Prizes & Awards

Meenakshi Narain Mentoring Award

The Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society established an award in 2015 to honor exceptional mentoring, broadly defined, in particle physics and to be bestowed annually. This award was dedicated in honor of Prof. Meenakshi Narain in 2023. With the generous support of colleagues and family, and a grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation, an endowment in honor of Meenakshi Narain has been established to provide a monetary prize for the mentoring award beginning with the 2023 award.

This APS Unit Award is intended to recognize DPF members who have had an exceptional impact as mentors of particle physics scientists and students. This mentoring could be through teaching or research or science-related activities and is meant to recognize current achievements as well as those spanning a career.

Examples of contributions honored by this award include:

  • Exceptional mentoring of early career particle physicists;

  • Sustained commitment to mentoring early career particle physicists from traditionally under-represented backgrounds;

  • A leadership role in developing early career research and career development activities.

The award consists of a certificate indicating the citation chosen by the selection committee, to be awarded at the next DPF Meeting, and a monetary prize of $5,000. The endowment will also reimburse reasonable travel expenses for travel to the award ceremony.

Beginning in 2024, the Meenakshi Narain Mentoring Award has become a APS society-level award. For information, please see this page.

About Meenakshi Narain

Professor Narain was an experimental particle physicist and an inspirational leader. She served as a dedicated mentor to many young scientists and developed many new programs that strived to improve diversity and inclusion in physics. Her commitment to science and her care for the high-energy physics community and the people in it has left a lasting impact. APS and DPF are delighted to dedicate this mentoring award in her honor and are pleased that an endowment to fund the award has been established.

Previous Recipients

2022 David Salzberg, UCLA

“For his strong record establishing an exciting physics environment in which he mentored a diverse group of students, postdocs, undergraduates, and junior faculty members, empowering them to realize their full potential as physicists and to push the boundaries of our field."

Award Committee: Tim Tait (chair), Sarah Eno (chair elect), Josh Klein, Konstantin Matchev, and Rafael Lang

2021 Rafael Lang, Purdue University

“For his outstanding commitment to mentoring the next generation of scientists, particularly through the development of an exemplary undergraduate research program that has opened the door to dark matter research to hundreds of students; for his mentorship of postdocs and graduate students; and for his far reaching and impactful public engagement activities."

Award Committee: Pearl Sandick (Chair), Tim M.P. Tait (Chair Elect), Tesla Jeltema, Josh Klein, Konstantin Matchev

2020 Tesla Jeltema, UC Santa Cruz
“For her dedication to mentoring young physicists through hands-on, heartfelt, and effective engagement, and in applying this broadly, to many students at all levels and through many programs, making particle physics an inclusive and productive environment for everyone.”
Award Committee: Bonnie Fleming (Chair), Mirjam Cvetic, Ken Heller, Pearl Sandick, Tim Tait

2019 Tim M.P. Tait, UC Irvine
“For his successful and inclusive mentoring of many young particle physicists, including undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and junior faculty. His tireless efforts as a mentor, role model, and supporter of diversity have left an indelible mark on the particle physics community.”
Award Committee: Mirjam Cvetic (Chair), Bonnie Fleming, Karsten Heeger, Ken Heller, Pearl Sandick

2018 Bonnie Fleming, Yale University
“For her dedication to mentoring the next generation of experimentalists, providing opportunities and support for each to excel in their own way, tirelessly supporting diversity, developing new outreach initiatives, and showing by example how to be a physicist, colleague, and collaborator.”
Award Committee: James Alexander, Cornell (Chair), Mirjam Cvetic, U. Pennsylvania (Vice Chair), Karsten Heeger, Yale U., Robin Erbacher, U.C. Davis, Roni Harnik, Fermilab

2017 Thomas Devlin, Rutgers University
“For his tremendous dedication to a broad community of students and postdocs, and for his early and unwavering support of gender diversity in physics. His leadership by example, in studying new ideas, accepting all questions, and creating an inclusive environment where young scientists could bond with and learn from senior scientists and from each other has shaped the careers of many current leaders in experimental particle physics.”
Award Committee: Robin Erbacher (Chair), James Alexander (Vice Chair), Howie Haber, Louise Suter, Howard Georgi (previous recipient)

2016 - Howard Georgi, Harvard University
“For his unique dedication to mentoring and supporting a large and diverse community of students and post doctoral fellows, whose creative theoretical endeavors have had an enormous impact on particle physics as well as the larger scientific community.”
Award Committee: Laura Reina (Chair), Robin Erbacher (Vice Chair), Howie Haber, Louise Suter, Heidi Schellman (previous recipient)

2015 - Heidi Schellman
“For three decades of exceptional mentoring of students and colleagues throughout their careers, providing guidance regardless of affiliation, serving as a role model, and establishing a culture of service to others.”
Award Committee: Robert Bernstein (Chair), Laura Reina (Vice Chair), Benjamin Hooberman, Kendall Mahn, Sally Seidel

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.