Awards and Honors

Every year, the American College of Toxicology recognizes outstanding scientists across educational and career levels for their accomplishments. Some ACT awards honor senior-level investigators for lifetime achievement, and others provide funding and support for graduate students and early career researchers to attend the ACT Annual Meeting. ACT award recipients are recognized each year during the Awards Ceremony at the ACT Annual Meeting.

ACT members should explore the award opportunities on this page and nominate your deserving colleagues for these prestigious accolades. You can also learn more about previous years’ awardees on the “Award History” web page .

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships

Distinguished Fellow

Nominations Accepted at Any Time

Bestowed by ACT Council to a Full member, the Distinguished Fellow status is one of the College’s highest honors. Nominees for this distinction should have attained international recognition in a field of research and should have contributed to significant advancements in the science of toxicology.

Presentation of Distinguished Fellow status requires nominations from two Full members of the College.

Distinguished Scientist Award in Toxicology

Nomination Deadline: March 31

First bestowed in 1995 under the name Distinguished Service Award and later renamed the Distinguished Scientist Award in Toxicology, this accolade recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to toxicology and improvement of public health and/or the environment. The recipient of this award is the keynote speaker during the Awards Ceremony at the ACT Annual Meeting. The award consists of a $2,000 honorarium, waived Annual Meeting registration, up to two nights of hotel accommodations, and travel expense reimbursement.

Nominees for the Distinguished Scientist Award in Toxicology are not required to be ACT members.

Mildred Christian Women’s Leadership in Toxicology Award

Nomination Deadline: March 31

The Mildred Christian Women’s Leadership in Toxicology Award was named in honor of 1992 ACT President Mildred S. Christian, PhD, and was first bestowed in 2017. This award is presented to a woman who has made a difference in advancing the science and practice of toxicology and who has attained industry/government/academic recognition as a global leader in this field.

Nominees should be women who demonstrate characteristics such as leadership, inclusiveness, collaboration, perseverance, and devotion to the ACT goals to educate, lead, and serve. Candidates may come from many fields (the pharmaceutical or chemistry industries, contract research organizations, government agencies, academia) but must be a current member of the College. The recipient receives a $2,000 honorarium, waived Annual Meeting registration, up to two nights of hotel accommodations, and expense reimbursement.

Mildred Christian

Mildred Christian

Mildred Christian, PhD, was a Founding member of ACT whose vision and leadership truly made a difference in the College and the world of toxicology. Established in 2018, this award is intended to honor Dr. Christian’s vast contributions.

In the early years of toxicology, Dr. Christian was a woman leader in the male-dominated world of toxicology. In a world where the major toxicology associations were exclusive organizations narrowly focused on academic research, she was a voice for a more inclusive real-world approach. Her vision of a broad-based organization with a focus on practical approaches led the way for her and a small group of colleagues to establish ACT. The vision of the early leaders was to provide a forum for scientists from industry and regulatory agencies, as well as academicians, to exchange ideas and information and to enhance public recognition of toxicology.

Dr. Christian’s determination and perseverance in the face of early financial challenges and lack of acceptance by the toxicology “establishment” inspired her to move the College forward to its current status as a global leader known for its collaborative, inclusive approach. Dr. Christian was the founding editor of the ACT journal and editor-in-chief for the first 10 years (1981 to 1991); she was an ACT Council member and served as ACT President in 1992.

During her career, Dr. Christian served in leadership positions in many societies and was instrumental in developing the ICH Guidelines for Toxicity in Reproduction and increasing reproductive toxicology knowledge and awareness in industry and regulatory agencies. She was passionate about science, education, and quality human health. Her determination, vision, and leadership truly made a difference in ACT and in the world of toxicology.

Mildred Christian, PhD, was a Founding member of ACT whose vision and leadership truly made a difference in the College and the world of toxicology. Established in 2018, this award is intended to honor Dr. Christian’s vast contributions.

In the early years of toxicology, Dr. Christian was a woman leader in the male-dominated world of toxicology. In a world where the major toxicology associations were exclusive organizations narrowly focused on academic research, she was a voice for a more inclusive real-world approach. Her vision of a broad-based organization with a focus on practical approaches led the way for her and a small group of colleagues to establish ACT. The vision of the early leaders was to provide a forum for scientists from industry and regulatory agencies, as well as academicians, to exchange ideas and information and to enhance public recognition of toxicology.

