Asa Fitch Memorial Graduate Student Award

The Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America recognizes an outstanding Masters level graduate student each year through the presentation of the Asa Fitch Memorial Award. The award consists of $250 and a certificate. 

Nomination Requirements
Application Procedures
Submission Requirements
Evaluation Criteria
Award Selection Procedures
Previous Winners
Submit a Nomination


The nominee must be a student member of the Eastern Branch. The student must be pursuing or has recently completed a graduate degree with emphasis in entomology (must have graduated within one year prior to the award deadline). As active ESA member returning for graduate study is eligible if their membership status has changed from full member to student member within two years or resuming study. 

Nomination Requirements

  • Any member of the Eastern Branch may nominate a graduate student in entomology for the award. Self-nominations are discouraged. Any self-nomination needs approval from a departmental student awards committee or department head. 
  • There will be a limit of two qualified nominees from each university. If there are more than two interested applicants from the same university, the two selected applicants will be chosen by the student’s residing departmental student awards committee or department head.
  • Every eligible student should be given the opportunity to apply for the award and should know whom to contact within his or her department for nomination materials and procedures. This could be done by way of posted notices, and/or announcements during seminars.
  • If a nomination committee is formed within a department, students should be allowed to approach the committee and ask for consideration for the award. If a nomination comes as a result of committee action, this should be mentioned in one of the recommendation letters or as part of the nominee’s cover letter if desired.

Application Procedures

  1. Cover letter (1 page maximum): Written by the nominee expressing why he/she is qualified for the award. The nominee may wish to call the committee’s attention to particular sections of the supporting documents
  2. Curriculum vitae or resume including each of the following in the order specified:
    • Personal information:  Name, present position, address, phone number
    • Education: Beginning with undergraduate institution, list the date, degree, institution, thesis title, advisor’s name, and GPA (based on a 0-4 scale) of all institutions attended.
      • Include official transcripts of graduate records only. Student copies of official transcripts permitted.
    • Employment: List relevant jobs/positions held during graduate studies and a brief summary of responsibilities.
    • Publications:List all publications in chronological order. If not senior author, the nominee must describe his/her contribution to the work.
      • Refereed Publications: Nominee should place an asterisk by the one publication in which he/she considers to be his/her greatest contribution to entomology. Include a photocopy of the abstract of this publication in the packet.
      • Non-Refereed Publications: Do not include published abstracts of presentations.
      • In Press:  Only include those publications that have actually been accepted by a journal. Please include a photocopy of the acceptance letter.
    • Presentations: Include title and type of presentation. If not senior author, the nominee must describe his/her contribution to the work.
    • Research Support: List all grant proposals, cooperative agreements, and competitive fellowships funded. Include agency, amount, and duration of support.
    • Thesis or Dissertation Research:  Include title and abstract (2 page maximum).
    • Non-thesis Research and Extension Experience: Include any additional research or extension experience not indicated by publications or presentations.
    • Professional Society Memberships: Include dates and any offices held.
    • Committee Service:  List all departmental, university, and professional committee service.
    • Teaching Experience:  List all teaching experience and include a brief outline of responsibilities.
    • Honors & Awards:  List all honors and awards received while a graduate student
  3. Letters of Recommendation: Include 3 letters of recommendation based on applicant’s strengths in the following areas:
    • Scholarship
    • Scientific contributions
    • Departmental contributions
  4. Letter of Authenticity: The last page of the application must include a form letter that attests to the nominee’s eligibility and authenticity of the supporting documentation. This letter must be signed by the nominee’s major professor or department head and should be signed only after that person has reviewed the documentation that will be submitted. This letter should also state if the departmental awards committee has selected the nominee.
  5. Brief Biography and Photo: In order to ensure that biographies and photographs of the winners are received prior to the printing deadline of the program of the Eastern Branch Meeting, applicants should submit one copy of a biography, 200 words or fewer, and a current photograph. The photograph and biography will only be seen by the chairman of the Student Affairs Committee and will not be used in the judging process.

Submission Requirements

All nomination packages must be submitted to the Asa Fitch Memorial Graduate Student Award Submission Site according to the following specifications (paper nominations will not be accepted):

  • Only the following file formats will be accepted: PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format), RTF (Rich Text Format), TIF graphic files, or JPG graphic files. Files created on either PC or MAC platforms will be accepted. Please make sure scanned images can be clearly read on a computer screen.
  • Font size for text may not be smaller than 11 point.
  • The maximum upload size is 2 MB per file.

Evaluation Criteria

The representatives of the Student Affairs Committee selects a recipient for the award. Selection is based on three broad criteria:

  1. Scientific quality of research
  2. Publications and presentations
  3. Involvement in professional activities

Candidates for the award are to be judged on the merits of their achievements while conducting graduate studies. The judging committee will not consider accomplishments attained prior to graduate study or between graduate level studies. 

Award Selection Procedures

  1. Nomination instruction packet file is available at any time from the Chair of the Student Affairs Committee, EB-ESA.
  2. Nomination instruction file is sent to Entomology Departments in the Eastern Branch, usually in care of the departmental representative to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), EB-ESA.
  3. Completed nomination packet files are submitted electronically to the chair of the SAC, postmarked by the deadline. Incomplete packets will be returned to the sender, and if not resubmitted in a complete format by the deadline, they will be dropped from consideration.
  4. Nomination packet files are then sent electronically to each SAC member for evaluation.
  5. Award nominations are evaluated based on three broad criteria:
    • Scientific quality of research work
    • Publications and presentations
    • Involvement in professional activities.
    • Candidates are to be judged on the merits of their achievements while conducting graduate studies. The judging committee will not consider accomplishments attained prior to graduate study or between graduate level degrees.
  6. The committee reserves the right to reject nominees which are ineligible, unqualified, or which have improperly submitted the nomination packet. The committee will only consider those nominees appointed by their department’s award selection committee; additional applications from that school will be rejected.
  7. Each SAC committee member will submit to the chair, in rank order, the evaluation of all nominees. Guidelines for evaluation are:
  8. Rank all nominees for an award: (first = 1, second = 2, third = 3, etc…). If a committee member feels that no candidate is qualified, then a rank of “no award” is given.
  9. After all evaluations are submitted to the chair, the nominee receiving the lowest cumulative ranking will be declared the recipient of the award.
  10. In the event of a tie, those nominations involved in the tie will be re-submitted to the committee for re-evaluation and re-ranking.
  11. In the event of a 2nd tie, the chair will determine the winner.
  12. If a committee representative is nominated for one of the awards, he/she shall select another student in his/her department to rank the nominations.
  13. Each awardee will be informed of the results as soon as possible after the rankings have been submitted.
  14. The SAC Chair will submit to the Eastern Branch officers the names and addresses of each recipient. A copy of each awardee’s nomination packet including biography and photograph will be submitted along with this letter.


Nomination packages must be received by December 15th Annually at 11:59 (EST)

Asa Fitch Memorial Graduate Student Award Submission Site

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