Recognizing Excellence in Life Sciences Research

About the Mahoney Prize

The Mahoney Life Sciences Prize is awarded annually to honor excellence and recognize academic achievement that propels significant advances in science and industry. One award will be made to a faculty member within the UMass Amherst College of Natural Sciences who was the principal author of a peer-reviewed paper reporting original research published during the previous three years. The paper can be on any topic in the life sciences that is new research with the potential for translatable applications, either in the short or long term, to industry and society. The prize includes an award of $10,000 as well as opportunities to present the research to industry leaders and the UMass Amherst community.

Eligibility and Application Process

  • All College of Natural Sciences faculty at UMass Amherst are eligible to submit relevant work.
  • Papers written by more than one author are permitted, if a CNS faculty member was the primary author.
  • Authors who have previously submitted an application are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

The 2022 application period is now open. 

Please submit the following in an application package by October 15th for the following year's award. A pdf of all materials should be emailed to Amanda Leigh-Hawkins at

  • CONTACT information for the author, including email address.
  • ESSAY - A 500-word essay describing:
    • How this research paper has made a substantial contribution to the field since its publication
    • The potential for these findings to continue to significantly inform and affect a major scientific challenge
    • A brief discussion of the potential for the research to hold practical applications for industry
    • This essay should be legible and clear for a non-scientific audience.
  • PAPER - Only one paper per author. Must be published in a peer-reviewed science journal within three years prior to closing date for submissions. Papers can be of any length.
  • CV


Reviewers are seeking to identify a pioneering scientist whose research findings (as described in the paper) hold great promise for the field. The application package will undergo two stages of review:

  • First, a representative group of eminent researchers within the UMass Amherst College of Natural Sciences will review and identify up to 10 papers for consideration at the next level.
  • Second, these papers will be reviewed by a select external advisory committee of alumni scholars in the field, who will choose the final paper.


Applicants will be notified of their progress to the second stage of review in December. The author of the selected paper will be notified in March, which will be followed by a public announcement and presentation.

Please contact Mark Tuominen, CNS Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, with questions about this application and process.