Social Research, Policy, and Practice Section Awards - Barbara J. Berkman SRPP Award for Outstanding Interdisciplinary Research, Practice, or Policy in Aging and Health Care

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Barbara J. Berkman SRPP Award for Outstanding Interdisciplinary Research, Practice, or Policy in Aging and Health Care

This award is named in honor of Barbara Berkman, DSW/PhD, FGSA, the Helen Rehr and Ruth Fizdale Professor Emerita of Health and Mental Health at Columbia University School of Social Work. The hallmarks of her distinguished career include applied research and policy development in health, mental health, and aging. Her seminal work has consistently emphasized an interdisciplinary orientation, focused on research and assessment of aging-related services and the promotion of high-quality service delivery to older persons in need.

During the last six decades, Dr. Berkman has received numerous prestigious national awards in recognition of her leadership in the fields of social work, health services, and  gerontology. For example, in 2009, Dr. Berkman was honored by the GSA with the Donald P. Kent Award in recognition of her interdisciplinary leadership in gerontology, social work, and health care services through teaching, research, and advocacy. She has also been recognized for her significant contributions to local, regional and national policies to improve the well-being of older persons. Hundreds of graduate students and junior faculty, particularly those in social work, have benefited from her mentorship, guidance, and standards of excellence. Her leadership in developing faculty scholars has changed the impact of gerontology in social work. In each of these roles, Dr. Berkman has exemplified the highest standards of quality and the importance of translating knowledge into practice.

Because of the high standards and level of accomplishments it honors, this Award is intended as a career or lifetime achievement award. It recognizes individuals who have devoted decades of professional work to improving and expanding health care and age-related services for older persons. Hence, potential awardees from academia or research institutions will likely be senior faculty or high-level research associates. Other potential awardees who are not in educational or research settings are likely to be professionals with long-standing leadership roles in major service agencies, advocacy organizations, or similar entities. The fundamental award criteria focus on an individual’s contributions to the well-being of older persons, through many years of significant and very substantive contributions to research, practice and policy in aging and health care services.

Submission Period
Spring 2024

Eligibility Criteria

Given the expected level of accomplishments and the Award’s purpose in honoring outstanding career contributions in research, policy, or practice in aging and health care:

  • Nominees from academia are likely to be senior faculty (late associate professor or full professor. Nominees not in academia would typically have a history of increasingly greater leadership positions in a major service organization, research institute, advocacy organization, or similar entity over a substantial period of time.
  • Nominee must be a primary member of the Social Research, Policy & Practice Section for at least five years.
  • Nominee must have published relevant work in research, policy, and/or practice publications within the past five years. Products such as legislative testimony, online documents, etc. are acceptable.
  • Nominees may be actively employed or retired/emeritus.

Nomination Process

Required Nomination Packet Materials: 

  • A single nomination letter signed by at least three (3) supporters that includes the following:
    • the nominee’s contribution, influence, and impact on research, policy and/or practice in the field of gerontology
  • A current Curriculum Vitae 

Nature of Award

The recipient receives $2500 and a framed certificate.

Past Awardees
View here

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