Social Research, Policy, and Practice Section Awards

Please choose an award name to view specific details and requirements.


Barbara J. Berkman SRPP Award for Outstanding Interdisciplinary Research, Practice, or Policy in Aging and Health Care

This award is named in honor of Barbara Berkman, DSW/PhD, FGSA, the Helen Rehr and Ruth Fizdale Professor Emerita of Health and Mental Health at Columbia University School of Social Work. The hallmarks of her distinguished career include applied research and policy development in health, mental health, and aging. Her seminal work has consistently emphasized an interdisciplinary orientation, focused on research and assessment of aging-related services and the promotion of high-quality service delivery to older persons in need.

During the last six decades, Dr. Berkman has received numerous prestigious national awards in recognition of her leadership in the fields of social work, health services, and  gerontology. For example, in 2009, Dr. Berkman was honored by the GSA with the Donald P. Kent Award in recognition of her interdisciplinary leadership in gerontology, social work, and health care services through teaching, research, and advocacy. She has also been recognized for her significant contributions to local, regional and national policies to improve the well-being of older persons. Hundreds of graduate students and junior faculty, particularly those in social work, have benefited from her mentorship, guidance, and standards of excellence. Her leadership in developing faculty scholars has changed the impact of gerontology in social work. In each of these roles, Dr. Berkman has exemplified the highest standards of quality and the importance of translating knowledge into practice.

Because of the high standards and level of accomplishments it honors, this Award is intended as a career or lifetime achievement award. It recognizes individuals who have devoted decades of professional work to improving and expanding health care and age-related services for older persons. Hence, potential awardees from academia or research institutions will likely be senior faculty or high-level research associates. Other potential awardees who are not in educational or research settings are likely to be professionals with long-standing leadership roles in major service agencies, advocacy organizations, or similar entities. The fundamental award criteria focus on an individual’s contributions to the well-being of older persons, through many years of significant and very substantive contributions to research, practice and policy in aging and health care services.

Submission Period
February 1-March 31, 2021- Access the online nomination form here.

Eligibility Criteria

Given the expected level of accomplishments and the Award’s purpose in honoring outstanding career contributions in research, policy, or practice in aging and health care:

  • Nominees from academia are likely to be senior faculty (late associate professor or full professor. Nominees not in academia would typically have a history of increasingly greater leadership positions in a major service organization, research institute, advocacy organization, or similar entity over a substantial period of time.
  • Nominee must be a primary member of the Social Research, Policy & Practice Section for at least five years.
  • Nominee must have published relevant work in research, policy, and/or practice publications within the past five years. Products such as legislative testimony, online documents, etc. are acceptable.
  • Nominees may be actively employed or retired/emeritus.

Nomination Process

Required Nomination Packet Materials: 

  • A single nomination letter signed by at least three (3) supporters that includes the following:
    • the nominee’s contribution, influence, and impact on research, policy and/or practice in the field of gerontology
  • A current Curriculum Vitae 

Nature of Award

The recipient receives $2500 and a framed certificate.


Elaine M. Brody SRPP Thought Leader Award

The Elaine M. Brody Thought Leader Award is conferred by the Social Research, Policy, and Practice (SRPP) Section to a mid- or late-career member of the section in acknowledgement of outstanding contributions in social research, policy, and practice. 

The awardee receives a $500 cash prize and plaque that will be presented to the SRPP member at the SRPP Business Meeting and Awards Luncheon at the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting. The awardee also will present a short “TED talk”-type presentation (5 minutes / 5 slides) at the SRPP Business Meeting and Awards Luncheon.

Submission Period
February 1-March 31, 2021- Access the online nomination form here.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nominee must be a member of the Social Research, Policy & Practice section for at least five years.
  • Nominee must have published in research, policy, and/or practice publications within the past five years.

