Bass Connections Leadership Award

Nominations for the 2021 Bass Connectoins Leadership Award are now closed.

Bass Connections would not be possible without the creativity, intellectual vision, commitment to student mentoring and collaborative spirit of the faculty and staff who lead Bass Connections teams. These team leaders propose research projects, establish external partnerships, select and mentor student team members, and provide the intellectual direction for these projects. 

The Bass Connections Leadership Award, a new award starting in 2020-2021, seeks to recognize outstanding team leaders for their efforts to create a positive and enriching team experience for students. The awardees will be recognized by Bass Connections and will receive a monetary prize. One to two awards will be given each year.  

As Bass Connections is a collaborative endeavor, this award seeks to recognize faculty who successfully co-lead project teams. As such, your nomination should recognize and address the contributions of all faculty/staff leaders, and address how they have worked collectively to support the success of the team. We also welcome nominations of just one faculty leader in instances in which a team only has one primary faculty leader (e.g., a primary faculty leader working in partnership with postdocs and/or graduate students, or a collection of faculty contributors). 

Please note that we have a separate award for graduate student and postdoc leaders and mentors. 

Exemplary Bass Connections team leaders are those who:

  • Provide a clear vision for the project, including encouraging and inspiring students to contribute to the development and execution of the project goals – thus finding a constructive balance between providing intellectual scaffolding and fostering student initiative 
  • Create a supportive and inclusive environment for research and scholarship by fostering a team culture of mutual respect and mentorship
  • Encourage interdisciplinary learning by helping teammates create connections across disciplines
  • Create space for constructive dialogue and feedback; identify and address problems in a thoughtful, respectful manner
  • Maintain accessibility by providing open lines of communication
  • Commit to advancing students’ professional development and connects teammates with information, resources or networks to support their individual growth
  • Serve as a role model for others, displaying a record of excellence in research and teaching

Eligibility and Nomination Information

The nominee(s) must be Duke faculty or staff leading a Bass Connections team. The nomination must be submitted by at least two current members of the same team, at least one of whom should be a student. If the team is continuing from a prior year, past team members may also submit a letter of support, so long as the nomination also includes at least two current team members.

The nomination consists of submitting basic background information along with a letter of support from each nominator. Statements of support should include evidence and concrete examples of the nominee’s (or nominees’) exemplary mentorship and leadership. 

Award Selection

Award winners will receive a monetary prize and will be selected from a pool of up to five finalists. The selection committee will include members of the Bass Connections Faculty and Student Advisory Councils and program staff. Finalists will be contacted by March 31 and the award winners will be announced in April.

Please contact Laura Howes, Director of Bass Connections, at with any questions.