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Giving to medicine and health at the University of Minnesota

Honors and awards

Each year, the University of Minnesota recognizes academic excellence and achievement with honors and awards made possible by the University of Minnesota Foundation and its donors.

Some awards are administered through the Medical school; others are determined by departments or other academic units. See the list below for details, along with links to more information, instructions, and nomination or application forms where applicable. Please note all faculty/resident awards will be distributed directly through the University of Minnesota's Payroll department and student awards will be distributed through the Office of Student Finance.

Faculty awards

Bacaner Research Awards

The Dr. Marvin and Hadassah Bacaner Research Awards recognize exceptional research achievement by graduate students in the basic sciences as well as graduate students or faculty in cardiology. Nominations may be made by a student’s graduate advisor or by a faculty member’s colleagues.

Basic Science and Clinical Teacher of the Year Awards

The $500 Basic Science and Clinical Teacher of the Year Awards recognize superior teaching at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus. The recipients are chosen by second-year class vote.

Distinguished Teaching Awards

The Distinguished Teaching Awards recognize superior teaching by Twin Cities Medical School faculty. Faculty members who receive the award five times or more become a Lifetime Distinguished Teacher. All awards are determined by medical student nomination and vote. The six $1,000 awards are:

  • Years One and Two Distinguished Teaching Award
  • Years Three and Four Distinguished Clinical Teaching Award
  • Years Three and Four Distinguished Medical Resident Teaching Award

Ernst Award in Pathology

The Dr. Kenneth F. Ernst Award in Pathology recognizes superior research in pathology by University medical or graduate students, residents, or fellows. The award amount is not fixed. Selection is made by the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.

Exceptional Community Faculty Teaching Award

The Exceptional Community Faculty Teaching Awards honor and encourage outstanding preceptorial teaching. Two $500 awards will be made to adjunct faculty who teach medical students in any of the four years of their training.

Herz Faculty Teaching Development Awards

The Herz Faculty Teaching Development Awards support faculty projects that seek to improve the medical curriculum and teaching skills. Faculty with demonstrated interest in teaching, leadership, creativity, and educational innovation receive preference.

Manning Research Award

The Patrick J. Manning Research Award honors individuals who have shown special efforts on behalf of research animals and consequently on behalf of science. Recipients are selected by a special award committee from Research Animal Resources.

Outstanding Medical School Teacher Awards

The $2,000 Outstanding Medical School Teacher Awards recognize faculty who have made outstanding contributions to the education of physicians and medical students. Awards are given in two categories: basic science and clinical science. Nominations are accepted from the Medical School community, including faculty, staff, students, and medical residents.

Rural Physician Associate Program Preceptor Achievement Award

Each year, RPAP students nominate outstanding faculty members for the Rural Physician Associate Program Preceptor Achievement Award.  One preceptor is recognized.

Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award

The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award promotes the integration of humanism in the delivery of care to patients and their families.

Student awards

Alpha Epsilon Iota Foundation Award

The Alpha Epsilon Iota Foundation Award honors one or more outstanding graduating senior women medical students. Awards are typically $1,000. The Medical School Education Dean nominates individuals and forwards names to the AEI Foundation.

Armstrong Memorial Awards

Two Wallace D. Armstrong Memorial Awards are presented annually, one to the medical student with the highest scholastic standing in biochemistry, and the other to the first-year dental student with the highest scholastic standing in biochemistry.

Bacaner Research Awards

The Dr. Marvin and Hadassah Bacaner Research Awards recognize exceptional research achievement by graduate students in the basic sciences as well as graduate students or faculty in cardiology. Nominations may be made by a student’s graduate advisor or by a faculty member’s colleagues.

Barnum Graduate Student Travel Awards

The Cyrus P. Barnum and Anne R. Barnum Graduate Student Travel Awards are presented throughout the year as circumstances merit to graduate students in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics. To apply, contact the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics at 612-625-6100.

Barnum Memorial Teaching Fellowship

The Cyrus P. Barnum Memorial Teaching Fellowships recognize graduate students’ teaching expertise in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics. To apply, contact the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics at 612-625-6100.

Ernst Award in Pathology

The Dr. Kenneth F. Ernst Award in Pathology recognizes superior research in pathology by University medical or graduate students, residents, or fellows. The award amount is not fixed. Selection is made by the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.

Excellence in Geriatric Scholarship Awards

Two Awards for Excellence in Geriatric Scholarship are presented each year by the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health: a $1000 award to a medical student and $2,000 award to a resident. Any University of Minnesota medical student or resident may submit a paper for consideration.

