Robert W. Sussman Award  for Scientific Contributions to Anthropology Section H (Anthropology) American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Purpose: To recognize meritorious scientific contributions to the field of anthropology by mid-career anthropologists.


  • Mid-career is generally defined as about 10-20 years post PhD.  In academic rank, the individual would typically be an associate to early full professor.


  • Nominations of mid-career candidates will be solicited from among the membership of Section H via electronic messages using AAAS communication platform and the Section H social media (e.g., facebook) page.  Members of the Section H Nominating Committee may also submit nominations of candidates. Nominations will be solicited in early March, with a deadline of April 30. Nominees do not need to be members of AAAS. Self nominations are not accepted.
  • A nomination will consist of a nominating letter (maximum 2,000 words), describing the relationship of the nominator to the candidate, the candidate’s most significant contributions and why they are lasting, and the candidate’s trajectory for making continuing contributions to science in the spirit of the mission and goals of AAAS.  The nominating letter should be accompanied by the candidate’s CV and complete contact information. 
  • Email your nominations to the AAAS Section H (Anthropology) Secretary, Karen Strier (
  • Nominations will be compiled by the Secretary of Section H, who will also chair the Selection Committee but who will not vote except to break a tie.  The voting members of the Selection Committee will be the other members of the Steering group of Section H, which includes the section chair, chair-elect, past chair, and 4 members-at-large.
  • Any Conflict of Interests (e.g., recent co-authorships, co-PI on grants, student-mentor relationships) will be declared by Selection Committee members. Committee members will not rank candidates with whom they have a COI.
  • Efforts will be made to select Awardees from across the full range of scientific subdisciplines in Anthropology.
  • Ordinarily, awards will be given to individuals.
  • Award winners will be notified by September 1, and the award will be announced via Section H social media as soon as communication with the winner has been made.
  • Award winners will be encouraged to attend the next AAAS meeting, with the award presentation held at either the Section H Reception or Business meeting.
  • Award winners will receive a Certificate for the year in which the award is presented.
  • The award will be named in honor of Robert W Sussman and the first award will be thus entitled: “2018 Robert W. Sussman Award for Scientific Contributions in Anthropology, from Section H (Anthropology) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).”


As composed by Jeffrey Laitman and recorded in the minutes from the 2017 Section H Business meeting: “Bob Sussman embodies the science and spirit of Anthropology. From fieldwork on lemurs to human biology to deconstructing the evils of race, his legacy of mentorship, caring, and dissemination of knowledge will be with us forever.”

Guidelines approved at the Section H Business Meeting, February 18, 2017.

There are currently no funds available to support any component of this award. However, the costs of producing the certificate (unframed) and shipping to the recipient, if necessary, will be covered by Section H funds. If Section H funds become available, we may be able to apply them toward defraying the awardee’s travel/meeting registration costs and/or honorarium in that particular year.

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