Edward Novitski Prize

The nomination period will open in September 2020. Nominations will be due October 8, 2020.


The Edward Novitski Prize recognizes an extraordinary level of creativity and intellectual ingenuity in the solution of significant problems in genetics research. The prize honors solid, significant, scientific experimental work—either a single experimental accomplishment or a body of work.

The Novitski Prize was established in 2008 to recognize scientific achievement that stands out from other innovative work, that is deeply impressive to creative masters in the field, and that solves a difficult problem in genetics. It also recognizes the beautiful and intellectually ingenious experimental design and execution involved in genetics scientific discovery.

The Novitski family and GSA established the prize to honor the memory of Edward Novitski (1918-2006), a Drosophila geneticist and lifelong GSA member, who specialized in chromosome mechanics and elucidating meiosis through the construction of modified chromosomes. Novitski was a student of Alfred Sturtevant, himself a student of Thomas Hunt Morgan. He was educated at Purdue University and Caltech and was a faculty member at the University of Missouri, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Oregon. He mentored Larry Sandler and Dan Lindsley among other Drosophila geneticists. Novitski led by example, tackling difficult problems using innovative experimental approaches throughout his career.

Nomination Process

When the nomination period is open, you will find a link to the nomination form on this page. Using the form:

  • Describe the candidate’s experimental work (either a single experimental accomplishment or a body of work) that has solved a difficult problem in genetics (500 words or less).
  • Describe the creativity, innovation, and ingenuity underlying this experimental work, and why this work was uniquely impressive (350 words or less).
  • Answer the following questions: Was this work published in a peer-reviewed journal? Is the candidate the originator of the creative content in the named experimental work?
  • List the name of the candidate, their current institution, their email address, and phone number.
  • Upload the candidate’s CV.
  • Provide a secondary nominator’s name and email address. The secondary nominator will receive an email allowing them to log in and upload their letter of support.
  • Once the secondary nominator has successfully uploaded their letter of support, you will receive an email to remind you to submit the completed nomination.

Once GSA receives all the necessary materials, the Board of Directors will review the nominations and select a recipient. Among qualified candidates, all candidates (faculty, postdocs, students) will be treated as equal peers evaluated on the same criteria.

All nominations will remain active for three years. That means the nominee will be considered for the award in the year you nominate them and also in the following two years.


To be considered for the Novitski Prize, both the nominator and the nominee must be members of GSA. Nominees must have performed work that meets a high caliber of creativity, which honors the notable experiments of Novitski and his colleagues. This work should also exhibit the beauty of intellectual ingenuity in providing scientific understanding, and it must have been published in a peer-reviewed publication.

If two individuals are deeply involved in the creation of an idea, then they may be co-recipients of the Novitski prize for their joint work. If there are more than two individuals who were key in the creative process, then only the two individuals most critical to that process are eligible for the Award.

Selection Criteria

Reviewers consider the following criteria when selecting a recipient:
  • Has the candidate performed experimental work that has solved a difficult problem in genetics?
  • Was the creativity, innovation, and ingenuity underlying the candidate’s experimental work uniquely impressive?
  • Was the candidate’s work published in a peer-reviewed journal?
  • Is the candidate the originator of the creative content in the named experimental work?

Award Dates

The nomination period is open. Nominations are due October 7, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Past Recipients

2020 Welcome Bender, Harvard Medical School
2019 Joseph Heitman, Duke University
2018 Job Dekker, University of Massachusetts Medical School
2017 Jonathan Hodgkin, University of Oxford
2016 Leonid Kruglyak, HHMI and University of California, Los Angeles
2015 Sue Biggins, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington
2014 Charles Boone, University of Toronto, Canada
2013 Jonathan K. Pritchard, University of Chicago and HHMI
2012 Dana Carroll, University of Utah
2011 Abby F. Dernburg, University of California, Berkeley
2010 Thomas Cline, University of California, Berkeley
2009 Rodney J. Rothstein, Columbia University
2009 Kent Golic, University of Utah
2008 Thomas J. Silhavy, Princeton University