materials (described below) will be solicited from the nominee by the Vice President of the Graduate Biosciences Society after the above-listed deadline.

Extra Materials from Nominee:

  1. Updated CV
    • Applicants are encouraged to explain their leadership roles on their CV with a short 1-2 sentence description.
  1. Reflective statement answering both of the following prompts (Limit 1 page total):
    • What does leadership mean to you?
    • What is the one thing you are most passionate about in your involvement at the University of Virginia or in Charlottesville?
    • (Optional) Extra materials from the nominee may include an additional letter of recommendation, though they are not necessary.


The winner will be announced during the 2024 GBS Symposium and will receive $1000.

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee will be comprised of the following members:

  1. Four members from the executive committee of the Graduate Biosciences Society (GBS)
  2. President of Women in Medical Science (WIMS)
  3. President of the Graduate Biomedical Engineering Society (GBMES)
  4. President of the UVA Biology Graduate Student & Post-Doc Association (GSPA)
  5. President of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  6. President of the Mulholland Society of the School of Medicine
  7. One faculty representative from the Graduate Biosciences Society (GBS) advisory board to serve as a non-voting member

Members outside of GBS who are unable to attend the selection meeting or who have a conflict of interest must find an organization representative to replace them.  If a replacement cannot be found, if the stated organizations do not respond, or if the listed organizations decline to participate, selection committee members will be sought out from: Graduate Nursing Student Organization (GNSO), and/or the UVA Health Law Association, Chair of the Graduate Engineering Student Council (GSEC).

Chain of Command for the GBS selection representatives in the event that any of the executive officers are nominated is as follows:

  1. Academic Chair
  2. Professional Chair
  3. Social Chair
  4. Publicity Chair

Any member who has written a nomination or a letter of support for any of the nominees shall not be eligible for the selection committee.  Any member of the selection committee may recuse themselves from voting if they feel that they are unable to evaluate nominees without bias (consistent with the intentions of the UVA Honor Code). In the event that none of these members are eligible or available to serve on the selection committee, department representatives from the GBS Council will be asked to serve in their place, followed by volunteers from the GBS Council who are in regular attendance.  If the GBS Council is unable to present sufficient members eligible for the selection committee, the GBS faculty advisors may appoint BIMS student representatives as necessary.


Click here to see past winners!