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Best Postdoc Mentor Award

2020 Winner Announced!

Proteintech would like to thank everyone for their nominations and participation in the voting campaign. Proteintech offers several awards and travel grants throughout the year, so keep checking back for more exciting contests!


Tejeshwar Rao - University of Alabama at Birmingham, United States

Tejeshwar received hundreds of votes from colleagues and friends who all appreciate his excellent approach to mentorship. Tejeshwar has won a $1000 research grant and a lab care package.

“'I once read somewhere, that 'You don't need to have all the answers, you just have to be willing to share what you know'. And that is what mentoring is to me. It feels great to be appreciated for sharing my knowledge and things I have learnt with my juniors and colleagues. I want to thank them for nominating me and 'Proteintech' for acknowledging the same. This recognition makes me want to continue the good work, knowing that I am being admired and appreciated for my efforts."

Best Postdoc Mentor Award 2020

During this time, it is tempting to focus on negativity, but the world is filled with wonderful, positive people that make an impact each day.   We want to honor one such group, postdoctoral fellows who go above and beyond their duty in acting as mentors.  

In recognition of the critically important role that mentors play in supporting and helping research, Proteintech is offering one  $1000 reward for outstanding mentorship. The winner will also receive a Proteintech 'Best mentor' mug.   Terms and Conditions apply.*  Sign up to the  Proteintech e-newsletter  for updates.

All finalists will receive a certificate and an Amazon kindle.

Vote for the 2020 Winner

5 outstanding postdocs have been selected by the Proteintech judging panel. The winner will be the candidate who receives the most public votes and will receive a $1000 grant (or currency equivalent) for their research lab. Only 1 vote per day per person will be counted. Voting closes August 3 2020

2020 Finalists

Rushita Bagchi -  University of Colorado, United States

“Rushita, I feel, is just like a ‘coconut’- can be tough and determined when tasks need to be achieved and deadlines need to be met, but equally caring and understanding when anyone needs to ‘vent’ or needs advice on personal or professional matters. She is also a tremendously talented teacher- whether it is teaching concepts in the classroom, or explaining complex research problems in the lab, she delivers these with unparalleled ease and enthusiasm. Overall, she’s the go-to person for me and many other trainees in our division and the university, and truly exemplifies what a mentor should be, and is undoubtedly deserving of this recognition.”

Bridget Matikainen-Ankney - Washington University, United States

“Where Bridget goes above and beyond as a mentor is her dedication to her students even after the direct mentorship ends. Bridget kept in touch even after my summer internship ended, checking in on me asking about my accomplishments (science related or not). Whenever I sent her a text or email asking for advice or guidance, she was quick to reply and helped me with whatever I needed. Bridget genuinely cares about her mentees and does everything in her ability to help them succeed – she is most deserving of this award."

Tejeshwar Rao - University of Alabama at Birmingham, United States

“TJ is an outstanding mentor to undergraduate and graduate students in his lab, as well as students in other labs. He listened to me present a talk over and over again and gave me advice. I ultimately was awarded that grant because he helped me so greatly. TJ pursues top-notch science himself, and always encourages others to do so as well. It’s postdocs like TJ that help students, like myself, feel supported to succeed. He is extremely deserving of this award and I genuinely hope he is considered for it."

Jon Gil-Ranedo - University of Plymouth, United Kingdom

“I believe Jon deserves this award as in addition to being a brilliant scientist, he is the most humble human being I know. He is always there to support and guide everyone without any arrogance. I know that I can go up to him with the stupidest science question without fear of getting judged. This is very important quality in any mentor as it doesn't matter how intelligent you are, it would be of no use if you are not able to share and help your colleagues. I have been working with him for last 4 years and I can't recall a single time when he is not cheerful. I look up to him as someone that I would like to be to my future students and colleagues.”

Maria Fernanda Forni - Yale University, United States

“Nanda is the first person I seek out when I’m feeling “stuck” in my Ph.D. project. She listens with empathy, offers creative new perspectives on my data, and then together, we strategize novel and exciting ways forward. She has greatly fostered my scientific development by balancing direct input with more hands-off guidance that teaches me how to help myself. Nanda is also a beacon of positivity. She uses humor and enthusiasm to welcome new people to our community."

