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The Graduate School annually accepts nominations for the Abell Award beginning December 1. Nominations are due the second Monday in March.

The winners of the Abell Award will be recognized at the Graduate and Postdoctoral Awards Banquet held in April. The award will include a $1500 scholarship and a keepsake recognizing the honor. Send nominations via email to and include “Abell Award” in the subject line.

Dr. Sandra K. Abell was a great champion of science education at the University of Missouri, as well as nationally and internationally. Her work over more than three decades was dedicated to unleashing a passion for science in students, from kindergarten to University. Here at the University of Missouri, Sandi inspired graduate students in science disciplines across campus to embrace teaching as a creative and rewarding endeavor. The Abell Science Education Award was created to honor Sandi’s memory and to recognize the outstanding achievements of a graduate student pursuing PhD studies in any natural science discipline who has demonstrated a dual passion for both research and teaching.

Nomination Requirements


Nominees for the Abell Science Education Award should be second year or higher PhD students from a natural science discipline (i.e. biology, chemistry, physics, biochemistry, or geology) who demonstrate a commitment and interest in a career in college science teaching and science outreach as revealed by their involvement in science education coursework or other campus programs focused on developing college science teachers.

Applicants will be evaluated on:

  • teaching accomplishments during graduate school
  • outreach and community engagement accomplishments during graduate school
  • professional development to improve teaching during graduate school
  • evidence of valuing their own learning, outreach, and professional development
  • aspirations, plans, and career goals related to college science teaching
  • extent and significance of impact in science education
  • overall potential for success in college science teaching

Awardees will be selected by a faculty committee.


Call Out: December 1
Nominations Due: February 15 (if date falls on a weekend, then applications are due on the following Monday)

Minimum Requirements for Nominations

Nomination packets must be submitted in electronic form using .pdf format.

Scan the documents into one .pdf file in the order listed below. Save the file with the applicant’s name. Unlike many of the other graduate school awards, students must self-nominate.

Required Documents:

  1. Completed coversheet: Abell-award-coversheet
  2. Personal statement from the student that describes their current achievements in science education, as well as their aspirations, plans and goals for integrating science and science education into their careers.
  3. A current CV from the Nominee that includes their teaching/outreach experience/accomplishments.
  4. A minimum of two (and no more than four) letters from faculty “mentors” that describe the student’s commitment to science education, their likelihood of success as a college science teacher and/or their potential impact on the field of science education.

No additional materials may be submitted.

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