Alex and Jessie C. Black Award for Excellence in Research

The purpose of this award shall be to recognize, tenure-track faculty, in the College of Agricultural Sciences whose significant accomplishments include exceptional and original agricultural research conducted at Penn State.


All College of Agricultural Sciences tenure-track faculty members on standing appointments.


$5,000 (taxable) deposited into your account on file with the University and an award.


  • Letter of nomination, including a summary statement of the relevance and importance of the contributions made by the nominee.
    • The research must have been published in professional journals, patented, or made available to other scientists and clientele in an appropriate manner. Initiative and success in securing research funds, where appropriate, will be among the criteria considered.
  • The nominee's curriculum vitae.
  • Only single faculty nominations will be accepted, group nominations will not be considered.
  • Past recipients are not eligible.
  • Individuals nominating should send a unified PDF, containing all required components, to the Office of Research and Graduate Education via email ( by 5:00PM Friday, January 26, 2018.
  • The recipient will be invited to give a short talk on their research.

Selection Process

An award committee will be appointed by the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education to select the recipient. The selection criteria will be based on evidence of exceptional and original research conducted at Penn State.

Recipient List

2017 - Jason Kaye, Ecosystem Science and Management
2016 - David Eissenstat, Ecosystem Science and Management
2015 - Christina Grozinger, Entomology
2014 – no nominations/no awardee
2013 – Ali Demirci, Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Past Recipients