Open for nominations June 8 2020
End of nomination period July 13 2020
Finalist announcement and start of the voting period July 20 2020
End of voting August 3 2020
Winner announcement August 6 2020

Nominees must be based in a research lab in a University or research Institution. 

Who can nominate?

Postdoctoral scholars and graduate students are invited to nominate a distinguished mentor who has positively influenced their development as a researcher.

Researchers nominating their mentors are to submit the short nomination form including a 250-word summary explaining why they feel this mentor deserves the award.

The Voting process

5 candidates will be shortlisted by the Proteintech judging panel. The winner will be the nominee who receives the most public votes.

Best Postdoc Mentor Award Hall of Fame

Congratulations to all past winners of the Best Postdoc Mentor Award! Each winner received a $1000 reward for their outstanding mentorship in the lab.

2019 Winner

Isha Sharma

Northwestern University, United States

"I am overwhelmed to receive best post doc mentor award. Blessed to receive all love and appreciation from peers as well as from my juniors. Thanks a lot. Thank you so much Proteintech for giving me this recognition. This award boosted my morals. Certainly its going to propels me to become better version of myself. I never knew that so many people out there support and admire me because of my mentorship."

- Isha Sharma

2018 Winner

Dr. Callie Kwartler 

University of Texas Houston, United States

“Her ability to juggle her own projects as well as advise on other projects is admirable and demonstrates qualities of a PI. She has challenged me as a PhD student to approach questions and data in different ways. She provides a positive learning environment where I can hone my research skills and become a great scientist. Dr Kwartler has provided mentorship and guidance in balancing professional and personal life. When I joined the lab a year ago my house flooded during Hurricane Harvey, she helped me find stability in balancing work and the move out of my house. She has been a constant support throughout the year as both a mentor and a friend and I strive to become a mentor like her in the future.”

- Statement from Jamie Wright (University of Texas Houston Medical School)

2017 Winner

Dr. Janet Kumita

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

I am continually amazed by her efforts, and cannot think of another person more deserving of this recognition. As stated in the introduction for this award, “many critical mentors in science go unheralded.” Janet does not take on the vast responsibilities that come with playing a key role in managing an entire Centre on top of mentoring many researchers to get recognition, but I am certain there is no one in the Centre who does not appreciate and respect all that Janet does for us. Our Centre is undoubtedly a better place because of Dr. Kumita, and we are all most fortunate and grateful for her guidance.

- Statement from Ryan Limbocker, University of Cambridge 

2016 Winner

Dr. Joshua Morgan

University of Delaware, United States

Josh consistently bolsters the quality of work and scientific questioning, student motivation, and collaborative atmosphere among every lab in the department, and he deserves to be recognized for his contributions. Talking to Josh when grad school is downright discouraging helps to remind me that I love research, and I wouldn’t rather do anything else. His mentoring has inspired me to be a better mentor to my undergrads and to younger grad students in the department.

- Statement from Jilian Melamed, University of Delaware.

Terms and Conditions

  • Only nominators from Universities and Research Institutions are eligible to take part in this competition.

  • Nominees must be based in a University Institution or research lab in the US or Europe.

  • All Winners agree to the use of their names and likenesses in publicity without notice or any additional compensation, except where prohibited by law. By entering this contest, the winners acknowledge that Proteintech has the right to publicize and broadcast their name, voice, and likeness, the fact that they won, and all matters incidental thereto. These activities may include the following: An interview, featuring on Proteintech blog/website, and associated press releases.

  • Any applications submitted after this date will not be eligible.

  • Nominators can only enter one nominee. Any further entries will not be eligible. Nominators must complete the application form in full.

  • The winner will be decided by a public voting process once Proteintech Group has shortlisted the entries. The shortlist of nominees will be made at Proteintech Group’s discretion.

  • The $1000 award (or local currency equivalent) will be paid to the University laboratory or Research Institution to support the research of the awardee.

  • Award will not be awarded to employees of for-profit organizations (i.e. biotech or pharmacological companies).

  • The finalists will be contacted by email and also announced online.

  • By submitting this application, you agree to receive information from Proteintech. Your information will never be sold or used by a third party.

  • Proteintech has the right to terminate this award at any time during the process.

  • During voting process, each participant may only vote once per day.


Company News

10 June, 2019


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