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Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award

The Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award (GFMA) is Ohio State Graduate School’s recognition of the exceptional guidance provided by the graduate faculty as mentors of graduate master’s, doctoral, and professional students.

Although there are many definitions of faculty mentoring in the literature, for the purpose of the Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award, mentoring is defined as:

Graduate faculty mentors are committed to developing the whole person of the graduate student so that they are career ready and employable. Graduate student mentorship is complex, as it involves assuring that students develop advanced knowledge in their discipline’s theory, research methodology, and critical analysis. In addition, they know the student’s dreams and interests, as well as their strengths, skills, and aspirations. They also understand that mentoring is unique to each graduate student and their different goals, skills, and strengths. They are keenly aware that workforce readiness and employability for graduate students is important and that employers are looking for transferrable skills in their future workforce. Transferrable skills include, but are not limited to, such things as communication skills, critical thinking, teamwork, collaboration, knowing how to lead, and getting a project completed, etc.

2023 Nomination Dates and Nomination Link

Nominations open February 6th, 2023

Nominations close March 3rd, 2023

Submission Link for Student Nomination of an Assistant, Associate or Full Professor 

Students and Alumni should use the above link to nominate a faculty member for the 2023 Faculty Mentorship Award

Submission requires a personal nomination statement.

Nominee Support Materials

Materials for nominated faculty are Due by March 22nd.

See instructions below and use the following link for faculty, coordinators and chairs to supply supporting materials to support a previously made faculty nomination by a student or alumni.

Online Nomination Support Materials and Mentorship Philosophy Submission

Format Specifications

The Nominee Support Letters and Mentorship Philosophy Statement must conform to the following guidelines:

  • 8.5″ × 11″
  • 1″ margins (all sides)
  • Single- or double-spaced (body)
  • 10–12-point Arial, Times New Roman, or suitable text font (for body)
  • Right-justified header with your last name (all pages)

General Information

Over 3000 graduate faculty members work at Ohio State University. Today, graduate faculty members must explore how to be a mentor to master’s, doctoral, and professional students as they prepare to be workforce ready, which might be for employment in higher education, industry, government, non-profits, entrepreneurship, etc. Faculty members, in collaboration with students, might develop a formal or less formal mentoring plan and review it annually, for mentoring graduate students not only in academics, but also in areas such as transferrable skill development. The Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award was developed to recognize graduate faculty members who are functioning as mentors, and will serve to annually recognize three tenure-track/tenured faculty members for their outstanding mentoring of graduate/professional students at Ohio State University

This is a new award for the Graduate School. Tenure-track/tenured faculty members will be selected by the Graduate School and awarded $1000 each, and a certificate, in recognition of their dedication and commitment to mentoring graduate/professional students. These faculty members should be nominated by two graduate students/mentees or two alum/mentees. All nominations should be made to the Graduate School. A Graduate School Mentor Award Selection Committee, invited by the Graduate School Dean, will select three finalists annually, one in each of the following areas:

  • Arts and Sciences Graduate Studies
  • Professional College Graduate Studies -  (BUS/EHE/ENG/FAES/JGC/SWK)
  • Health Sciences Graduate Studies - (DEN/MED/NUR/OPT/PBH/PHR/VMF)

Nominations can only be made by graduate/professional student/mentees or alum mentees (2 letters per nomination) by submitting these nomination letters to the Graduate School’s website. These letters will also have a letter of support from (a) other graduate faculty and/or coordinators familiar with the nominee’s mentorship, and (b) the Chair of the Department. Each college is encouraged to reach out to alum/mentees, making them aware of the opportunity to recognize their faculty mentor (tenure-track/tenured faculty member) for the Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award.

Eligible Nominees

  • Must have been nominated by two graduate/professional student mentees or alumni mentees. The nominations are supported by graduate faculty and/or coordinators knowledgeable about the nominee’s mentorship, as well as the chair of the department. All nomination letters need to be submitted electronically on our website (please see submission link).
  • Must have worked as a graduate faculty member for a minimum of three years as a tenure-track or tenured graduate faculty member at Ohio State University
  • Must be a current tenure-track/tenured graduate faculty member in good standing at Ohio State University.
  • Must have submitted their mentorship philosophy (1-2 pages) electronically to the Graduate School.
  • All questions should be sent via E-mail to Dr. Karin Jordan, Assistant Dean of Graduate Development and Engagement at

IMPORTANT: A previous Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award winner will not be eligible for this award for the next 3 years, to give other graduate faculty the opportunity to contribute to the area of mentoring.

Selection Criteria

The Graduate School understands that mentoring might look different from one graduate/professional program to another, as well as from one college to another. Mentorship (see definition above) is dependent upon the graduate/professional student’s needs, major, and career plans. Therefore, the Graduate School Mentorship Award Selection Committee will look closely at the faculty mentor’s philosophy.

