Founders Award


The Founders Award is the most prestigious SETAC award. The recipient must have and outstanding career in the environmental sciences, made outstanding contributions to the development of the science, and reflect SETAC’s values and goals.


Membership in SETAC is not a prerequisite for the Founders Award. Individuals with an acknowledged career in any aspect of the environmental sciences, such as research, technical or regulatory contributions, and who have contributed to the development of our understanding of the influence of human activity on the environment, are eligible for the Founders Award.

Applications are welcomed from individuals nominating themselves as well as applications submitted in support of a nominee. Unsuccessful nominees will have the opportunity to update their package and reapply for up to two subsequent years.

Application Instructions

The application package must contain all the material requested to be considered for the award. Applicants are responsible for submitting seven items:​

  • One nomination letter. The following must be addressed in the nomination letter or attachments to the nomination package:​
    • The relative degree to which the nominee has promoted research, education, communication, and training in the environmental sciences. You may consider the nominees impact on graduate students, other scientists, and academic, government, and/or industrial institutions.
    • The demonstrated participation in scientific interpretation and communication of exposure to and effects of environmental stressors, ecological risk assessment and management, and solutions for global environmental problems
    • The demonstrated application of interdisciplinary environmental sciences in managing environmental stressors, and provision of forums for communication and interactions among professionals on a multi-sector, interdisciplinary, and multinational basis on environmental issues
    • The extent to which the nominee is recognized as a leader in their field, with respect to environmental sciences or related scientific disciplines, aligned with the quality of the research, originality, contribution of the nominee, and publication record.
  • Three additional letters of support.
  • One list of the ten most important publications AND indicate the value of each to the field and provide detail about your specific contribution to each. You can use CRediT taxonomy to define your contributions. Defining value to the field will vary, but may include metrics with context; for example, an altmetric score may accompany broad coverage in the press; citation information may include references to your publication in policy reports and/or other academic journals.
  • One description of two or three lifetime contributions​ and/or a description of seven or eight significant career achievements. Please do not highlight any more than ten items and keep this document to no more than 5 pages.
  • One CV of no more than 5 pages.​

Nominees will be asked to return a disclosure form before the nomination package is sent for review.

Review Process

Nominations will be evaluated independently by a Global Awards Committee(GAC)-appointed review panel using a standardized rubric. Nominees will be ranked, and the GAC will then discuss the panel’s determination to select the recipient. A summary of the award nominees and highest scoring member will be presented to the SETAC World Council (SWC) for approval. If an agreement is not reached by the GAC, a resolution will be made by the SWC.

The chair of the GAC will communicate the winner’s name and a brief outline of their attributes to the President and the Global Executive Director (GED). The winner’s name must remain confidential until SWC has ratified the nomination. Staff will inform the award evaluators of the winning nominee after the winner has been notified.

After the successful nominee is notified, staff will also inform unsuccessful nominees and nominators.

Award Procedure

The GED will notify the winner. The Founders Award will be announced at each of the following Geographic Unit (GU) Annual Meetings and the World Congress when it is held. The awardees may choose which meeting they wish to receive the award in person. The award includes a plaque, the cost of travel and related expenses up to US $1,500, and registration associated with attending the meeting of the winner’s choice.


Awards Disclosure

SETAC has implemented a self-disclosure step as part of the award process consistent with SETAC’s code of conduct and code of ethics. We ask each award candidate to consider whether they have any past or current transgressions that should be disclosed.

  • For candidates that are nominated by someone else, SETAC will reach out to the candidate directly, ask them to accept the nomination and provide the awards disclosure information.
  • For self-nominations, applicants will be ask to provide the disclosure during the application process.


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