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Welcome to the 2021 NIH Director's Awards

A message from former director Dr. Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director, National Institutes of Health.

Thumbnail of Welcome to the 2021 NIH Director's Awards video

The NIH Director's Awards recognizes exceptional performance and special efforts beyond regular job assignments. These directly relate to fulfilling the mission of the National Institutes of Health.

The Office of Human Resources conducts the Director's Awards each year. It is one of many ways we highlight the outstanding employees, work, and advances conducted at the NIH. 2021 was a record-breaking year with 3,200 awardees. Like the 2020 ceremony, the awards for 2021 are being presented virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four main categories of the awards include:

  • Scientific/Medical
  • Administrative
  • Technical/​Clerical/​Support
  • Common Fund Leadership

The Alan S. Rabson Award for Clinical Care

Recipients exemplify an unswerving commitment to scientific and technical excellence, collaboration with colleagues, and provision of excellent, compassionate care for the patient and those who love them.

The Ruth L. Kirschstein Mentoring Award

Recognizes those who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, skill, and ability in serving as a high-quality mentor to one or more individuals.

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Awards

Celebrates those who carried out the NIH mission while maintaining principles of inclusion, equity, and diversity. Categories include:

  • Harvey J. Bullock Jr. Award
  • Yvonne Thompson Maddox Award
  • NIH Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award of the Year

The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Honor Awards

Honors officers who accomplished outstanding work and made a unique impact to the Corps mission. Divided into two main categories:

  • Honor Awards (Distinguished Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Outstanding Service Medal)
  • Unit Awards (Outstanding Unit Citation)

The Work/Life and Well-Being Champion Award

Recognizes exceptional performance and special efforts supporting employee's work/life and well-being while also improving or maintaining the agency's productivity.