George Blackburn Research Mentorship Award

The 2023 award cycle is now closed. 

The ASPEN Rhoads Research Foundation awards the George Blackburn Research Mentorship Award. This award recognizes nutrition leaders for their achievements as outstanding research mentors. Named in honor of Dr. George Blackburn, this award celebrates his commitment and generosity to the ASPEN Rhoads Research Foundation and honors his academic and research mentorship.

Recipients will be awarded each year during a Foundation event at the ASPEN Nutrition Science & Practice Conference


  • The nominee must be at least 10 years into his/her research and/or academic career.
  • The nominee's research focus should relate to clinical nutrition, metabolism, and/or nutrition support.
  • The nominee must be a member of ASPEN.
  • The nominee must be an effective mentor.

Application Information

George Blackburn Research Mentorship Award Instructions and FAQs

  • To nominate a colleague, please submit a letter of recommendation to ASPEN staff at [email protected], who will then contact the nominee for an application.
  • To nominate yourself, please complete the online application.

Candidates must complete the online application and include the following materials:

  1. Two nominations or supporting letters outlining the nominee's research mentoring activities. Letters should describe the following qualities that make the nominee an outstanding research mentor:
    • Highlight research accomplishments
    • How the mentor has actively encouraged inquiry, innovation, and created opportunities for trainees to conduct research.
    • How the mentor has supported and influenced trainees’ educational and career paths (presentation and publication opportunities, planning for continued research and/or graduate studies, further academic positions).
    • Provide examples of inspiration, encouragement, or challenge as well as any other attributes or actions that make this mentor truly exceptional.
  2. Nominee’s curriculum vitae.
  3. Completed evaluation forms of at least two mentees of the nominee. (Please do not include mentee CVs and make sure that the mentees completing evaluations are different from those providing nominating or supporting letters.)
  4. Complete list of past and present mentees with their topics of research, current status, and any progress made in the development of their research career.
Current ASPEN Rhoads Research Foundation Board members and the ASPEN President are ineligible during their active terms. 


    Nominations will be presented to a committee appointed by the Foundation President. 

    Congratulations to the 2022 George Blackburn Research Mentorship Awardee

    Justine Turner, MBBS, FRACP, PhDJustine Turner, MBBS, FRACP, PhD
    Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition
    Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada 

    A message from Dr. Turner
    "I am extremely honored to be awarded the George Blackburn Research Mentorship award for 2022. This award recognizes nutrition research mentors. I am humbled that it is named in honor of Dr. George Blackburn, a legend in clinical nutrition and metabolism. I am also very proud to join the inspiring ranks of the previous recipients. Above all things I value the mentorship I received in my own nutrition career, notably from Professor David Forbes (Australia) and Professor Paul Pencharz (Canada). Nutrition research is extremely challenging, yet pivotal to advancing clinical outcomes and global health. I recognize the gaps that exist in current nutrition training across a number of disciplines and enjoy working to fill those gaps for graduate students, fellows, medical students and our key collaborators in nursing and dietetics. Advancing nutrition care and science depends on continuing the tradition of clinical leaders, like George Blackburn, who engage in nutrition research and training. Having had the benefit of such mentorship, it is both my duty and pleasure to foster in the next generation a passion for nutrition, metabolism and discovery; and to teach the tools necessary to do nutrition research well. "

    Click here to view all of the George Blackburn Research Mentorship Award Recipients 

    NEW! In addition to the George Blackburn Research Mentorship Award, the ASPEN Rhoads Research Foundation would like to announce the establishment of a new grant in honor of Dr. George Blackburn focused on nutrition and metabolism. The ASPEN Rhoads Research Foundation relies on the generosity of members of the parenteral nutrition and enteral nutrition community and friends through their gifts of support. There are many opportunities to aid in the tremendous work of nutrition science. With your help, the establishment of a new grant named in honor of George Blackburn is possible. For more information about Dr. George Blackburn and to find out how you can help fund this prestigious grant, please click here