Outstanding Postdoc Award

Honoring the achievements of exceptional postdoctoral scholars for their comprehensive efforts in research, teaching, mentoring, innovation, and University or community service.

UNL postdoctoral scholars* in any discipline, who were first hired as a postdoc* between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2023 may be nominated for their accomplishments while a postdoc at UNL.

Nominations will be accepted from a faculty member, PI, mentor, or other individual qualified to assess the nominee's achievements.

Criteria to be considered include, but are not limited to, achievement of the nominee in:

  • Innovation or research contribution in their discipline
  • Research productivity while at UNL (including publications, presentations, and awards)
  • Student mentoring or project management
  • Teaching and/or teaching development
  • Outreach and/or Extension efforts to share information with audiences outside of discipline
  • Service (e.g., peers, departmental, and University committees, or community groups)

*For the purposes of this award, the term "postdoctoral scholar" includes individuals who have earned a doctoral degree AND held a temporary appointment in the UNL payroll system in 2023 AND have been at UNL for fewer than 5 years.

Nominating Process

  • Faculty and staff may nominate a postdoc for this award.
  • Nominators will be required to submit a nomination letter (max. 2 pages) and submit the nominee's CV.
  • There is a $1,500 honorarium.

Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award

Honoring a UNL faculty member or PI who has demonstrated a sustained commitment and exceptional ability in mentoring postdoctoral scholars' professional and career development.

Any UNL faculty members or PIs currently advising one or more postdoctoral scholars may be nominated for exemplifying a sustained commitment to the mentoring of postdocs and significant contributions to their postdoctoral scholars' professional and career development.

Criteria to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing intellectual leadership, ensuring postdocs have a mastery of the content and skills of their discipline
  • Modeling a record of excellence in research or creative work, teaching, and service
  • Establishing clear expectations and goals
  • Creating a supportive training environment tailored to the individual needs of the postdoc to promote career and professional development (i.e., individual development plan)
  • Promoting ethical standards and holding trainees accountable
  • Encouraging participation in formal opportunities for career or professional development (e.g., networking, conferences)
  • Appropriately crediting postdoc for involvement in research and publications

Nominating Process

  • Faculty, staff, and postdocs may nominate a faculty member for this award.
  • Nominators will be required to submit a nomination letter (max. 2 pages) and submit the nominee's CV and mentoring philosophy or mentoring statement (max. 1 page).
  • There is a $2,000 honorarium.

For questions, email postdoc@unl.edu.

Previous Winners


Postdoc Mentor: Joe Louis, Entomology

Postdoc: Tewodros Yosef, Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, College of Engineering


Postdoc Mentor: Dr. Zhigang Shen, Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction
Postdoc: William Gearty, School of Biological Sciences


Postdoc Mentor: Dr. Katie Edwards, Counseling Psychology
Postdoc: Dr. Lise Pingault, Entomology


Postdoc Mentor: Dr. Timothy J. Gay, Physics & Astronomy
Postdoc: Dr. Scott O’Neal, Entomology
Postdoc: Dr. Dimitry Papkov, Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Postdoc Mentor: Marilyne Stains, Chemistry
Postdoc: Kathryn L. Higgins, Psychology/CB3
Honorable Mention: Manoj Kumar, Chemistry; Guigen Liu, Electrical & Computer Engineering


Postdoc Mentor: Yongfeng Lu, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Postdoc: Iryna Bohovych, Biochemistry
Honorable Mention: Jun Dai, Chemistry; Yanjun Fang, Mechanical & Materials Engineering


Postdoc Mentor: Jinsong Huang, Materials & Mechanical Engineering
Postdoc: Nicole Gray, English
Honorable Mention: Jun Dai, Chemistry; Qingfeng Dong, Materials & Mechanical Engineering


Postdoc Mentor: Dennis Molfese, Psychology
Postdoc: Chandrasekhar Natarajan, Biological Sciences
Postdoc: Anita Wingeyer, Agronomy & Horticulture
Postdoc: Yongbo Yuan, Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Honorable Mention: Baburao Kamble, School of Natural Sources; Chandirasegaran Massilamany, Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; Frank Meier Aeschbacher, Physics & Astronomy; Nishikant Wase, Biochemistry


Postdoc Mentor: Xiao Cheng Zeng, Chemistry
Postdoc: Balamarugan Balasubramanian, Physics & Astronomy
Postdoc: Srinivas Kota, Psychology
Honorable Mention: Felix Grewe, Agronomy & Horticulture; Chandrasekhar Natarajan, School of Biological Sciences


Postdoc Mentor: Jeffery Bradshaw, Panhandle Research & Extension Center, Department of Entomology
Postdoc: Alan A. Veliz-Cuba, Mathematics
Postdoc: Christopher Chizinski, School of Natural Resources
Honorable Mention: Felix Grewe, Agronomy & Horticulture; Patricia Wonch-Hill, Office of Research; Hui Li, Chemistry; Yongbo Yuan, Mechanical & Materials Engineering


Postdoc Mentor: Eileen Hebets, School of Biological Sciences
Postdoc: Ji Hoon Ryu, Child, Youth, and Family Studies
Postdoc: Weiwei Yang, Chemistry
Honorable Mention: Avishek Datta, Northeast Research & Extension Center; Ning Wu, Physics & Astronomy; Yingzhi Xu, Center for Plant Science Innovation; Yongbo Yuan, Mechanical & Materials Engineering


Postdoc Mentor: Susan Sheridan, Educational Psychology
Postdoc Mentor: Donald Becker, Biochemistry
Postdoc: J.D. Burton, Physics & Astronomy
Honorable Mention: Susan Cooper, Mathematics; Michael Eads, Physics & Astronomy; Amy Runck, Biological Sciences; Tri Setiyono, Agronomy and Horticulture; Yunshen Zhou, Electrical Engineering