About the Waksman Outstanding Teaching Award

Noble Laureate Dr. Selman Waksman was an outstanding teacher of microbiology at Rutgers University, who maintained very cordial and effective relations with industry throughout his career as an academic scientist. This award is made in recognition of the important role that educators play in sustaining the fields of industrial microbiology and biotechnology.

The award consists of $2,000 to reimburse the awardee for travel such as coach airfare, meeting registration, special activities, meals and annual meeting hotel expenses as well as an appropriately inscribed plaque which will be presented by the SIMB President at the Annual Meeting. The awardee will be asked to write a review article on teaching experiences for publication in the SIMB News.


The recipient shall have been an active full time professor in the field of industrial or applied microbiology or biotechnology and bioengineering at a recognized institution(s) of higher education for a minimum of 10 years and involved in teaching undergraduate and/or graduate students. Emeritus faculty are eligible. They must have been actively involved in research in their respective field while carrying a teaching load. As evidenced by their CV and current list of publications, the recipient must have made contributions to research that have led to advances in his or her area of industrial or applied microbiology or biotechnology.

Nominations process

The nomination must be supported by a recent CV and three recommendation letters, at least two of which are from former undergraduate or graduate students or postdoctoral fellows who have careers of their own in microbiology or biotechnology. The letters MUST describe how the nominee has demonstrated an excellence and dedication in teaching microbiology and/or biotechnology, an excellence and dedication to mentoring, and an excellence and dedication to research.

Deadline: April 30, 2020

Nomination Form (PDF)

Waksman Outstanding Teaching Awardees

2019 – Spiros N. Agathos
2018 – Reeta Rao
2017 – Raj Boopathy
2016 – Lee Lynd
2015 – Joan Bennett
2014 – Max Häggblom
2013 – Susan Bagley
2012 – Susan Jensen
2011 – Donald Ahearn
2010 – George Bennett
2009 – Roy H. Doi
2008 – Eric Johnson
2007 – Erick Vandamme
2006 – Elisabeth Elder
2005 – J.H. David Wu
2004 – Kenneth Nealson
2003 – Thomas D. Brock
2002 – Ronald Bentley
2001 – Y.C. Fung
2000 – Jerald Ensign
1999 – Maurice Gaucher
1998 – Joseph J. Cooney
1997 – James Jay
1995 – Arnold Demain
1993 – Lewis R. Brown
1991 – William R. Chesbro
1989 – Douglas E. Eveleigh