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and treatment of mental illnesses.

National Institute of Mental Health James Jackson Memorial Award

James Jackson Memorial Award (primary image)

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is pleased to announce the launch of the inaugural James Jackson Memorial Award. This award is named in honor of the late Dr. James 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 impacts on the fields of disparities research and minority mental health, the 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 students (particularly BIPOC students).

To facilitate this award process, the NIMH seeks nominations from the field for exceptional intramural and extramural mental health disparities researchers, who:

  • Demonstrate outstanding individual achievements in mental health disparities 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 disparity areas related to race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, socioeconomic status, access to healthcare, enhancing quality of care, differing standards of healthcare, insurance status, age, geography, sexual orientation, intersectionality, and/or cultural beliefs; and,
  • Demonstrate excellence in mentorship and have substantial influence on the academic and professional pursuits of trainees, particularly in supporting BIPOC trainees. The ideal candidate will have fostered a positive learning environment that embodies the spirit of diversity and inclusion in academic training and displayed a high level of personal integrity and ethical standards.

Nomination Criteria

Specific nomination criteria are outlined below and should be clearly explicated in the nominee’s application packet.

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
  • Have demonstrated innovative contributions in mental health disparities research
  • Have demonstrated a record of promoting scientific and academic excellence, including but not limited to teaching and other scholastic activities
  • Have made a significant contribution towards identifying, developing, testing, and/or implementing solutions to the mental health disparities and diversity challenges facing the field
  • Have demonstrated excellence in mentorship
  • Have demonstrated a commitment to community engagement

Application Packet

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

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • One (1) example peer-reviewed publication/manuscript that best represents the substance and rigor of the candidate’s work
  • A 2-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/submitted separately from the remainder of the package – one (1) letter must be either from a mentee or a community partner

Application packets must be submitted electronically via email to by 11:59 pm (ET) on April 16, 2021 for full award consideration.

Awardee Selection

Final awardee selection is expected to be made in early May 2021. The selected awardee will receive a $5,000 honorarium and be required to deliver a 30-minute lecture describing their work during an interactive, virtual webinar scheduled for late July 2021, coinciding with Minority Mental Health Month.

For questions regarding the NIMH James Jackson Award, please email

James Jackson Memorial Award Flyer