Dr. Christian’s determination and perseverance in the face of early financial challenges and lack of acceptance by the toxicology “establishment” inspired her to move the College forward to its current status as a global leader known for its collaborative, inclusive approach. Dr. Christian was the founding editor of the ACT journal and editor-in-chief for the first 10 years (1981 to 1991); she was an ACT Council member and served as ACT President in 1992.

During her career, Dr. Christian served in leadership positions in many societies and was instrumental in developing the ICH Guidelines for Toxicity in Reproduction and increasing reproductive toxicology knowledge and awareness in industry and regulatory agencies. She was passionate about science, education, and quality human health. Her determination, vision, and leadership truly made a difference in ACT and in the world of toxicology.

Service Award

Nomination Deadline: March 31

Originally called the Lifetime Achievement Award and later renamed the Service Award, this accolade recognizes an individual for their long-term dedication, noteworthy contributions, and service to ACT. Criteria for selection include, but are not limited to, service to the College (e.g., Councilor, officer, Committee member), frequent participation at and contribution to the Annual Meeting (speaker, Chair, Organizing Committee), and longstanding support of the College’s activities and mission. The recipient must be an ACT member and receives waived Annual Meeting registration.

Carol C. Lemire Unsung Hero Award

Nomination Deadline: March 31

First bestowed in 2012 to Carol C. Lemire in honor of more than 20 years of service to ACT, the Carol C. Lemire Unsung Hero Award recognizes an ACT member who has made substantive unrecognized contributions to the College. The nominee should have demonstrated an ongoing willingness to serve ACT and its activities to further the College’s mission, generally behind the scenes. The recipient of this accolade receives waived Annual Meeting registration.

Nominees for the Carol C. Lemire Unsung Hero Award cannot have held an elected ACT Council office within the past two years.

Carol C. Lemire

Carol C. Lemire

Carol C. Lemire was a guiding force in the organizational success of the College, serving as Executive Director for many of her 21 years with ACT. She joined the ACT administrative team during a time when the future of ACT as a leading society in toxicology was in doubt because of low membership and significant financial concerns. When Carol became the Executive Director of ACT several years later, she began the process of establishing a sound business philosophy and functioning business processes that allowed ACT to become the strong and vibrant professional organization it is today.

Carol was the “face” of ACT during each presidential transition year, and she worked long hours to ensure that the organization would meet the needs of its membership. While having to work with a new Council each year, her consistent vision and love for ACT clearly impacted each incoming Council, the members of which always came to recognize just how valuable Carol was to ACT.

Carol was truly the original unsung hero of ACT, and upon her retirement, Council felt that the best way to honor her for her many years of outstanding service was to create the Carol C. Lemire Unsung Hero Award and make her its first recipient in 2012.

Early Career Professional Award

Nomination Deadline: March 31

Since 2010, the Early Career Professional Award has recognized an individual with no more than 10 years of full-time employment experience (which can include postdoctoral fellow training) since completing their highest educational degree. The nominee must be a full ACT member and have demonstrated outstanding service to the field of toxicology. The nomination should include any impactful contributions, including authoring notable/influential publications, guidance documents, or book chapters; serving on committees or elected positions in an organization(s) relevant to toxicology; organizing/chairing/speaking at toxicology meetings; and receiving awards acknowledging other service.

Contributions from nominees working in industry, CRO, or government/regulatory settings (or other toxicology professions that may have limited publishing opportunities) can include contributions within the scope of their profession, such as contributing scientist reports, summaries/tally of regulatory submission documents, and in-person or remote/online educational lectures or presentations. Nominations should also highlight any specific contributions to the College, including service as an officer, Councilor, or Committee member and/or frequent participation at and contribution to the Annual Meeting or any other College activities (e.g., educational courses, webinars, podcasts).

Registration fees for the Annual Meeting will be waived for the awardee. The awardee will also receive a plaque and recognition during the Annual Meeting.

Best Paper Published in International Journal of Toxicology

Nomination Deadline: March 31

For more than two decades, the Best Paper Published in International Journal of Toxicology award has recognized the authors of the most outstanding manuscript published in the College’s official journal during the most recent calendar year. The award is presented annually and consists of $1,000 and a plaque.

The ACT Editorial Board will carefully consider all nominations received. Nominations should outline the impact of the nominated paper on the toxicological sciences and offer an explanation of why the paper is deserving of special recognition. Only papers published in International Journal of Toxicology during the most recent calendar year are eligible for the award.

