Berkeley Lab

New Categories for Director’s Awards 2024

The Director’s Awards program recognizes Lab employees’ significant contributions and achievements. Nominations of individuals and teams come from Lab employees and then are reviewed by the Lab-wide Director’s Awards committee. Nominations are accepted through May 31, with selections made in the summer and a recognition event in November.

An awards committee made up of representatives from across the Lab review award nominations and make recommendations to Lab leadership for up to 15 certificate awardees and up to three lifetime achievement awardees. These awards cover scientific, operations, and societal impact, and can be awarded to teams or individuals.

Berkeley Lab employees can nominate individuals or teams for the Exceptional Achievement Award categories: early scientific career, safety, scientific, societal impact, and tech transfer. This year, there are two new categories: organizational impact and IDEA, which encompasses outreach, mentorship, and building a Lab community.

Recently Meg Rodriguez, head of Career Pathways, discussed the changes to the Director’s Awards:

What are the two new exceptional achievement award categories, and why did the Director/Lab add them?

The Lab started the Director’s Awards in 2012. We needed to update the awards categories to better align with our Lab’s strategic cultural initiatives: IDEA, stewardship, mentorship, and community building.

The Organizational Impact award will enable us to recognize work done supporting the Lab’s mission and its strategic goals, such as exceptional service, and/or efforts that enhance processes, cross-functional partnership and collaboration, efficiency, and/or policy implementation. The scope of recognition in this award was expanded so that we could include a much broader range of work than the previous Service and Operations awards.

The IDEA award helps us recognize people who have exceptional achievements in operationalizing IDEA principles, especially in:

Outreach: Honoring significant efforts to increase current and/or future diverse representation at the Lab.

    • Outreach: Honoring significant efforts to increase current and/or future diverse representation at the Lab.
    • Mentorship: Significant efforts to foster belonging and access to opportunities for career advancement for employees regardless of background.
    • Lab Community: Significant efforts to cultivate networks of support and build cultures of inclusion at the Lab.

How do the Director’s Awards support the Lab’s mission and values?

Our workforce is composed of a diverse group of talented, creative researchers and professionals who have committed their careers to finding scientific solutions to the most significant human challenges of our time. They have forged a culture of stewardship of the Lab’s people, research, and resources that make our mission possible. We want to honor that work – the contributions to our mission and our unique culture – by recognizing extraordinary efforts with various Director’s Awards.

Is there help for someone who has never submitted a Director’s Award nomination?

Yes, you can view a presentation recording on how to prepare a winning nomination. The website also has additional information, including the nomination forms, eligibility, and past laureates. Nominations are open through May 31.