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Society for Social Studies of Science

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Call for Nominations – Mentoring Award—Deadline April 30, 2016


The award will be granted annually.  Both mid-career and more senior scholars are eligible.

Send nominations to Sharon Traweek (UCLA, USA; co-chair) by April 30, 2016.  Other members of the 2016 committee include:Sulfikar Amir (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore); Kim Fortun (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA); Leandro Rodriguez-Medina (Universidad de las Americas Puebla, Mexico); Kaushik Sunder Rajan (U Chicago, USA; co-chair); Sally Wyatt (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences, The Netherlands)

The nomination packet must not exceed five pages in length (12pt font). It must include (1) a statement or letter of nomination, detailing the candidate’s distinguished contributions as a mentor, and (2) supporting documentation.  Supporting documentation provides evidence of the candidate's distinguished contributions to mentoring in Science and Technology Studies.  Supporting documentation may include up to three letters of support from mentees, knowledgeable colleagues, supervisors, etc. Other forms of documentation are also acceptable, as appropriate.

The 4S Mentoring Award implements an expansive conception of mentoring, recognizing the wide range of ways that effective mentors share scholarly insights, practices, and support across generations and domains of practice. It recognizes mentoring through pedagogy, assistance in professional development, support of work-life relationships, and other appropriate practices.

The Award Committee considers two criteria in assessing candidates: (1) scholarly excellence in mentoring, and (2) scope of mentoring accomplishments.

Some possible dimensions of scope are (a) temporal, i.e., spanning a long period of time; (b) spatial, i.e., spanning significant geographical distances; (c) organizational, i.e., spanning different institutions, types of institutions, or levels of scholarly service within an organization; and (d) representational, i.e., expanding the diversity of STS scholars and scholarship. Other dimensions of scope may be appropriate.

A list of possible categories of distinguished contributions to mentoring follows below.  Although detailed, it is both non-exclusive and far from exhaustive.

Proactive pedagogies that encourage students and colleagues to explicitly explore and value . . .

  • supportive academic environments, including:
    • innovative teaching and mentoring
    • ethical practices in teaching, research, and governance
    • supportive and respectful communication
  • scholarly innovation, including:
    • theoretical and methodological innovations
    • interdisciplinary inquiries
    • independent inquiry, research, writing, teaching, and advocacy goals, such as taking independent decisions, risks, and positions in STS debates
    • basic, applied, developmental, clinical, and policy research
    • work in public arenas
    • Proactive professionalization practices among students and colleagues that effectively . . .
  • model critical evaluation of:
    • academic career trajectories and their transformations within and beyond academia
    • current job and funding opportunities and transformations
    • tacit and explicit practices at universities, academic funding agencies, publishers, professional communities, societies, and their transformations
    • ethical practices in all aspects of STS work
  • model
    • interdisciplinary and glocal engagements with colleagues, including those conducting fundamental, applied, developmental, clinical, and policy research
    • a broad and international understanding of STS and its transformations
    • effective leadership and how to respond strategically to non-collegial behavior
    • constructive engagement with differences among students, staff, colleagues, and our research subjects.
    • Proactive practices at the intersections of individuals, families, communities, work places, organizations, and other groupings locally, trans-locally, and globally that effectively . . .
  • assist with
    • constructive life/work balance decisions, including building and balancing professional, personal, family, community, and societal commitments
    • decision-making practices during professional, personal, family, community, and societal crises
    • locating strategic, significant intersections across academia and other areas of life
    • building collegial relationships among students and colleagues locally, trans-locally, and globally
  • address
    • uneven privilege within academia and beyond, e.g., due to differences among genders, ethnicities, classes, races, and/or national origins, etc. among students, staff, colleagues, and research subjects.
  • model
    • work at interfaces between STS and non-STS arenas
    • how to actively share STS expertise beyond academia
    • engagement with institutional, professional, and societal transformations
    • safe spaces and practices for open discussions within and beyond the academy
    • access to resources for open discussions and transformative practices
    • discourses about and conduct of ethical practices in STS professional and public engagements