Fisch Art of Medicine Student Awards

Up to six Fisch Art of Medicine Student Awards are presented annually to current medical students to explore the arts and humanities in ways that are not possible in the conventional medical school curriculum. The awards nurture creativity, allow students to express themselves in new ways, and enhance lifelong connections between the art and science of medicine. Participants will discuss and present their work at the annual Robert O. Fisch Art of Medicine Colloquium held each March at the Weisman Art Museum.

Gault International Study Award

The N.L. and Sarah J. Gault International Study Award encourages medical students to seek educational experiences in international health issues and to enable them to study in other countries. To apply, contact Shannon Benson, International Medical Education and Research Program, at 612-625-7933 or benson@umn.edu.

Gault, Honorary Scholarship

The N. L. Gault, M.D. Honorary Scholarship is offered to medical students who intend to specialize in internal or family medicine. Established by the late Royal C. Gray, M.D., University of Minnesota Medical School Class of 1925, the scholarship honors former dean N. L. Gault. It alternates annually between internal medicine and family medicine. For further information, please call 612-625-5976 or 612-626-0619.

Global Health Scholar Award

The Global Health Scholar Award is presented annually to a graduating medical student in recognition of scholarly contributions to knowledge that will improve the health of people living with compromised healthcare. Selection is made by the directors of the International Medical Education and Research Program.

Graduating Medical Student Research Awards

The $1,000 Graduating Medical Student Research Awards recognize meritorious research by graduating medical students who have or are pursing any other advanced degree. Applications consist of a research paper, a letter of application, and one or more faculty letters of support.

Horns Memorial Award

The $1,000 Richard C. Horns Memorial Award recognizes an undergraduate medical student for the development of outstanding clinical skills. Nominations are made by the Medical School Education Dean.

Jacobson International Study Award

The Maynard and Elaine Jacobson International Study Award was established to facilitate the development of future leaders in health care, medical education, and research through the sharing of education and experiences among students and teachers in a different cultural and medical environment. To apply, contact Shannon Benson, International Medical Education and Research Program, at 612-625-7933 or benson@umn.edu.

Kaplan Award

Three $4,000 J. Jacob Kaplan Awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding research by undergraduate or graduate medical students, one in each of the following areas: cardiology, immunology in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and gastroenterology.

Lampson Award

The Laird W. and Mary C. Lampson Award honors an outstanding second-year male medical student on the Duluth campus for excellence in scholarship and contributions to the student community.

Lampson Memorial Award

The Herbert G. Lampson Memorial Award honors an outstanding second-year female medical student on the Duluth campus for excellence in scholarship and contributions to the student community.

Lawn Student Award

The Harold Lawn Student Award is presented by the Department of Psychiatry for the best paper written by a student in the Psychiatric externship.

Lifson/Johnson Memorial Award

The Lifson/Johnson Memorial Award recognizes excellence in teaching by undergraduate or graduate students. Selection is by the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology.

Livermore Memorial Award

The J. Thomas Livermore Memorial Award recognizes outstanding undergraduate research in hematology. Nominations are reviewed by the Minnesota Medical Foundation’s Honors and Awards Committee.

Lunden Award

The $1,000 Jan Lunden Award honors outstanding research by a graduate or medical student in the field of molecular hepatology. Recipients are selected by an ad hoc faculty committee.

Medical Student Achievement Awards

The $1,000 Medical Student Achievement Awards recognize leadership, community service, academic achievement, and research by fourth-year medical students. Nominations are accepted from medical students, faculty, student organizations, or other persons associated with medical students.

Medical Student International Study Awards

The Medical Student International Study Awards encourage undergraduate medical students to seek educational experiences in international health issues and to help enable medical students to study in another country. The awards support a wide variety of student projects in basic and applied research, clinical work, and public health, ranging from service in rural clinics in underdeveloped countries to clinical or laboratory work in Western-style teaching hospitals in industrialized countries. To apply, contact Shannon Benson, International Medical Education and Research Program, at 612-625-7933 or benson@umn.edu.

Memorial Award

The Memorial Award recognizes an outstanding second-year medical student on the Duluth campus who has shown kindness and generosity to others.

Metropolitan-Mount Sinai Outstanding Student Awards

The Metropolitan-Mount Sinai Outstanding Second-year Medical Student Award and Metropolitan-Mount Sinai Outstanding Fourth-year Medical Student Award each honor a medical student who is regarded by their classmates as the most well-rounded and likely to become the most outstanding physicians or clinicians.

Milne-Brandenburg Awards

The Beatrice Z. Milne and Theodore Brandenburg Awards recognize outstanding research by graduate students in the basic sciences. Nominations are by the chair of each department in basic sciences. 

