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Professional Awards

Nominations Closed March 1, 2024

ISTSS offers a range of awards to recognize the contribution of researchers, clinicians, and advocates to the field of traumatic stress. The Society will recognize award winners at the ISTSS 40th Annual Meeting, September 25-28, 2024, in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

An individual can be nominated for multiple awards. When considering whom to nominate for these awards, ISTSS encourages submissions from applicants from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds and from countries outside of North America, as well as within. Elected board members are not eligible to be nominated for awards. 

Given the number of submissions for these awards, the Committee is unable to consider additional materials. Submissions that exceed the character or page limits, or submissions after the nomination date, will not be considered.

For questions regarding ‎ISTSS Awards, please contact the ISTSS Executive Office.


Global Travel Award

Each year, some traumatic stress professionals engaged in important and cutting-edge research and clinical work in underserved regions of the world are unable to attend the ISTSS Annual Meeting due to financial limitations. A limited number of Global Travel Awards are available from ISTSS each year to support Annual Meeting attendees coming from underserved regions of the world (e.g., lower- and middle-income countries; underresourced communities in higher income countries) and experiencing financial hardship with fees or travel costs. The travel awards are supported by voluntary contributions from ISTSS members and vary each year in terms of availability.

ISTSS Award for Excellence in Trauma Services for the Underserved: Policy, Advocacy, Research and Clinical (PARC)

The Award for Excellence in Trauma Services for the Underserved: Policy, Advocacy, Research and Clinical (PARC Award) is a intended to recognize and promote excellence in trauma work being undertaken with underserved populations. Underserved populations will differ across the world but the focus is populations facing systemic barriers to equity, inclusion, and social justice based on identities, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, nationality and political beliefs and other ideologies. 

Underrepresented Scholars Membership Award

Black and Indigenous people have historically and are currently targets of systematic discrimination and violence. In addition, scholars from these groups are underrepresented in academia including within the field of traumatic stress and are underrepresented within the ISTSS membership. In alignment with our goal of fostering representation within the field and within our society, and of helping support the next generation of diverse scholars, this award provides an avenue for membership and organizational involvement for talented scholars from around the world who identify as Black and/or Indigenous professionals. Awardees receive one full year of ISTSS membership and conference attendance. Individuals may apply whether or not they are current ISTSS members.

Mid-Career Innovation Award

This award is given to an individual who has used innovative methods to advance the field of traumatic stress in the areas of prevention, research, treatment, teaching, policy and advocacy. This individual should be within 10 to 15 years since the award of their highest degre

Sarah Haley Memorial Award for Clinical Excellence

This award is given to a clinician or group of clinicians in direct service to traumatized individuals.

Sarah Haley, MSW, was a psychiatric social worker in the VA clinic in Boston, now a part of VA Boston Healthcare System. Beginning with her treatment of a My Lai veteran who was severely distressed and unable to remember aspects of his highly traumatizing experiences in Vietnam, at a time when traumatic experiences were rarely the focus of treatment, she sat with hundreds of veterans who gradually were able to trust her enough to tell their horrific narratives. Working with these men, who repulsed or frightened many other therapists, led to her landmark article entitled, "When the Patient Reports Atrocities: Specific Treatment Considerations of the Vietnam Veteran," published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 1974. She established that the Vietnam veteran who had witnessed or taken part in atrocities presented a new and difficult challenge to psychotherapy, one that took courage and conviction on the part of the therapist to help bring about healing. Haley died prematurely of cancer in 1989 at the age of 50. This award is made in her memory.

Robert S. Laufer, PhD, Memorial Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement

This award is given to an individual or group who has made an outstanding contribution to research in the field of traumatic stress.

Robert S. Laufer, PhD, was a sociologist who made early and important contributions to the field of traumatic stress and PTSD through his research on the effects of war experiences on Vietnam combat veterans. Laufer was Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and an author of the groundbreaking study of returning veterans, entitled Legacies of Vietnam: Comparative Adjustment of Veterans and Their Peers, published in 1981, with Arthur Egendorf, Ellen Frey-Wouters, and others. Laufer and colleagues expanded the concept of combat exposure to include multiple dimensions. In particular, he focused on witnessing or participating in abusive violence, an important new focus for a guerilla war where there were no front lines, and where enemy combatants and civilians were often difficult to distinguish. He found that abusive violence followed from more extreme exposure to combat, and was associated with distinctive psychological and behavioral outcomes, including different aspects of PTSD. Laufer died prematurely of cancer in 1989 at the age of 47. This award is made in his memory.

Bela and Chaim Danieli Early Career Professional Award

This award was established by Dr. Yael Danieli in commemoration of her father and mother. This award recognizes excellence in the traumatic stress field by an individual who is within eight years of the award of their highest degree (excluding career disruption). The traumatic stress field may include research, clinical work, advocacy, policy, or media. 

ISTSS Outstanding Service Award 

The ISTSS Outstanding Service Award is designed to recognize a member of ISTSS who has made a significant and sustained contribution to ISTSS that has enhanced the Society and helped it achieve its goals. Nominees for the award must be current members of ISTSS who are nominated by ISTSS members.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is the highest honor given to an individual who has made great lifetime contributions to the field of traumatic stress.