Nominations for the George Foster Practicing Medical Anthropology Award

George Foster Practicing Medical Anthropology Award
Deadline Aug. 15, 2013, awarded odd numbered years

The Society for Medical Anthropology announces that nominations for the George Foster Practicing Medical Anthropology Award are now being accepted. This award, first given in 2005, recognizes those who have made significant contributions to applying theory and methods in medical anthropology, particularly in diverse contexts, to multidisciplinary audiences, and with some impact on policy.

There are three criteria for this award:

  1. Contributions to applying theory and methods in diverse contexts. “Diverse contexts” means that the individual has worked on a number of problems in different settings, communities, and/or populations.
  2. Accessibility/relevance of work to multidisciplinary audiences
  3. Impact on policy 

The following are committee considerations in reviewing nominations: (in no particular order):

  • Cumulative body of work
  • Publications may not be the best evidence of excellence in practice.
  • Types of written work products we regarded as worthy of attention ranged from peer-reviewed publications, books, reports and other grey literature. We looked to evidence of publications directed to audiences beyond anthropologists. We do not stick to the kinds of considerations that a university-wide tenure committee might reward.
  • Impact on the field of medical anthropology
  • On the one hand, this award is for persons who speak to practice and policy; a deserving candidate might not be regularly involved in annual SMA events or otherwise be visible to academics. On the other hand, a top candidate should show evidence of impact on the discipline in some important way. This could take the form, for instance, of an impact on theory, methodology, visibility of anthropology in the public or policy realm, having designed or influenced curricula, or having trained or been a mentor to students. 
  • Policy emphasis:  “Policy” is interpreted very broadly, including for example policy relevant to organizations (including university-based), communities, programs, NGOs, nations.

Nominations for the award should include:

  • a letter of nomination
  • an additional supporting letter
  • a biographical statement by the nominee, and
  • the candidate’s current CV.

Inquiries and nominations should be sent to Robbie Baer,, Foster Award Committee Chair,
Please note that nominations for the George Foster Practicing Medical Anthropology Award will be kept for three years for consideration by the award committee.