What is the SEB Awards Nomination Task Force?

How to become part of the SEB Awards Nomination Task Force?

Why does the SEB Awards Nomination Task Force exist?

Can I suggest the name of someone that deserves a bioscience award?

FAQs

SEB Nomination Task Force poster.jpg

Become a member of the SEB Awards Nomination Task Force

Register your interest now:

 

 

What is the SEB Awards Nomination Task Force?

The Society for Experimental Biology (SEB) Awards Nomination Task Force aims to purposefully identify deserving yet potentially overlooked members of the experimental biology community and showcase their work to judging panels for various bioscience awards. By enhancing diversity in the nomination stages, our goal is to positively influence the diversity of selected award winners.

Originally established during our Centenary celebration, the SEB Awards Nomination Task Force has quickly gained momentum and proven its success. Due to its effectiveness, we are now rolling it out for future years. We invite everyone, both members and non-members, to join, regardless of their career level. While our initial focus is on SEB awards, we aspire to broaden our scope to include other bioscience awards as we move forward.

 

How to become part of the SEB Awards Nomination Task Force?

We want your help! It doesn't matter your career level, or whether you know or not about the behind-the-scenes of science awards, there are always different ways you can support.

We have just started to put this task force together, so there is a lot of work to do, and you can be part of important decisions to shape the future of this project. We have been working with the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Space Physics and Aeronomy (SPA) Nomination Task Force (NTF) to learn and get inspiration to create our own.

If you have any questions, please contact our Outreach, Education and Diversity Manager, Rebecca Ellerington at [email protected].

Become a member of the SEB Awards Nomination Task Force

Register your interest now:

If you are interested in increasing representation and inclusion in bioscience and academia, you may also want to check out our online edit-a-thon page and join our OED working group.

 

Why does the SEB Awards Nomination Task Force exist?

  • How diverse are the winners of science awards?
  • Have scientists been recognised fairly for their contributions?
  • In fact, how do the science awards even work?

The answer is that science can do better!

The topic is highly complex and a systemic challenge. Without diversifying science, meaning giving opportunities to historically marginalised groups, there is no way to nominate their contributions if they haven’t had the opportunity or time to make them in the first place [1]. However, even when more women have been getting professorships, they haven’t been honoured with awards in the same proportion [2].

One way to improve diversity in science awards and prizes is to nominate more scientists from historically marginalised groups. Without a pool of people to choose from, a change won’t happen. That is why awareness and proactive intentions of diversifying nominations can help [1]. Nonetheless, since it is a snowball problem, it will take time to observe any changes.

The benefits for the nominees go beyond winning, which by itself brings recognition and springboards their careers. It also comes from the entire nomination process, including reflection on skills to fill the gaps for career progression, expansion of their networking, intentional peer recognition, and valuable feedback from senior scientists [3]. Even more impactful would be for them if the award-givers published a list of the nominees and nominators. Fortunately, some award-givers have already started making these changes to their award process [1].

Other recommendations directed toward award-givers are diversifying the awards committee, which is usually composed of previous winners, publishing the list of the committee members, and creating a nomination committee. This would be useful for transparency, diversity and data collection for long-term evaluation [4].

Awareness and training on how to nominate, the benefits of such collective effort, and data openness could lead us to make essential changes with quicker outcomes. Spreading the word and demystifying the process is also part of this project.

References

[1] Diversity in science prizes: why is progress so slow?, 2022. Nature. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-022-01608-z

[2] Meho, L. I. The gender gap in highly prestigious international research awards, 2001–2020. Quantitative Science Studies 2021; 2 (3): 976–989. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00148

[3] Holgate, S. A. 2017. The benefits of awards—even if you don’t win. In Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). https://doi.org/10.1126/science.caredit.a1700044

[4] James, A., Chisnall, R., Plank, M.J., 2019. Gender and societies: a grassroots approach to women in science. R. Soc. open sci. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.190633

 

Can I suggest the name of someone that deserves a bioscience award?

Yes! And you don't need to be a member of the task force to do it. However, we invite you to join our online meeting to advocate for your suggestion.

Currently, the SEB task force is only working on nominations for the SEB Presidents' Medals and SEB Annual Lectures awards. For more information about these awards, visit the SEB's awards listing page. However, we plan to expand to other bioscience awards in the near future.

Suggest the name of someone deserving  of a bioscience award  for  the SEB  Awards Nomination Task Force

Is there someone you believe deserves an award but has been overlooked? 

The SEB task force might bring your suggestion to our online meetings and potentially support a nomination package for them. 

You don't need to be a member of the SEB task force to suggest a name, but you are invited to join our online meeting to advocate for your suggestion(s).

FAQs

If you can’t find answers to your questions, please contact Rebecca at [email protected] or Ana at [email protected].

A poster that summarizes the aims, background, main workflow and how someone can help with the SEB Awards Nomination Task Force.

 

What is the SEB Award Nomination Task Force?