The Graduate School Mentorship Award Selection Committee will review each nomination to evaluate each of the nominee's accomplishments as a mentor. In addition, the Graduate School Mentorship Award Selection Committee will take into consideration the mentor’s philosophy, as well as the Chair’s summary of the faculty advising/mentor history.

The Graduate School Mentorship Award Selection Committee looks at how graduate/professional student mentees , alum mentees, faculty, graduate coordinator's and chair’s letters have identified what makes the nominee an excellent mentor and how the mentoring has impacted the student’s/alum’s professional development and growth.

Award Information for Nominees

Congratulations on being nominated for the Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award.

Below find information on the following:

Mentorship Philosophy Statement Submission

Nominations by students, alums, faculty, coordinators and Chairs


You have most likely articulated your mentorship philosophy and reflected on what makes your mentoring successful and how students benefit from it. For additional information, please contact Dr. Karin Jordan, Assistant Dean of Graduate Development and Engagement at You will need to capture your mentorship philosophy in a 1-2-page paper

Please reflect on what makes your mentoring effective, e.g., training that you obtained that influenced your mentorship philosophy; having strong interpersonal communication skills; being willing to develop trust; having an active engagement with graduate/professional students; being knowledgeable and experienced in your field; or being a leader in the field; etc.

  • The due date for the nominee to submit the Mentorship Philosophy to the Graduate School is March 22nd
  • The due date for the faculty and/or coordinators support letters (one page) of the nominee to the Graduate School is March 22nd.
  • The due date for the Chair to submit the (one page) Advising/Mentorship History of the nominee to the Graduate School is March 22nd

Eligibility Criteria

To be chosen as the Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award winner, the faculty member should have demonstrated mentoring excellence by advising and mentoring that encourages the best possible performance, development and career readiness from graduate students (master’s, doctoral and professional). More specifically, it might have included assisting graduate/professional students through a successful degree completion and subsequent career placement. It also could include supporting student’s work in research labs, giving presentations and submitting publications of their research and scholarships. Or it might include mentoring students in their teaching and helping them develop skills such as classroom management, innovative or online teaching, etc. Other things might include efforts and successful student placements, which might lead to employment. These criteria are not meant to be exhaustive, but instead to suggest activities that might be demonstrated in a nomination.

To be eligible, nominees should be members of the Ohio State University graduate faculty (in a tenure-track or tenured faculty line).

The award winner will be chosen by a Graduate School Mentorship Award Selection Committee, comprised of faculty invited by the Dean of the Graduate School, one per college.

The three annual Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award recipients will be recognized through a certificate and $1000. In addition, a plaque located in the Graduate School meeting room will display each Graduate Faculty Mentor Award winner’s name.

Award Process

Nominations for the Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award are solicited from graduate students (master’s, doctoral, professional) and alums in each college on an annual basis.

Each nominee needs a minimum of two graduate/professional student/mentees or alumni mentees, as well as graduate faculty member familiar with the nominee’s mentoring as well as the nominee’s Chair. All nomination letters need to be submitted to our website. Any questions should be sent to Dr Karin Jordan at

Nomination letters (as identified above) for this award will be accepted annually (each Spring term between February 6th and March 3rd).

All nominations (graduate/professional students/mentees, alumni mentees, graduate faculty, and/or coordinators and Chairs) for the Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award will be reviewed along with the faculty member’s 1-2 page(s) mentoring philosophy.

Award winners for each eligible area (Arts and Sciences Graduate Studies, Professional Colleges Graduate Studies, Health Sciences Graduate Studies) will be chosen by the Graduate School Mentor Award Selection Committee, which will consist of faculty from multiple colleges by invitation of the Graduate School Dean. The committee will review (a) all nomination letters, and (b) the mentoring philosophy (1-2 pages), and (c) the Chair’s review of the nominee’s advising/mentoring history.

Nomination Package Requirements

A nomination package must be submitted through a two-stage process.

As the 1st step in this process, graduate/professional students/mentees, alumni mentees, faculty  members, and/or coordinators and Department Chairs will submit their nomination letters electronically.

In support of the nomination, the 2nd step involves:

  1. A one-to-two-page mentoring philosophy submitted by the nominated faculty member.

Finalists will be selected by April 20th by the Graduate School Mentorship Award Selection Committee. A special award recognition will be hosted by the Graduate School in the fall term

Award Eligibility

An eligible nominee:

  • Must have been nominated by one or more graduate/professional students.
  • Must be a current tenure-track/tenured graduate faculty member at Ohio State University who has functioned as a graduate faculty member for a minimum of three years.
  • Is in good standing with the Graduate School.
  • IMPORTANT: Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award winners will not be eligible to receive this award again for 3 years but will be asked to serve in the next year’s Graduate School Award Selection Committee.

Selection Criteria

Selection criteria are identified by the Graduate School (see rubric). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Karin Jordan, Assistant Dean of Graduate Development and Engagement.