ACR Awards

Each year the American College of Rheumatology recognizes its members' outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through an awards program.

Nominations are Closed

Nominations for ACR Masters and Awards are closed. View the 2020 ACR Award recipients.

Presidential Gold Medal

The highest award that the ACR can bestow, the Presidential Gold Medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding achievements in rheumatology over an entire career. Established by the past presidents of the ACR, candidates will have made important contributions in multiple areas such as clinical medicine, research, education, or administration. Funding support for this award of distinction is provided by the Rheumatology Research Foundation.

Eligibility: ACR members in good standing

Award Terms and Funding: A one-time, merit-based award and the recipient will receive a $5,000 cash award

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award is awarded to an ACR member for outstanding and sustained service to the ACR.

Eligibility:  ACR members in good standing

Award Terms and Funding: A one-time, merit-based award and the recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award

Distinguished Clinician Scholar Award

The Distinguished Clinician Scholar Award is awarded to a rheumatologist who has made outstanding contributions in clinical medicine, clinical scholarship, or education.

Eligibility: ACR members in good standing

Award Terms and Funding:  A one-time, merit-based award and the recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award

Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award

The Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award is awarded to a clinical scientist making outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology. This award was known as the Clinical Research Award prior to 2006.

Eligibility:  ACR members in good standing

Award Terms and Funding: A one-time, merit-based award and the recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award

Distinguished Basic/Translational Investigator Award

The Distinguished Basic/Translational Investigator Award is awarded to a basic or translational investigator making outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology.

Eligibility:  ACR members in good standing

Award Terms and Funding: A one-time, merit-based award and the recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award

Paulding Phelps Award

The Paulding Phelps Award is awarded to a clinical rheumatologist for outstanding service to patients, community, and the practice of medicine.

Eligibility: ACR members in good standing

Award Terms and Funding: A one-time, merit-based award and the recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award

Henry Kunkel Early Career Investigator Award

The Henry Kunkel Early Career Investigator Award is awarded to an early career physician scientist, who is 12 years post Rheumatology certifying examination eligibility, who has made outstanding and promising independent contributions to basic, translational or clinical research in the field of rheumatology.

Eligibility: ACR members in good standing who are within 12 years post rheumatology certifying examination of the year in which they are nominated.

Award Terms and Funding: A one-time, merit-based award and the recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award

Distinguished Fellowship Program Director Award

The Distinguished Fellowship Program Director Award is awarded to a current or former rheumatology program director that has made outstanding contributions in the mentoring and training of future rheumatologists. ACR members in good standing who are current or former rheumatology program directors for a minimum of five years and who participate in related ACR educational activities.

Eligibility: To be considered for this award, one of the recommendation letters must be from a current or previous fellow from the nominees program. Consideration will be given for innovative educational programs and recruitment of health care professionals to the subspecialty of rheumatology.

Award Terms and Funding: A one-time, merit-based award and the recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award

Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award

The Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award recognizes the importance of the mentor/mentee relationship. A dedicated mentor can significantly influence the successful development and career of a mentee. This award honors an active ACR or ARP member for their contributions to the rheumatology profession through outstanding and ongoing mentoring. Funding support for this award of distinction is provided by the Rheumatology Research Foundation.

Eligibility: ACR or ARP members in good standing may nominate an individual who has mentored them. Nominees must be current ACR or ARP members in good standing with demonstrated commitment to mentoring throughout their career. A mentor possessing a combination of research and clinical focus would be preferred, but such a combination is not required. Self-nomination is not permitted. Foundation committee members involved in award recipient selection are not eligible to nominate candidates or be nominated by someone else.

Award Terms and Funding: A one-time, merit-based award and the recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award

Distinguished International Rheumatology Professional Award

The Distinguished International Rheumatology Professional Award is awarded to a rheumatologist or rheumatology health professional outside of the US and Canada for exceptional contributions in public service and advocacy to the global rheumatology community.

Eligibility: All ACR/ARP international members in good standing are eligible. International ACR Masters are ineligible.

Award Terms and Funding: A one-time, merit-based award and the recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award

Innovation in Clinical Care Award

The Innovation in Clinical Care Award is awarded to a community rheumatologist who has significantly advanced the practice of rheumatology though novel clinical initiatives. This may be accomplished through innovation in clinical practice design or quality, development of cutting-edge methods to improve health equity in rheumatology, cost savings initiatives, creative approaches in mentoring in community practice, or other innovations that improve the care of patients with rheumatic disease and/or advance the rheumatology subspecialty.

Eligibility: ACR members in good standing who are in community practice and devote the majority of their time to patient care.

Award Terms and Funding: A one-time, merit-based award and the recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award

Distinguished Fellow Award

2020 Recipients

The Distinguished Fellow Award recognizes up to ten clinical and research fellows who are in a rheumatology fellowship training program and who have performed meritoriously. The Distinguished Fellow Award is sponsored by the ACR and supported through the ACR Fellows Education Fund. ACR FIT members need to apply separately for both the Distinguished Fellow Award and the FIT Scholarship, however, those selected as a Distinguished Fellow Award winner will not be eligible to receive the FIT Scholarship in the same year.

Eligibility and Considerations: ACR FIT members in good standing and who have completed their second or third year of their first rheumatology fellowship are eligible. Consideration will be given to fellows with accomplishments in the areas of clinical care, teaching, research and scholarly activity, and community service. To be considered for this award, Nominees must be nominated by a supervisor, training program director, or an ACR member in good standing. Each fellowship program may nominate one fellow.

Award Terms and Funding: A one-time, merit-based award; recipients will receive a stipend in the amount of $1,500

ACR Master Designation

2020 Recipients

Recognition as a Master of the American College of Rheumatology is one of the highest honors the College bestows. The designation of Master is conferred on ACR members, age 65 or older by October 1 of the year in which they are nominated, who have made outstanding contributions to the ACR and the field of rheumatology through scholarly achievement and/or service to their patients, students, and profession.

When the nomination is complete, staff will email the nominee an ACR Master Designation Information Sheet to complete. This informational sheet was developed to allow the nominee the opportunity to provide additional details about themselves, including a summary of ACR/Foundation activities and professional accomplishments, to assist the Committee on Nominations and Appointments in its assessment.

Eligibility: ACR members in good standing, age of 65 or older by October 1 of the year in which they are nominated

Award Terms and Funding: A Master is not required to pay annual fees, dues, or assessments and has the privilege of attending the ACR annual meeting without payment of registration fees.

Past ACR Awards of Distinction Recipients
Past Distinguished Fellow Award Recipients
Past ACR Master Recipients

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