The Society for Experimental Biology (SEB) Awards Nomination Task Force aims to purposefully locate deserving but potentially overlooked members of the experimental biology community and put their work in front of judging panels for various bioscience awards. By increasing diversity in the nomination stages, we hope to have a knock-on effect of increasing the diversity of the winners selected.

The SEB has just started setting up the Awards Nomination Task Force as part of our Centenary celebration. Everyone (members and non-members) is welcome to join independently of their career level. Initially, we will focus on SEB awards but hope to expand to include other bioscience awards.

Why should I join the task force?

The task force is an opportunity for everyone (members and non-members) to get involved in the process of diversifying nominations for SEB and other bioscience awards. Participation allows for service to the wider community in whatever role you can contribute. The experience of being on the task force will allow for networking and the building of a service profile that can assist in your career progression, no matter the level. Additionally, the direct impact is the improvement of science and its equitability for all.

How does the task force process work?

The task force will work together online through virtual meetings, emails and online document sharing. The SEB website will support online forms to collect names of potential award nominees from the wider bioscience community as well as members of the task force. The task force will identify potential nominators for each prize, and work to build nomination packages for each person. The task force will meet as needed and members will work independently and together in meetings and offline to prepare the application packages for the awards.

This will be achieved by the task force following a seven-step workflow:

  1. Organise & coordinate the task force to include a diverse panel representing all scientific sections of the Society. It should also be representative of a range of different career stages, countries, and backgrounds.
  2. Task force members will gather a list of names that may be suitable to put forward for the awards. We will also use an online form and SEB events to gather names of potential candidates from the wider bioscience community
  3. The task force discusses which names to put forward for each award
  4. The task force identifies a “lead nominator” who is willing to officially nominate the candidate (they may approach someone outside the task force if necessary)
  5. Members of the task force work to create nomination packages based on the judging criteria for each award
  6. Nominations are made to the awards via the official channels
  7. The task force seeks feedback on all applications (successful or not) to improve their nomination packages for the following years

What is the time commitment?

The time commitment will vary depending on the number of nominations and the timeframe of the awards processes.

The task force will start work in March 2023 with regular meetings to begin the preparation of nomination packages. For the first iteration of the task force, we will likely meet fortnightly and meetings will be about one hour each. Depending on the number of nominations received, this may increase as the nomination deadlines approach but will depend on potential nominees.

In the months after the awards have been announced, the task force will likely meet once a month or every other month to assess and reevaluate its processes for the next year, discuss its enhancement and expansion.

What is the “nomination package”?

A nomination package varies depending on the award but consists mainly of a nomination statement/letter from the lead nominator (who may be outside of the task force), the nominee’s CV, and any supporting documents or forms related to that specific award.

How can I participate in the task force? What are some of the different roles?

The task force is meant to be run by members for members and the wider scientific community; as such, there is and will always be a need for the involvement of interested members for its sustainability. At present, there will be a limited number of roles in the task force, but once we have completed a full cycle of nominations, there will be more scope for several different roles. Either in the nomination process or during the period after nomination to improve the task force’s work. You can join at any point in time once you are interested.

Do I need to attend every single meeting?

No. Depending on your level of involvement, you may not need to attend any meetings and could contribute to the task force by proof-reading and providing valuable suggestions. Your work with the task force is flexible and we appreciate your time and what you are willing to offer.

Does the task force only work on SEB Award nominations?

Currently, yes, we are only working on preparing packages for SEB awards. However, the task force would like to expand to other bioscience awards in the near future.

I have no experience with diversity work or awards. Will there be someone to help me?

Yes, we will work together to achieve the goals of the task force. You will be able to communicate with the chair, and Outreach, Education and Diversity Officer or Manager at the SEB for assistance and guidance at any time throughout the process.

I think I may know someone who I think should be nominated for an award. What should I do?

You can nominate that person for one of the SEB awards using the form once available for that year’s awards. Alternatively, if you aren’t sure if you can or how to nominate someone, send their name to us, and we will follow up on their nomination. You don’t need to become a member of the task force to nominate a person. However, you are welcome to join one of our meetings to advocate for your suggestion.

Suggest the name of someone deserving  of a bioscience award  for  the SEB  Awards Nomination Task Force

Is there someone you believe deserves an award but has been overlooked? 

The SEB task force might bring your suggestion to our online meetings and potentially support a nomination package for them. 

You don't need to be a member of the SEB task force to suggest a name, but you are invited to join our online meeting to advocate for your suggestion(s).

 

Data protection is important. What does the task force do to protect the data of nominees and nominators?

The task force takes data protection seriously. We are currently working on determining the best processes for the handling of the data and information about nominees. Although we have not settled on a process as yet, we do value the importance of privacy and data protection and will do everything to ensure data remains safe.

Is the task force the first of its kind?

No. In fact, our task force model is based on the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Space, Physics and Aeronomy task force which has been having success in diversifying its awards profile. If you want to read more about the AGU task force, you can find more information here https://connect.agu.org/spa/committees/ntf.