Society-Wide Awards

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) fosters new ideas, recognizes leadership in gerontological teaching and service, and salutes both outstanding and potential research through a host of awards. The Society's awards program has a dual purpose; honoring outstanding leaders in the field of gerontology and focusing attention on new developments in the area of aging. In a way, the Society's award winners serve as milestones in the history and development of gerontology.

The multidisciplinary breadth of the Society's membership is reflected in the awards maintained by GSA. Some awards honor outstanding achievement in gerontology irrespective of discipline, such awards are listed herein. Nomination for any society-wide award will be accepted from February 1-March 31, 2020. Click here to access the online nominations form.


Donald P. Kent Award

Donald P. KentThe Donald P. Kent Award is given annually to a member of The Gerontological Society of America who best exemplifies the highest standards for professional leadership in gerontology through teaching, service, and interpretation of gerontology to the larger society. The award was created in 1973 in memory of Donald P. Kent for his outstanding leadership in translating research findings into practical use.

The recipient of the Kent Award presents a lecture at the Society's Annual Scientific Meeting the following year. The Kent Award Lecture is one of the highlights of the Society's Annual Scientific Meeting.

Submission Period
February 1- March 31, 2020

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a Fellow of the Society (GSA).

Nomination Process
Click here to access the online nomination form.

Required Nomination Packet Materials: 

  • A single nomination letter signed by at least three (3) supporters.
  • A current Curriculum Vitae.

Nature of the Award

The recipient recieves an egraved revere bowl, delivers a prestigious award lecture, and is recognized at the Opening Plenary Session of the GSA Annual Meeting. 

Past Recipients' Lectures
"Seizing Interdisciplinary Opportunities in the Changing Landscape of Health and Aging: A Social Work Perspective," by Barbara Berkman, is a revision of the Kent Award Lecture given at the Annual Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America held in New Orleans, Louisiana, in November 2010.

"The State of Gerontology—Opus One," by Scott Bass, is a revision of the Kent Award Lecture given at the Annual Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America held in San Diego, California, in November 2012.

Past Awardees: View here


Robert W. Kleemeier Award

kleemeier2The Robert W. Kleemeier Award is given annually to a member of The Gerontological Society of America in recognition for outstanding research in the field of gerontology. The award, created in 1965, is in memory of a former president of the Society whose contributions to the quality of life through research in aging were exemplary.

The recipient of the Kleemeier Award presents a lecture at the Society's Annual Scientific Meeting the following year. The Kleemeier Award Lecture is one of the highlights of the Society's Annual Scientific Meeting.

Submission Period
February 1- March 31, 2020

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a Fellow of the Society (GSA).

Nomination Process
Click here to access the online nomination form.

Required Nomination Packet Materials: 

  • A single nomination letter signed by at least three (3) supporters.
  • A current Curriculum Vitae.

Nature of Award

The recipient receives an engraved crystal award piece, delievers a prestigious award lecture, and is recognized at the Opening Plenary Session of the GSA Annual Meeting.  

Past Awardees: View here


M. Powell Lawton Award

lawton2The M. Powell Lawton Award, sponsored by Abramson Senior Care's Polisher Research Institute, recognizes outstanding contributions from applied gerontological research that have benefited older people and their care. The award was established to honor the memory of the late M. Powell Lawton, PhD, director emeritus of the Polisher Research Institute and a leading figure in aging research.

The award is presented at the GSA's Annual Scientific Meeting to an individual who exemplifies Dr. Lawton's personal and professional qualities, and whose contributions in gerontology have led to innovations in gerontological treatment, practice or service, prevention, or amelioration of symptoms or barriers. Individuals who have influenced public policy changes or demonstrated leadership in defining and implementing a creative program that led to improvement in the lives of older persons are also eligible.

The awardee receives a $3,000 cash prize and certificate, and presents a lecture at the GSA's Annual Scientific Meeting the following year.

Nominations of candidates in the early or mid stages of their careers are encouraged. Nominations should be responsive to the following guidelines:

  • Description and documentation of the nominee's contribution, including originality and creativity.
  • Demonstration of the innovation's positive impact over a sustained period.
  • Evidence of replication by others or dissemination.
  • The significance of the contribution in improving the lives of older persons.
  • An explanation of how the candidate exemplifies the qualities of the late M. Powell Lawton, including evidence of leadership, commitment to mentorship, humility, and respect.

Submission Period
February 1- March 31, 2020

Eligibility Criteria

  • The nominator must be a member of GSA, however nominees can be nonmembers.

Nomination Process
Click here to access the online nomination form.

Required Nomination Packet Materials: 

  • A single nomination letter signed by at least three (3) supporters.
  • A current Curriculum Vitae.

Nature of Award

The recipient receives $3000, an engraved plaque, and delivers a lecture at the GSA Annual Meeting. 

Past Recipient Lecture
"Aging Well and the Environment: Toward an Integrative Model and Research Agenda for the Future," by Hans-Werner Wahl, Susanne Iwarsson, and Frank Oswald, is a revision of the M. Powell Lawton Award Lecture delivered at the Annual Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America held in in New Orleans, Louisiana, in November 2010.

Past Awardees: View here


nyctMaxwell A. Pollack Award for Contributions to Healthy Aging

The Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Contributions to Health Aging recognizes an individual whose research, scholarship or practice has generated new or improved policies or practices related to healthy aging. The work of the awardee, who is typically at the mid or later stage of his/her career, must be particularly noteworthy for how it bridges the worlds of research, policy, and practice.