North American Graduate Fellowships

Application Deadline: May 1

Beginning in 2014, ACT has awarded up to three fellowships of $5,000/year to students in approved toxicology programs in North America (US, Canada, Mexico) for a duration of one or two years. In addition to the $5,000 fellowship, recipients receive waived Annual Meeting registration, meals per diem, one complimentary Continuing Education course registration, transportation to and from the meeting, and four nights of hotel accommodations during the meeting dates.

The application for the North American Graduate Fellowship requires (1) successful acceptance into a PhD program (two-year award) or that the applicant be in the final year of a terminal master’s program (one-year award) in the field of toxicology; (2) the applicant’s Curriculum Vitae; (3) a letter of recommendation (which also certifies academic standing) from the affiliated institution describing why the applicant merits the award; (4) an essay (no more than 500 words) from the applicant describing career aspirations; and (5) abstract submission to and poster presentation during the ACT Annual Meeting in November summarizing the project work. The application period opens March 1; the submission deadline is May 1.

Awardees are required to join the College as a Student member to receive the fellowship (Student membership is free, and it is not a requirement to be an ACT member at the time of application).

Fellowship recipients are not eligible for the Furst Award (for Best Student Poster).

Applicant Help

International Travel Grants

Application Deadline: May 1

Since 2014, up to five International Travel Grants have been awarded annually to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, early career professionals, or toxicologists located outside North America to attend the Annual Meeting. Recipients receive waived Annual Meeting registration, meals per diem, one complimentary Continuing Education course registration, transportation to and from the meeting, and up to five nights of hotel accommodations during the meeting dates.

The application for the International Travel Grant requires (1) an essay (up to 500 words) from the applicant that demonstrates activity in/commitment to the field of toxicology and describes their vision for the field or, if a student, an essay (up to 500 words) describing career aspirations; (2) the applicant’s Curriculum Vitae; (3) a letter of recommendation from the affiliated institution (which also certifies academic standing, if a student) describing why the applicant merits the award; and (4) abstract submission to and poster presentation during the ACT Annual Meeting in November summarizing the project work. The application period opens March 1; the submission deadline is May 1.

International graduate students are also eligible for the Furst Award (for Best Student Poster).

Applicant Help

North American Travel Grants

Application Deadline: May 1

Each year, up to 10 travel grants are awarded to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, early career professionals, and toxicologists residing in North America (US, Canada, Mexico). Recipients receive waived Annual Meeting registration, meals per diem, one complimentary Continuing Education course registration, transportation to and from the meeting, and four nights of hotel accommodations during the meeting dates.

The application for the North American Travel Grant generally requires (1) an essay (up to 500 words) from the applicant that demonstrates activity in/commitment to the field of toxicology and describes their vision for the field or, if a student, an essay (up to 500 words) describing career aspirations; (2) the applicant’s Curriculum Vitae; (3) a letter of recommendation from the affiliated institution (which also certifies academic standing, if a student) as to why this nominee merits the award; and (4) abstract submission to and poster presentation during the ACT Annual Meeting in November summarizing the project work.

If the applicant holds a position that does not include a research component or is restricted from publishing data, in lieu of a poster abstract, the application should include a letter describing how attending the Annual Meeting will enhance career development. In addition, the applicant should indicate a willingness to contribute to activities at the Annual Meeting or another ACT activity. The application period opens March 1; the submission deadline is May 1.

Graduate student recipients are also eligible for the Furst Award (for Best Student Poster).

Furst Award (for Best Student Poster)

Bestowed during the ACT Annual Meeting

Named in honor of Arthur Furst, PhD, one of the first Presidents of the College, and initiated by a donation from Dr. Furst, the Furst Award (for Best Student Poster) recognizes the most outstanding graduate student poster presentation given during a special poster judging competition held Sunday evening during the Annual Meeting. The recipient of the Furst Award receives $2,000 and plaque. Students receiving the North American Travel Grants and International Travel Grants are automatically considered in the competition for this award.

Arthur Furst

Arthur Furst

Arthur Furst, PhD, served as President of ACT in 1985 and was the first ACT Distinguished Fellow. He was honored several times by the College, but the most enduring record of his scientific service can be found in the 1989 special issue of the ACT journal, dedicated to his huge impact on the toxicology of heavy metals.

Among his many contributions to ACT, Dr. Furst made a donation of $1,000 that formed the core of funds used for the Furst Award, given annually to the student presenting the best paper during the Annual Meeting. Personal recollections recorded in his own words reflect his dedication to scientific endeavors, humility, and sense of humor (Christian [2004] IJT 23:285–299). Dr. Furst was a talented folk dancer and instructor, having trained extensively in ballet before choosing a career in toxicology.

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