Henry Gray Distinguished Educator Award

Nomination deadline: May 12th
Materials deadline:  June 1st

(Next nomination deadline May 12, 2014)

Past Winners

AAA's highest education medal is for human anatomy education in the anatomical sciences as broadly defined—including gross anatomy, embryology, histology, and neuroanatomy—at the medical/dental, graduate, or undergraduate level of teaching. The recipient is presented with a plaque and a $4,000 honorarium, and is asked to to present a lecture at the Annual Meeting. This award is supported by Elsevier, publisher of Gray's Anatomy for Students.


Only AAA members may submit a nomination. Nominees must be full-time or emeritus faculty members of accredited colleges or universities and AAA members.  The award committee will look for independent evidence of: (1) excellence in classroom teaching over a number of years at undergraduate, graduate, or professional levels; (2) commitment to the improvement of teaching within the candidate's own institution; and (3) contributions to anatomical science education at the local community, national or international levels.


The nominator must submit the nomination form and a letter of support outlining the qualifications of a nominee. Each nominee is then asked to submit the remaining documentation (see Submission Requirements, below) by June 1. The committee requests electronic submission of all material by the final  deadline. Only nominations that are complete and received on time will be considered.


Documents required for the Henry Gray/Elsevier Distinguished Educator Medal nomination should clearly and concisely reflect the nominee's accomplishments. The completed nomination package should include:

  • Nomination form and letter of recommendation from the nominator.
  • At least two (2) ADDITIONAL letters of recommendation (maximum 2 pages each) addressing both the teaching and scholarship accomplishments of the nominee. Of the overall three letters of recommendation, at least one of these letters must be from a former student or postdoctoral fellow with an established career. A t least one of these letters must be from the nominee's chair, chief, or dean (supervisor) and must document the quality of the nominee's teaching contributions. (This latter requirement that the letter be from a supervisor may be waived if the nominee is an AAA Emeritus Member; however, three letters are still needed.)
  • Candidate's curriculum vitae (NIH biosketch format preferred) documenting:
  • Teaching - CV must reflect the nominee's teaching portfolio, such as experience, awards, and publications on teaching anatomy to students.
  • Scholarship - CV must reflect the nominee's portfolio of scholarship, including publications, textbooks, patents, abstracts, chapters, and educational programs.
  • Service - Include departmental, school, university, journal, and society level service. Copies of earlier letters documenting good performance in such service may be appended.


The following criteria may be considered in choosing the medal recipient (in alphabetical order):

  • Contributions to education research and development
  • Contributions to education through AAA activities
  • Curriculum design and reform
  • Development of novel educational methods or materials
  • Evidence of outstanding mentoring accomplishments
  • Leadership of national educational committees
  • Leadership position at a medical/dental, graduate, or undergraduate institution
  • Leadership positions within organizations with an education focus
  • Peer-reviewed educational journal articles
  • Reviews by students and peers as an exceptional teacher
  • Scientific outreach efforts to the public or to youth
  • Success of students or postdoctoral fellows
  • Teacher of the Year awards
  • Teaching invitations
  • Track record of attracting new students to the anatomical sciences
  • Widely disseminated publications such as commercially produced textbooks, lab manuals, or software


Each year, the AAA President or incoming President nominates and the Board of Directors approves committee members for a three-year term on the award committee. This committee shall consist of three members, at least one of whom is a former recipient of the Basmajian Award or of this medal; one of the committee members will serve a one-year term as chair.  Committees are not obligated to make an award each year.


Any nominee not chosen for an award is automatically considered for the award by the next two consecutive award committees. It is the nominator's responsibility to update or augment the nomination materials, if appropriate, prior to the next year's deadline.

For further information or clarification regarding the process or the forms, you may call or email:

301-634-7910 (phone)
301-634-7965 (fax)

American Association of Anatomists

9650 Rockville Pike Bethesda, Maryland 20814-3998
Tel: 301-634-7910 | Fax: 301-634-7965


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