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2017 Ruth L. Kirschstein Mentoring Award Guidelines

Viewing past award guidelines

You are viewing guidelines for the 2017 awards. See award guidelines for the current year.

General Guidelines

  • All nominations must be entered by the nominator through the electronic honorary awards and ranking system, e-HARTS. Hardcopies are not required; however, it is recommended that you keep a hardcopy for your records. Detailed database instructions are available upon request.
  • An IC may nominate one individual who has performed in an exemplary manner while providing mentoring functions and support to others.

Group nominations in this category will not be accepted

  • Nominations may be initiated by IC management staff or by individuals with knowledge of the mentoring accomplishments of the individual being nominated.
  • The Narrative Justification is limited to 6,000 characters.
  • The narrative of accomplishments must focus on the nominee’s extraordinary contributions in mentoring others, how they exceeded what was expected, and the impact of their contributions on the career development of others. Routine responsibilities should be mentioned only as they establish a context for the accomplishment cited.
  • All nominations must be approved by the nominee’s supervisor and IC Director.
  • The citation for the mentoring award will read: For exemplary performance while demonstrating significant leadership, skill, and ability in serving as a mentor.


The Ruth L. Kirschstein Mentoring Award is designed to support and encourage the continuation of mentoring activities within the organization and to establish mentoring as a core value at the NIH. The award is given to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, skill, and ability in serving as a high-quality mentor to one or more individuals.


All individual NIH employees who are mentoring others are eligible. Groups cannot be nominated for this award.


  • Demonstrating positive relationships with individuals through effective communications, active listening, conflict resolution skills, and providing appropriate feedback.
  • Displaying pride in the NIH and valuing its work; understanding its mission, vision, and values, and supporting its initiatives.
  • Exhibiting patience and willingness to spend and provide adequate time serving in the role of mentor.
  • Serving as a role model—teaching and demonstrating high standards of performance, integrity, and ethical conduct.
  • Providing ongoing technical advice and guidance in the specific subject matter area.
  • Supporting visibility through assistance in securing challenging projects and assignments for mentees and discussing his/her accomplishments with others.
  • Motivating and inspiring the mentee to achieve breakthroughs by challenging his/her potential.
  • Helping the mentee to develop important skills, such as strategic planning, time management, organizational awareness, communication and interpersonal skills, leadership, teamwork, and creative thinking.