Roth-Steer Award for Research in Alzheimer’s Disease

The Roth-Steer Award for Research in Alzheimer’s Disease is presented for outstanding research related to Alzheimer’s disease by a graduate, medical, or post-doctoral student. The recipient is selected by an ad hoc faculty committee.

Roza Steer Breast Cancer Research Award

The $1,000 Roza Steer Breast Cancer Research Award is presented for outstanding research by a graduate student or medical student in the field of breast cancer. The recipient is selected by an ad hoc faculty committee.

Rubin Medical Memorial Award

The Dr. James E. Rubin Medical Memorial Award is presented to a senior medical student at the University of Minnesota who demonstrates excellence in diagnostic skill, compassion, and a high degree of ethical standards. The recipient is selected by the Honors and Awards Committee of the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Rural Physician Associate Program Student Achievement Award

The $1,000 Rural Physician Associate Program Student Achievement Award is presented to an RPAP student who excels in academic accomplishment and demonstrates noteworthy community involvement. Students are nominated by their preceptors.

Schmit-Steer Award

The Schmit-Steer Award is presented annually for outstanding research in basic biological chemistry by a Ph.D. candidate. The recipient is selected by an ad hoc faculty committee.

Segal Award in Psychiatry

The Gloria Segal Award in Psychiatry recognizes two senior medical students, one from the University of Minnesota Medical School and one from the Mayo Medical School, for outstanding academic and professional performance during the third year clinical psychiatry rotation.

Spink International Research Award

The Wesley M. Spink International Research Award provides stipends to medical students for international research projects. To apply, contact Shannon Benson, International Medical Education and Research Program, at 612-625-7933 or benson@umn.edu.

Steer Family Award in Diabetes Research

The $1,000 Steer Family Award in Diabetes Research is presented for outstanding research by a graduate or medical student in the field of diabetes mellitus. The recipient is selected by an ad hoc faculty committee.

Steer-Johnson Award

Steer-Johnson Awards are presented annually for outstanding research by undergraduate or graduate students in the field of general physiology, pulmonary physiology, or cardiovascular physiology in the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology. Selection is by a committee in the department.

Steer-Pruitt Award

The $500 Steer-Pruitt Award is presented annually for outstanding cardiovascular research by a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Twin Cities. The recipient is selected by an ad hoc faculty committee.

Tow Humanism in Medicine Student Award

The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Student Award promotes the integration of humanism in the delivery of care to patients and their families.

Veneziale-Steer Award

The $1,000 Veneziale-Steer Award recognizes outstanding research by a graduate or medical student in the field of cellular growth regulation. The recipient is selected by an ad hoc faculty committee.

Watson Award

The $2,500 Cecil J. Watson Award recognizes the most outstanding research by a physician in graduate clinical training in any clinical department of the Medical School each year.

Resident awards

Burke Memorial Award

The $750 Dr. Leonard P. Burke Memorial Award recognizes a graduating family medicine resident for unique service contributions. Selection is made by the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

Bizal Peterson Memorial Award

The Mary Bizal Peterson Memorial Award is presented to the senior medical student planning a residency in neurology at the University of Minnesota who is judged the best candidate by a Department of Neurology selection committee.

Ernst Award in Pathology

The Dr. Kenneth F. Ernst Award in Pathology recognizes superior research in pathology by University medical or graduate students, residents, or fellows. The award amount is not fixed. Selection is made by the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.

Excellence in Geriatric Scholarship Awards

Two Awards for Excellence in Geriatric Scholarship are presented each year by the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health: a $1000 award to a medical student and $2,000 award to a resident. Any University of Minnesota medical student or resident may submit a paper for consideration.

Other awards

Licht Memorial Lecture

The Sidney Licht Memorial Lecture provides an honorarium of $1,000 to a distinguished physician for up to two days of teaching, plus expenses. The Visiting Licht Clinician is selected by the chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.


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Important information about giving
to the University of Minnesota

The Minnesota Medical Foundation has merged with the University of Minnesota Foundation.

The combination of two great foundations, operating as the University of Minnesota Foundation, will enhance support of excellence at the University of Minnesota, provide even greater efficiencies, and better serve University donors.

For more information, contact the University of Minnesota Foundation at 612-624-3333.

Award recipients

Recipients of these academic honors and awards are recognized during the annual Honors and Awards ceremony in April.

Alumni awards

UMF partners with the Medical Alumni Society to recognize alumni excellence and achievement. Find out more about the alumni awards program

Find out more

For more information about Medical School honors and awards, contact Pat Tuomi at 612-626-3807 or tuomi001@umn.edu.