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Home 9 Awards 9 Professional Awards 9 Robert S. Laufer Memorial Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement‎

Robert S. Laufer Memorial Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement‎

Nominates are now closed.

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.

Award Criteria

Nominations will be judged against the following criteria:

  • Scientific achievement that has advanced knowledge in the field of traumatic stress (e.g. theoretical model, analytical technique, treatment development, measure development)
  • Originality of achievement
  • Significance of achievement
  • Impact of achievement on field of traumatic stress

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Nominees can be self-nominated or nominated by someone else
  • Preference will be given to nominees who are members of ISTSS

Award Benefits

The awardee will receive:

  • Complimentary registration to the ISTSS Annual Meeting (excludes Pre-Meeting Institutes)
  • A plaque presented at the Annual Meeting
  • An announcement will appear in the ISTSS newsletter Stresspoints and be posted to the ISTSS website.

Nomination Requirements

  • A statement addressing the award criteria (up to 500 words)
  • A two-page CV (minimum 10 point font)

Upload your nomination for the award in one PDF document. Please adhere to the following naming convention when uploading your document: First Name_Last Name_2024_Robert_S_Laufer Memorial_ Award (please use the first and last name of the nominee). 

Nominations submitted after the deadline of March 1, 2024, 11.59pm US Eastern Time. Incomplete nominations or nominations that do not adhere to submission requirements (word and page limits) will not be considered.

Past Laufer Award Winners

2023 Dr. Carla Danielson
2022 Dr. Brian Marx
2021 Thomas C. Neylan, MD
2020 Martin H. Teicher, MD, PhD
2019 Cathy Spatz Widom, PhD
2018 Roxane Cohen Silver, PhD
2017 Jean C. Beckham, PhD
2016  Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH
2015  Karestan C. Koenen, PhD
2013  Professor Chris Brewin
2011  Kerry James Ressler, MD, PhD
2010  Barbara Olasov Rothbaum, PhD
2009  Paula P. Schnurr, PhD
2008  Naomi Breslau, PhD
2007  Scott Orr, PhD
2006  Stevan Hobfoll, PhD
2005  Fran Norris, PhD
2004  Patricia Resick, PhD
2003  Alexander McFarlane, MD
2002  Daniel King, PhD, and Lynda King, PhD
2001  Richard Bryant, PhD
2000  David W. Foy, PhD
1999  John Briere, PhD
1998  Rachel Yehuda, PhD
1997  Zahava Solomon, PhD
1996  Terence M. Keane, PhD
1995  Arik Shalev MD
1994  Roger K. Pitman, MD
1993  Bonnie L. Green, PhD
1992  Lars Weisaeth, MD
1991  The Principal Investigators of the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study
Richard Kulka, PhD
William Schlenger, PhD
John A. Fairbank, PhD
Richard Hough, PhD
B, Kathleen Jordan, PhD
Charles Marmar, MD
Daniel Weiss, PhD

*The 2012 award has been rescinded.