Resources for Faculty and Staff

Nominate an Outstanding Faculty Mentor

Every year, the Graduate College awards outstanding graduate faculty members for their service in mentoring the graduate student and postdoctoral scholar communities.


Mentoring is one of the central professional development pillars of graduate education. Strong mentoring cultivates holistic development of future scholars and professionals through supporting knowledge and skill acquisition, successful navigation of disciplinary cultures, and the growth of confidence in professional and scholarly abilities.

Every year, the Graduate College recognizes outstanding faculty members for their outstanding service to the graduate student and postdoctoral scholar communities through mentoring excellence, commitment to professional development and career advancement, and fostering inclusive, collaborative academic environments. Active, committed mentors not only offer coaching, modeling and feedback in academic and career development but provide essential psychosocial and interpersonal connection and support.

Nomination Process

The nomination portal typically opens in September. Nominations must come from current ASU graduate students, postdoctoral scholars or recent alumni. 

Outstanding Mentor for Doctoral Students

This category recognizes tenured, tenure-track, and clinical faculty for exemplary doctoral committee service.

Outstanding Mentor for Master’s Students

This category recognizes tenured, tenure-track, and clinical faculty for exemplary Master’s committee service.

Outstanding Mentor for Postdoctoral Scholars 

This category recognizes faculty mentoring postdoctoral scholars.

Outstanding Mentor who is Instructional Faculty 

This category recognizes non-tenure-track faculty who provide mentoring for graduate students.

Nomination closes on September 26, 2023.


Awards will be presented to mentors the form of research or travel funding.

Nominate faculty

Students and postdocs nominate faculty by completing the online nomination form.

This process is designed to give our review team a comprehensive examination of your nominee's mentoring practices. We would highly encourage you to review eligibility and evaluation criteria (below) and prepare strong examples of how your nominee meets evaluation criteria before submitting. We suggest that you answer question prompts as thoroughly and completely as possible to craft a competitive nomination. Students may expect to spend 30-45 minutes on the nomination.

Nominate your mentor


Nominees must be Arizona State University faculty who have:

  1. Chaired or served on dissertation or thesis committees for at least three (3) ASU graduate students, or
  2. Demonstrated record of commitment to graduate student or postdoctoral scholar success through holistic mentoring, commitment to professional development, fostering of inclusive and collaborative academic environments, or thesis/dissertation committee service.

Previous Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award winners are not eligible for consideration. A list of awardees and their essays on mentoring is available on the website here.

Evaluation Criteria

Nominees will be evaluated based on each of the following components of mentoring excellence:

  1. Psychosocial support – a demonstrated record of mentoring excellence as indicated by a clear understanding of and evidence of supporting graduate student/postdoctoral scholar psychosocial needs; evidence of support beyond the classroom, lab or office; evidence of empathy towards a mentee’s personal or academic situation;
  2. Commitment to professional development and career advancement – a demonstrated commitment to graduate student and postdoctoral scholar professional development and career advancement as indicated by encouraging pursuit of publication, external grant funding or conference presentation, cultivation of a strong professional portfolio, development of network connections, dissemination of knowledge (knowledge mobilization) outside the academy, etc.
  3. Knowledge and skill development support - a demonstrated commitment to graduate student or postdoctoral scholar capacity and is supportive in guidance to continue their development and pursuit of success.
  4. Culturally responsive mentoring - a demonstrated commitment to attitudes, behaviors and practices that enable them to work with mentees from different cultural backgrounds and identities as indicated by a clear understanding of contexts, styles and the lived experiences of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Intentionally considering how culture-based dynamics like imposter syndrome can negatively influence mentoring relationships, and reflecting on how their biases and prejudices may affect mentees and mentoring relationships, specifically for mentorship of underrepresented mentees.
  5. Fostering of inclusive, collaborative and equitable academic environments – a demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity in their work with graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, as indicated by active listening; promotion of  recognition and respect for differences in perspective (cultural, racial, socioeconomic, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), and openness and transparency in the lab/classroom;

Process and Timelines

In October, faculty will be informed of their nomination and asked to submit the following:

  1. A 750-1000 word statement on their mentoring philosophy and the importance of mentoring to graduate student and/or postdoctoral scholar success;
  2. Name, title, department, and contact information for supervising chair/department head.
  3. Curriculum vitae, including names, email addresses and relationships (i.e. faculty advisor, committee member, research project director) for three (3) previous graduate students or postdoctoral scholars.
  4. Response to a questionnaire 

Review and Awardee Selection

Review for the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards will take place through November and December. Nominees and nominating students will be notified of the final nomination status in late January.

All finalists are invited to attend the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards.