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and treatment of mental illnesses.

National Institute of Mental Health James S. Jackson Memorial Award

James Jackson Memorial Award

2023 James S. Jackson Award call for nominations

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2023 James S. Jackson Award. Nominations close at 11:59 p.m. ET on May 10, 2023.

Nominee description

NIMH seeks nominations from the field for exceptional intramural and extramural minority mental health and mental health disparities researchers who exemplify:

  • Scholarship: Demonstrate outstanding individual achievements in mental health disparities and minority mental health research of exceptional quality, originality, innovation, and significant impact on the field to situate the candidate as a leader among peers. Demonstrate excellence in research and knowledge in mental health disparities and minority mental health.
  • Mentorship and learning environment: Demonstrate excellence in mentorship and have substantial influence on the academic and professional pursuits of trainees, particularly in supporting underrepresented trainees. The ideal candidate will have fostered a positive learning environment that is respectful, nurturing, embodies the spirit of diversity and inclusion in academic training, and is passionate about equity, beyond research.
  • Community, inclusivity, and outreach: Demonstrate commitment to community outreach and presents a trajectory of recognized community engagement activities. The ideal candidate has contributed to and embodies the spirit of diversity and inclusion and has contributed significantly to the field.

Nomination criteria

Specific nomination criteria are outlined below and should be clearly demonstrated in the nominee’s application packet (see description for details). Previous applicants are allowed and encouraged to re-apply. 
All nominees must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States (please acknowledge in CV)
  • Have an established record of independent research in mental health
  • Demonstrate a record of promoting scientific and academic excellence, including but not limited to teaching and other scholastic activities
  • Have made innovative and significant contributions in minority mental health and mental health disparities research towards identifying, developing, testing, and/or implementing strategies to achieve equity.
  • Demonstrate excellence in mentorship
  • Demonstrate a commitment to impactful community engagement

Application packet

Individuals who wish to be considered for the NIMH James S. Jackson Memorial Award must submit (or have submitted on their behalf) an application packet with the following materials:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • One (1) example of a peer-reviewed publication or manuscript that best represents the substance and rigor of the candidate’s work in mental health disparities and minority mental health
  • A two-page, single-spaced narrative statement that includes a description of research accomplishments, mentorship philosophy and highlights of mentees’ accomplishments, approach to community engagement, and other relevant professional accomplishments
  • Two (2) recommendation letters, emailed or submitted separately from the remainder of the package. One (1) letter must be either from a mentee or a community partner and should include specific examples of fostering a positive, respectful, nurturing work environment.

Application packets must be submitted via email to by 11:59 p.m. ET on May 10, 2023 for full award consideration.

Awardee selection

Final awardee selection is planned for July 2023 coinciding with Minority Mental Health Month. The selected awardee will receive a $5,000 honorarium and will have the opportunity to interact with NIMH staff and leadership and to deliver a public lecture describing their work during an event scheduled in the fall of 2023.

Background information

This award is named in honor of the late Dr. James S. Jackson, a renowned social psychologist who was the Daniel Katz Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Jackson’s research on race, ethnicity, racism, health, and mental health has had far-reaching impacts on the fields of disparities research and minority mental health. Of particular significance, he authored the National Survey of Black Americans and the National Survey of American Life, which changed the way the field examined and understood Black life and mental health in the United States.

To acknowledge Dr. Jackson’s great impact on the fields of disparities research, minority mental health and his commitment to mentoring trainees, NIMH will honor an outstanding researcher who has demonstrated exceptional individual achievement and leadership in mental health disparities research and excellence in mentorship, influence, and support of trainees.


For questions regarding the NIMH James Jackson Award, please email

James S. Jackson Memorial Award Winners