CHAS Graduate Student Safety Leadership Award

Download the Nomination Application Form for this Award Here: [Click to Download GRADUATE STUDENT SAFETY LEADERSHIP AWARD in Word format]

Statement of Award Purpose

This award is given to recognize a graduate student researcher or recent graduate (within 3 years of latest degree) who demonstrates outstanding leadership in the area of chemical health and safety in their laboratory, research group, or department.

Each year the award is dedicated to a different historical figure in chemical safety.

Award Amount and Recognition

Award Amount and Recognition

This award is made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor.

The award consists of:

  • A $500 honorarium will be payable directly to the award recipient
  • A certificate that includes information about that year’s dedicatee
  • An invitation to deliver a 15 – 20-minute presentation at the CHAS Awards Symposium.  The presentation should describe the work recognized by the award.
  • An optional additional $2,000 will be made available to support a project that promotes graduate student safety at the home school and/or for travel expenses to the CHAS Awards Symposium at an ACS national meeting, as applicable

This award is made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor.

The recipient of this award is expected to deliver a 15 – 20-minute presentation at the CHAS Awards Symposium at the ACS Fall national meeting in the year that they receive the award. The presentation should describe the work recognized by the award.

Description of Eligible Nominees

Eligible nominees are current master’s or Ph.D. candidates in research fields or those who have graduated within the past three years who demonstrate values and behaviors consistent with the criteria of this award.  The researcher may be a member of any academic department at their institution provided that chemical use is a significant part of their research. Non-ACS and CHAS members are eligible for this award. 

Award Criteria

The primary criterion for this award is demonstrated leadership of specific project(s) that support a proactive safety culture in the laboratory, research group, and/or department where the student’s research or teaching responsibilities take place. Such projects empower their peers and students to address technical and cultural safety concerns related to chemical usage, in either the teaching or research environment. 

Examples of work that calls on other safety leadership skills (e.g. participation in extramural safety conferences and organizations, publication of safety related information in research papers, development of new approaches to safety education in the lab) will support the award application, but not replace the need for a specific example of project-based leadership.

Required support for nomination

  • Cover letter from the nominator describing why the nominee is deserving of this award.
  • Two letter(s) of support from institution’s Environmental Health and Safety Office, Senior Administration or Departmental leadership.
  • Descriptions of or samples of research safety projects or initiatives lead by nominee

Eligible Sources of Nominations

  • Self-nomination
  • Teammate (fellow student or lab member)
  • Department chair
  • EH&S Department
  • Vice Provost for Research or another Senior Administrator
  • Peer

Additional Information about this Award

This award was proposed in 2020 by an anonymous donor and was developed by the CHAS Awards committee in collaboration with the donor.  The award was first given in 2021.  

Previous Awardees:

2022, given in honor of the Radium Girls

Quinton Bruch, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2021, given in honor of Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji          
  • Graduate Student Team Leaders:
    • Jessica De Young, University of Iowa
    • Alex Leon Ruiz, University of California, Los Angeles                      
    • Sarah Zinn,University of Chicago
    • Cristan Aviles-Martin, University of Connecticut