The Pollack Award follows the expressed wishes of Maxwell Pollack that the awardee be recognized for his/her “outstanding contribution to increasing the human healthy life span.” The award is open to professionals across all substantive areas of basic and applied research, practice or policy in aging. A key criterion is the translation of knowledge into practice or policy that extends, improves or exemplifies the healthy life span. The individual should be visionary in his/her approach to meeting current and critical needs of an older population.

The award is presented at the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting. The awardee will also be expected to give a presentation about the program for which the award was received. This award is funded by the New York Community Trust through a generous gift from Maxwell A. Pollack Fund.

Submission Period
February 1- March 31, 2020

Eligibility Criteria

  • The candidate must be nominated by, or the nomination must be supported by, at least one member of the GSA.

Nomination Process
Click here to access the online nomination form.

Required Nomination Packet Materials: 

  • The nomination consists of a single letter signed by the nominator and at least three (3) additional endorsers that should include the following:
    • A summary of the candidate’s major accomplishments in bridging the worlds of research, policy and practice (one page or less) related to promoting healthy aging. This section should describe how the nominee’s work has translated knowledge into policy and/or practice that contributes to or reflects improvements in healthy life span.
    • A more detailed statement of the nominee’s past and potential future contributions to healthy aging and gerontology (three pages or less), including specific examples of translating research and knowledge into practice and/or policy that promotes healthy aging. This section should answer the following questions:
      • What distinguishes the nominee's career for this award?
      • What are the current and future policy and/or practice implications of the nominee’s scholarship, translational work, or contributions related to practice or policy?
      • What is the significance of these contributions?
      • How have the nominee’s contributions led to innovative and noteworthy changes in the lives of older people, especially regarding healthy aging?
      • What is the broader impact or potential for replication of such innovations?
    • A current Curriculum Vitae.

Supplementary Materials

  • A biographical sketch (one page maximum).

Nature of Award

The recipient receives a substantial cash honorarium that is determined annually, a framed certificate and symbolic emblem, a travel stipend to attend the GSA Annual Meeting, and delivers a lecture at the GSA Annual Meeting. 

Past Recipient's Lectures

  • Elder Abuse: Research, Practice, and Health Policy. The 2012 GSA Maxwell Pollack Award Lecture
    Xinqi Dong
    Volume 54, Issue 2, April 2014
    This paper is a based on the Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging lecture given at the Annual Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America held in San Diego, California, in November, 2012.

    Past Awardees: View here


    Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Award

    Margret M. & Paul B. BaltesThe Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation Award in Behavioral and Social Gerontology acknowledges outstanding early career contributions in behavioral and social gerontology.

    The award will be given to a person from any discipline in the social sciences. Eligible nominees must have the Ph.D. degree and must not be more than 10 years past the date the Ph.D. was awarded. Nominations are not restricted to GSA members. International participation is encouraged. Nominations made by others or self-nominations will be accepted.

    The award recipient will receive a plaque and a $1,000 cash award and is invited to present a lecture at the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting the following year.


    Submission Period
    February 1-March 31, 2020

    Eligibility Criteria

    • Nominee must have a PhD. 
      • PhD must have been awarded in past 10 years. 

Nomination Process

  • Click here to access the online nomination form.

    Required Nomination Packet Materials: 

    • Single letter of nomination signed by at least three (3) supporters. 
      • Detail the research of nominee and present a case for its impact and contribution.
    • A current Curriculum Vitae. 

Nature of Award

The recipient receives $1000, an engraved plaque, and delivers a lecture at the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting. 

Past Recipient's Lectures"," by Denis Gerstorf and Nilam Ram, is based on the Baltes Award Lecture given at the Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America held in San Diego, California, in November 2012.

  • Aging in Culture

    Past Awardees: View here


    Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award

    schwartzThis award presented by the Health Sciences section is given to a member of the Society in recognition of outstanding and sustained contribution to geriatric nursing research. The person selected will present a special lecture at the nursing special interest group meeting during the Annual Scientific Meeting of GSA in Austin, Texas in 2019, and will receive a $300 cash prize.


     

     Submission Period

    February 1-March 31, 2020

    Eligibility Criteria

    • Must be a member of the Society.

Nomination Process 

Nature of Award

The recipient receives $300, an engraved plaque, and delivers a lecture at the GSA Annual Meeting. 

Past Awardees: View here

 


Minority Issues in Gerontology Committee Outstanding Mentorship Award

The Minority Issues in Gerontology Committee Outstanding Mentorship Award recognizes individuals who have exemplified outstanding commitment and dedication to mentoring minority researchers in the field of aging.

Submission Period
February 1-March 31, 2020

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nominee must be a member of GSA.
  • Recipient will be expected to attend the Annual Scientific Meeting to receive the award.

Nomination Process
Click here to access the online nomination form.

Required Nomination Packet Materials: 

  • A single nomination letter signed by at least three (3) supporters.
    • This letter should describe the contributions of the nominee to the individuals he/she has mentored.
  • A current Curriculum Vitae. 
  • No more than three (3) letters of endorsement from individuals who have been mentored by the nominee.
    • These letters should provide specific information regarding the contributions of the nominee to the individual mentored.

Nature of Award
The recipient will receive a plaque and is recognized at the Minority Issues in Gerontology Award Presentation and Reception at the 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.