The Obesity Society (TOS) offers awards to promote, reward and encourage the kinds of research and service you and your peers are doing in the field of obesity. 

Obesity Society Awards

The deadline for award nominations has been extended until June 17, 2024.

Please submit nominations (see gray box below for instructions) to [email protected]. Nominations should be addressed to “TOS Awards Committee.”

All awardees will be acknowledged at ObesityWeek®, November 3-6, 2024, in San Antonio Texas.

Awards from The Obesity Society recognize specific research achievements as well as other major contributions to the basic science, treatment and prevention of obesity. The Society’s prestigious awards also highlight the careers of obesity researchers.

TOS offers three categories of awards: named awards, section awards and abstract-based awards.

Named Awards

The Jules Hirsch Innovation Award recognizes an early-career investigator whose novel work will significantly impact the field of obesity. The recipient receives a plaque and a $2,500 award. To be eligible for the award, by the time of the nomination, the recipient must be within 10 years of completing their final training experiences and be a TOS member in good standing.

Atkinson Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service recognizes an individual or organization whose work has significantly improved the lives of those affected by obesity, whether through research, public policy, patient care, or other means. This award was established by a donation from Thomas A. Wadden, PhD. The recipient receives a plaque and a $1,000 award.

The George A. Bray Founders Award recognizes an individual for significant contributions that advance the scientific or clinical basis for understanding or treating obesity and for extensive involvement with The Obesity Society. The recipient receives a plaque and a $1,000 award. The award is presented during a plenary session at ObesityWeek® where the recipient is invited to present the George A. Bray Founders Award Lecture. To be eligible for the award, the recipient must be a TOS member in good standing.

The George A. Bray Master’s Thesis Award recognizes one student for their master’s thesis that was successfully defended by the date of application submission. Applications will be judged on significance, relevance/potential impact in the field of obesity, scientific methodology, writing quality, overall approach and scope and innovation. The recipient will receive a $2,000 award and a plaque to be presented at ObesityWeek®.  They will also receive complimentary registration for the current ObesityWeek®.  To be eligible for the award, the recipient must be a TOS member in good standing.

The George A. Bray Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes one student for their doctoral dissertation that was successfully defended by the date of application submission. Applications will be judged on significance, relevance/potential impact in the field of obesity, scientific methodology, writing quality, overall approach and scope and innovation. The recipient will receive a $2,000 award and a plaque to be presented at ObesityWeek®.  They will also receive complimentary registration for the current ObesityWeek®.  To be eligible for the award, the recipient must be a TOS member in good standing.

The TOPS Research Achievement Award recognizes an individual for singular achievement or contribution to research in the field of obesity. This award is made possible through an annual donation from the Take Off Pounds Sensibly Club, Inc. (TOPS). The recipient receives a $5,000 award along with a plaque and a $1,000 travel stipend to cover travel for the current ObesityWeek®. The award is presented during a concurrent session at which time the recipient will present the TOPS Research Achievement Award Lecture.

The Friends of Albert (Mickey) Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award is designed to recognize people who, like Stunkard, have made a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the field of obesity in terms of scholarship, mentorship, and education. The recipient receives $1,000 and a plaque. The award is presented during a concurrent session at ObesityWeek® and the recipient will present the Friends of Albert Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award Lecture. To be eligible for the award, the recipient must be a TOS member in good standing.

Thomas A. Wadden Award for Distinguished Mentorship honors a mid-career or senior TOS member for distinguished mentorship of the Society’s early career investigators. The award is named for Professor Thomas Wadden, PhD. For more than 30 years, Wadden has mentored many individuals who pursued successful careers in obesity research and clinical care. The recipient receives a plaque along with a $1,000 award. To be eligible for the award, the recipient must be a TOS member in good standing.

The George L. Blackburn Award for Excellence in Obesity Medicine was created to recognize the outstanding contribution of an exceptional mid-career individual in the field who is making significant and innovative contributions to Obesity Medicine in the spirit of the transformational contributions made by Dr. George Blackburn during his career. Defining aspects of the recipient should include not only exemplary research achievement, but also demonstrable impact on the advancement of the practice of obesity medicine. This award is funded by the George L. Blackburn Foundation for Nutrition Medicine (GLBFNM). The recipient receives a plaque and a $5,000 award which are presented during the George L. Blackburn Symposium In Nutrition And Metabolism.