Nomination Process

Required Nomination Packet Materials: 

  • A single nomination letter signed by at least three (3) supporters that includes the following:
    • the nominee’s contribution, influence, and impact on research, policy and/or practice in the field of gerontology
  • A current Curriculum Vitae 
  • A digital copy of at least one, and not more than five, relevant policy/practice/research publications. 

Nature of Award

The recipient receives $500, a framed certificate, and delivers a lecture at the GSA Annual Meeting. 

Past Awardees
View here


Carroll L. Estes SRPP Rising Star Award

The Carroll L. Estes Rising Star Award is conferred by the Social Research, Policy, and Practice Section to a member of the section in acknowledgment of outstanding early career contributions in social research, policy, and practice.

The awardee receives a $300 cash prize and plaque that will be presented to the SRPP member at the SRPP Business Meeting and Awards Luncheon in Austin, TX in 2019. 

The award was established in 2009 and honors Carroll L. Estes, a distinguished gerontological researcher, a tireless advocate for older persons, a former SRPP section chair, and a former GSA president.

Submission Period
February 1-March 31, 2021- Access the online nomination form here.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nominee must be a member of the SRPP section for at least two years.
  • Nominee must have a graduate degree and must be within five years of receiving that degree.

Nomination Process

Required Nomination Packet Materials: 

  • A single nomination letter signed by at least three (3) supporters that includes the following:
    • the contirbution of this nominee to research, policy, and/or practice.
  • A current Cirriculum Vitae.
  • A digital copy of at least one, and not more than five, relevant research, policy and/or pracitce publication(s).

Nature of Award

The recipient receives $300 and a framed certificate. 

Past Awardees
View here


Outstanding Student Poster Award

The Social Research, Policy, and Practice Outstanding Student Poster Award recognizes a current SRPP student member, graduate or undergraduate, for excellence in research as reflected in an outstanding research poster presentation. The award hopes to encourage outstanding research.

Finalists will be selected from the current year's accepted poster abstract and required to attend the Annual Scientific Meeting.

Submission Period 

All accepted SRPP student poster abstracts will be automatically considered.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be registered student members of the Social Research, Policy, and Practice (SRPP) section.
  • The poster must address a significant research, policy or practice topic. It must be research-based, conceptual or analytical, and contribute to the body of knowledge on aging.
  • The poster must be of publishable quality.
  • The poster must include sound methodology appropriate to the issues under investigation.
  • The poster must discuss practice and policy implications.
  • The poster must identify the institution with which the student is affiliated.
  • The poster must include a separate statement to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. from a faculty mentor verifying that the work was done while the applicant was a student, and that it represents the student's efforts.

Nature of Award
The recipient (author of winning poster) receives $500, and a framed certificate.

Past Awardees
View here 


Terrie Fox Wetle Rising Star Award in Health Services and Aging Research

Fox photo

This award is named in honor of Fox Wetle, PhD, who has devoted her professional career to three related domains. She has been a tireless and successful advocate for multi-disciplinary and multi-method investigations centered on aging, public health and health care. She has thoughtfully and effectively mentored hundreds of new investigators in a broad array of disciplines. And she has built a leading School of Public Health at Brown University, while encouraging efforts to improve aging-relevant content in public health research, curricula and practice across the country. Professor Wetle sets an example of visionary leadership, skillful mentoring and organizational acumen that is inspirational to all who know her.

Criteria for selection: the Fox Wetle awardee will be a health services researcher in an early or middle phase of his/her career. The candidate should have already made important contributions with work that respects the value of multidisciplinary health services science and that is likely to be highly influential in shaping practice and research for decades to come. The typical candidate would be at the level of late Assistant Professor or early Associate Professor.
The selection committee should be able to cite a series of published, scholarly papers that are influencing research and practice in the area of health services and aging. The candidates' work should have acquired sufficient momentum to convince the selection committee that contributions of prominence and influence will continue for many years to come.

The award is a cash prize of $5,000 and a framed citation. The awardee will have an opportunity to present research findings at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. 

For more information, please visit the AFAR website:

https://www.afar.org/research/awards/wetle-nomination/