James F. Crow Early Career Researcher Award

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. EST on December 5, 2019.


The James F. Crow Early Career Researcher Award recognizes outstanding achievements by students and recent PhDs presenting their work at the Population, Evolutionary, and Quantitative Genetics Conference. Finalists for the award will speak in a high-profile session at the conference.

GSA created the Award to honor and celebrate the impactful and innumerable contributions of Professor James F. Crow to the field of genetics. Crow’s contributions to the field of genetics were impactful and innumerable. Crow and his students revealed the rates and fitness consequences of mutations, discovered segregation distorter loci, and began the characterization of P transposable elements, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. His theoretical achievements included laying the foundation for the neutral theory of molecular evolution, reformulating the concept of genetic load, and understanding the effects of inbreeding on genetic variation. Crow’s textbook “An Introduction to Population Genetics Theory,” published in 1970 with Motoo Kimura, remains the gold standard text for theoretical population genetics today. With Bill Dove, Crow co-edited the monthly “Perspectives” section of GENETICS for more than 20 years. Crow’s own written contributions to the section (45 articles) masterfully situated controversies and leaders in genetics in their historical context.

Crow seamlessly integrated research with outstanding teaching and a passion for public service. Crow excelled at explaining genetic concepts to a wide range of audiences, making him an unusually effective and popular teacher. He spoke to people he met in the community with the same admiration and excitement with which he greeted his scientific colleagues. Crow was that rare colleague whom everyone loved: a model scientist and an exemplary human.

Crow considered his students to be his greatest gift to science. It is in this spirit that the Genetics Society of America presents the James F. Crow Early Career Researcher Award to honor and celebrate Crow’s legacy.

The overall winner will be selected by the conference keynote speakers.

Application Process

When the application period is open, applicants should email their submissions as one PDF to awards@genetics-gsa.org with the Subject line “James F. Crow Award.” In the email, applicants should include:

  • A copy of their CV
  • A copy of published manuscripts that are the main components of their doctoral theses
  • The ID number of the abstract they have submitted to the Conference and a copy of their abstract text
  • A short essay (250 words) that describes how the applicant became interested in science, their career path, and why their chosen research area is important. These should be targeted toward a general audience.

Applicants should also arrange for two letters of recommendation to be e-mailed to awards@genetics-gsa.org with the Subject line “James F. Crow Award”. The letters should focus on the applicant’s contribution to research, paying particular attention to the significance and innovation of the applicant’s work.


To be considered for the James F. Crow Early Career Researcher Award, you must:

  • be a GSA member;
  • be a student or recent PhD (PhD awarded after January 2018);
  • conduct population, evolutionary, or quantitative genetics research;
  • have submitted an abstract for presentation at TAGC 2020 in one of the population, evolutionary, or quantitative genetics categories.

Important Dates

The next round of awards will be presented at #PEQG20 at The Allied Genetics Conference (TAGC) in 2020. The application deadline is December 5, 2019.

Previous Finalists

2018 (Winner) Katherine Xue, University of Washington 

2018 Jeremy Berg, Columbia University

2018 Alison F. Feder, Stanford University

2018 Amy Goldberg, University of California, Berkeley

2018 Emily B. Josephs, University of California, Davis

2018 Emily C. Moore, North Carolina State University

2016 (Winner) Sarah Sander, Cornell University 

2016 Matthew S. Ackerman, Indiana University, Bloomington

2016 Emily Behrman, University of Pennsylvania

2016 Heath Blackmon, University of Minnesota

2016 Gili Greenbaum, Ben-Gurion University

2016 Sandeep Venkataram, Stanford University


Support the Crow Award Fund

Ensure the sustainability of this community award by contributing to the Crow Award Fund. GSA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions may be tax deductible.

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