Section Awards

Clinician of the Year Award for Excellence in Clinical Management of Obesity was founded in 2015 by the Clinical Management of Obesity Section of The Obesity Society to recognize significant contributions in the evidenced-based treatment of obesity.  The recipient receives a plaque and is acknowledged during ObesityWeek®.

The Oded Bar-Or Award for Excellence in Pediatric Obesity Research, named for Oded Bar-Or, MD, was founded in 2007 by the Pediatric Section of The Obesity Society to recognize significant contributions to basic and applied pediatric obesity research that have resulted in major advances in our scientific understanding of the etiology, prevention, and treatment of pediatric obesity.  The awardee receives a plaque and is acknowledged during ObesityWeek®.

Travel Awards

WeightWatchers Diversity Student Travel Award

This award is for students in nutritional science, behavioral weight management, or clinical obesity research. Six awardees will each be given $1,675 to be used towards registration, travel, housing, food or other expenses for ObesityWeek® 2024, November 3-6, San Antonio, Texas. This award is funded by a grant from  WeightWatchers – it is not a CME grant.

Criteria:

  1. Must be a TOS student member. Full time students only. You may not hold a full time job in the field. Provide evidence of academic enrollment with your letter of application.
  2. Ethnically any of the following backgrounds: Native American or Alaska Native, Black or African or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Hispanic / Latino
  3. Submit a statement/letter indicating a demonstrable focus on a future career in nutrition, behavioral science, or clinical research as it relates to obesity.
Vanderbilt Vibrant Travel Award

The Vanderbilt Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center (VMMPC) established the Vanderbilt Vibrant Program to support a more inclusive biomedical research community. Through additional funding from the NIH/NIDDK, Vanderbilt Vibrant will provide a travel award (up to $2,000) for select individuals to attend ObesityWeek® 2024.

Eligibility criteria:

  • PhDs, MDs, students, trainees, poster/oral presenters, those in specific fields, or specific minority groups
  • Vibrant-eligible Investigator – a Vibrant-eligible Investigator is a new Investigator as defined by the NIH
  • Identifies as part of a group historically underrepresented in biomedical research
  • Primary faculty affiliation is with a Minority Serving Institution

For more information and to apply, please visit https://redcap.link/VibrantObesityWeek2024.  The deadline to apply is August 23, 2024.

The Vanderbilt Vibrant Travel Award is made possible by Vanderbilt Basic Sciences and the NIH-NIDDK (DK135073 MMPC-Live).

Abstract-Based Awards

Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award recognizes excellence in research by young investigators based on their submitted abstracts and presentation during ObesityWeek®. Each year, several finalists who are TOS members at the Student or Early Career stage, are selected during the “Call for Abstracts.”  Each finalist will receive complimentary registration and a travel stipend of $1,500 to cover travel expenses for the current ObesityWeek®. The finalists are invited to present their oral abstracts during a concurrent session where the award is presented. At the conclusion of the session, two recipients will be selected, one for Basic Science and the other for Clinical Research. They will each be awarded a $1,000 award.

Early Career Travel Award supports early career investigators in their efforts to contribute to the field of obesity. Two recipients who are TOS members will receive a travel stipend of $1,500 to assist with travel-related expenses to the current ObesityWeek®.

The Foster-Schauer International Travel Award is provided to non-US, early career investigators or students who present at the current ObesityWeek®. The Obesity Society selects one recipient based on the quality and ranking of an accepted abstract during the “Call for Abstracts.”  To qualify, you must be a TOS early career or student member, reside outside of the United States, and travel to the current ObesityWeek® to present your oral or poster abstract. The recipient will receive a $2,500 travel stipend to cover travel expenses.

The Rolls-Simons Travel Award is part of The Obesity Society’s commitment to young investigators in the field of obesity research. This award was established by TOS Past President Barbara Rolls, PhD, FTOS, after losing her mother, Pat Simons, to obesity-related disease. This travel award is for students and post-graduate trainees who are TOS members.  Selection is based on the scoring of an abstract submitted for presentation at ObesityWeek®. Selected recipients will receive a travel stipend of $1,000 to help off-set the cost for attending the current ObesityWeek®.