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2014 NIH Director’s Awards Program Guidelines and Criteria

NIH Director’s Awards

General Guidelines

  • All nominations will be entered by the nominator through the electronic honorary awards and ranking system, e-HARTS.  There will be no hard copies required.   (It is strongly recommended that you keep a hard copy for your records). Detailed database instructions are available.
  • Individuals or groups may be nominated for these awards.
  • Nominations may be initiated by IC management staff, or by individuals with knowledge of the accomplishments of the individual being nominated.
  • All nominations must be approved by the individual supervisor and the IC Director.
  • The narrative of accomplishments should focus on the nominee’s contributions, how they exceeded what is expected, and the impact of those contributions.  Routine responsibilities should be included only as they establish a context for the accomplishment cited.
  • Narrative for justification is limited to 6,000 characters.
  • Citation for the award is limited to 25 words and 255 characters. 

Categories and Criteria

Purpose:

The Director’s Award is intended to recognize superior performance or special efforts significantly beyond the regular duty requirements, and directly related to fulfilling the NIH mission. Nominations are to be submitted for one of the four specific categories according to the nature of the act, service or work performance.   The categories and specific eligibility criteria are:

Category 1: Scientific/Medical

Eligibility:

All NIH employees or group of employees in research, clinical, and scientific professions such as Medical Officers, Health Science Administrators, Biologists, Chemists, Veterinarians, Dentists, Nurses, etc.

Criteria:

  • Unusual display of leadership that promoted the advancement of the understanding or application of scientific phenomena, processes or problems
  • Unusual achievement in the application of scientific principles and methods to improve the efficiency or extend the benefits of the NIH
  • Discovery or invention of a new principle, process or device of a scientific nature that resulted in substantial benefits
  • Unusual competence, compassion, or heroism in an emergency situation at NIH
  • Sustained and excellent performance in carrying out a difficult task
  • Outstanding contribution to a special committee or task force dealing with NIH-wide policies, procedures or operations

Category 2: Administrative

Eligibility:

All NIH employees or group of NIH employees performing administrative functions such as Budget, Human Resources, Grants Management, Contracts, Accounting, Information Technology,  Writer/Editor, Public Affairs and Communication, etc., that support the scientific mission of the NIH.

Criteria:

  • Exceptional initiative or leadership in carrying out activities to improve NIH program operations or to benefit the NIH environment
  • Development and improvement of methods, procedures, or equipment that resulted in substantial benefits to the NIH or government
  • Unusual competence, compassion, or heroism in an emergency situation at NIH
  • Sustained and excellent performance in carrying out a difficult task
  • Outstanding contribution to a special committee or task force dealing with NIH-wide policies, procedures or operations
  • Notable competence and resourcefulness in improving the administrative management of the NIH
  • Skill and leadership in administration

Category 3: Technical/Clerical/Support

Eligibility:

All NIH employees or groups of employees in grades GS-1 through GS-9 performing various office support and miscellaneous clerical and assistance duties. The category also applies to the performance of Wage Grade equivalent technical work in trades, crafts, or labor work.

Criteria:

  • Outstanding efforts in applying technical or clerical support skills to accomplish the NIH mission
  • Exceptional initiative in carrying out activities to improve NIH program operations or to benefit the NIH environment
  • Unusual competence, compassion, or heroism in an emergency situation at NIH
  • Sustained and excellent performance in carrying out a difficult task

Category 4:  Common Fund Leadership

Purpose:

The Common Fund Leadership component of the NIH Director’s Awards, similar to other components, is intended to recognize superior performance or special efforts significantly beyond the regular duty requirements, and directly related to fulfilling the NIH mission. A limited number (up to 3) of awards will be selected based on Common Fund Program activities.  The submissions for these awards may be individual or group nominations and are made by IC Directors or Senior Program Staff who serve as Common Fund Working Group chairs.  The nominations will be reviewed initially by the Director, Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) who will provide recommendations to the overall NIH award review committee. Please be sure to document in the award submission this is for 'Common Fund Leadership activities' consideration.

