George Foster Practicing Medical Anthropology Award

Deadline: July 1, 2023

Awarded on 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. The award will be publicly announced during the SMA awards ceremony, held during the annual AAA meetings. The winner will receive a plaque.

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 Foster Award Committee Chair Narelle Warren at Narelle Warren.

Please note that nominations for the George Foster Practicing Medical Anthropology Award will be kept for three years for consideration by the award committee.

There are three criteria for this award:

  1. Contributions to applying theory and methods particularly in diverse contexts. Successful candidates are more likely to have worked in diverse contexts. (“Diverse contexts” means that the individual has worked on a number of problems in different settings, communities, and/or populations.) Nonetheless, candidates making significant contributions to a single problem and/or single setting, community, and/or population are also welcome to apply.
  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.