Eligibility:

All NIH employees

Criteria: 

  • Unusual display of leadership that promoted the advancement of the NIH Common Fund Program initiatives and/or their underlying processes
  • Unusual achievement in the application of scientific and/or administrative principles and methods to improve the efficiency or extend the benefits of the  Common Fund Program
  • Discovery or invention of a new principle, process or device of a scientific or science administration nature that resulted in a new approach or substantial benefits
  • Sustained and excellent performance in carrying out a difficult task
  • Outstanding contribution to a special committee or task force dealing with NIH-wide Common Fund Program policies, procedures or operations
  • Skill and leadership in science and/or administrative management

Ruth L. Kirschstein Mentoring Award

General Guidelines

  • All nominations will be entered by the nominator through the electronic honorary awards and ranking system, e-HARTS.  There will be no hard copies required. (It is strongly recommended that you keep a hard copy for your records).  Detailed database instructions are available.
  • ICs are asked to nominate one individual who has performed in an exemplary manner while providing mentoring functions and support to others.
  • Nominations may be initiated by IC management staff, or by individuals with knowledge of the mentoring accomplishments of the individual being nominated.
  • All nominations must be approved by the supervisor and IC Director.
  • The narrative of accomplishments should focus on the mentor’s contributions, how they exceeded what is expected, and the impact of those contributions on the career development of others.  Routine responsibilities should be included only as they establish a context for the accomplishment cited.
  • Narrative for justification is limited to 6,000 characters. 
  • The citation for the mentoring award will read: 

For exemplary performance while demonstrating significant leadership, skill and ability in serving as a mentor.

 

Purpose:

The Ruth L. Kirschstein Mentoring Award is designed to support and encourage the continuation of mentoring activities, and to establish mentoring as a core value at NIH.  The award is given to individuals who have demonstrated significant leadership, skill, and ability in serving as a quality mentor to one or more individuals.

Eligibility:

All NIH employees are eligible who are mentoring others. Groups cannot be nominated for this award.

Criteria:

  • Demonstrate effective relationships with individuals by being able to effectively communicate and actively listen.  Having the ability to resolve conflicts and giving appropriate feedback.
  • Valuing and taking pride in NIH and its work; understanding its mission, vision, and values, and supporting its initiatives.
  • Exhibiting patience and willingness to spend and provide adequate time serving in the role of mentor.
  • Serving as a role model—teaching and demonstrating high standards of performance, integrity, and ethical conduct.
  • Providing ongoing technical advice and guidance in the specific subject matter area.
  • Providing visibility through securing challenging projects and assignments for those that that mentor and by discussing his/her accomplishments with others.
  • Motivating and inspiring the one that is being mentored to achieve breakthroughs by challenging his/her potential.
  • Helping the one being mentored to develop important skills, such as:  planning and the effective use of time, organization, communication and interpersonal skills, leadership, teamwork, creative thinking, etc.

Alan S. Rabson Award for Clinical Care

General Guidelines

  • All nominations will be entered by the nominator through the electronic honorary awards and ranking system, e-HARTS. There will be no hard copies required. (It is strongly recommended that you keep a hard copy for your records).  Detailed database instructions are available.
  • ICs are asked to nominate one clinical researcher who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to assisting patients and their families.
  • Nominations may be initiated by IC management staff, or by individuals with knowledge of the accomplishments of the individual being nominated.
  • All nominations must be approved by the supervisor and IC Director.
  • The narrative of accomplishments should focus on the nominee’s contributions, how they exceeded what is expected, and the impact of those contributions.  Routine responsibilities should be included only as they establish a context for the accomplishment cited.
  • Narrative for justification is limited to 6,000 characters.
  • The citation for the award will read: 

For scientific and medical excellence and the outstanding, compassionate care for patients and those who love them.

Purpose:

The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding clinical researchers who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to assisting patients and their families who look to the National Institutes of Health for help.  Recipients of this award exemplify Dr. Rabson’s unswerving commitment to scientific and technical excellence, collaboration with colleagues, and provision of excellent, compassionate care for patients and those who love them.

Eligibility:

All NIH employees who are clinical researchers are eligible. Groups cannot be nominated for this award.

Criteria:

  • Shows willingness to go the extra mile to help patients and families who contact NIH;
  • Demonstrates excellence and dedication to direct patient care;
  • Provides outstanding care while tending to the needs of patients and their families;
  • Serves as a role model for the clinical research profession;
  • Works effectively as a member of a health care team to promote excellence in the delivery of clinical care; and
  • Supports originality, creativity, and innovation in clinical care.
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