Nan-Yao Su Award for Innovation and Creativity in Entomology

This award was created from a $250,000 endowment from Dr. Nan-Yao Su. This award recognizes creative entomologist who have demonstrated the ability to find alternative solutions to problems that significantly impact entomology.  The annual amount of this award will be based on interest from the endowment (may vary from year to year), and a plaque will be presented at the ESA Annual Meeting.

New this year – All nominators and nominees will be required to sign the professional
conduct disclosure form.  Click here for additional details.

Please select below to find out more on the award:


Submit a Nominee

Nomination Requirements

Evaluation Criteria




Previous Winners

Eligibility -
The nominee must be a current ESA member, and must be able to demonstrate through his/her projects or accomplishments an ability to identify problems and develop creative, alternative solutions that significantly impact entomology.

The nominee may belong to any area of entomology, but must be a practicing entomologist. Professionals working within public- or private-sector organizations are eligible.

For more information, read this article about the award from the January 2009 ESA Newsletter.

If there is no suitable candidate in any given year, then the award will not be given.

Submit a Nominee-
All nomination packages must be submitted electronically to the Nan-Yao Su Award Submission Site according to the following specifications:

  • Page Limits – The entire nomination package must not exceed 20 pages total. This include letters of nomination or recommendation and publication lists. This includes anonymous letters of support sent to ESA separately, please factor in these letters into the package length.  Packages over 20 pages will not be considered.
  • Letters of nomination must be included in the electronic package, letter of recommendation may be included in the package or submitted *anonymously via e-mail electronically to Printed letters will not be accepted.

  • Only the following file formats will be accepted: PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format), RTF (Rich Text Format), TIF graphic files, or JPG graphic files. Files created on either PC or MAC platforms will be accepted. Please make sure scanned images can be clearly read on a computer screen.

  • Font size for text may not be smaller than 10 point.

  • The nomination site requires a single nomination packet via one PDF file. If you do not have software to merge the documents, please send all of your files to for assistance.

Nomination Requirements -
Nominations can be made by anyone.  Please note there is a maximum of two self-nominations allowed per year. Nomination packages for this award must include:

  1. CV-Related Items - Nominators must provide a CV which includes the below sections.  For a full listing of what should be included in each of the sections click here.
    • Section 1 - Background Information
    • Section 2 - Research
    • Section 3 - Teaching
    • Section 4 - Extension/ Outreach
    • Section 5 - Service
  2. Other Items -
    • A nomination letter describing the work on which the nomination is based.
    • Up to three letters of recommendation that evaluate and appraise the nominee's accomplishments and which describe the nature of the innovation and its relevance*.
    • A brief summary, no longer than three pages, of the professional’s work to include the area of focus, the innovative approach, the results or outcome, and the significance.

*Anonymous Letter of Support: Follow the below instructions to submit an anonymous letter.

  1. Once the award application has been initiated, contact with the Award Nomination ID # (found at the top left-hand corner of the nomination submission page), Nominee name and the letter in PDF format.
  2. Once the letter has been uploaded by the ESA Awards Administrator, the nominator will receive an email notification.
  3. Please note, ESA is not responsible for individuals that do not contact the awards administration by the deadline date. It is up to the nominator to make sure that the individuals email the letter(s) by the deadline date. If an anonymous letter is not received by the deadline this will impact the score of the nominee.

Evaluation Criteria -
Nominees/candidates will be judged using the following criteria for a total of 100 points:

  1. Nominees must demonstrate the following (80 points total)
    1. In-depth knowledge of their fields of study (16)
    2. Ability to identify a problem of significant importance (especially if that particular problem has been overlooked by many)  (16)
    3. Ability to recognize a novel pattern from existing information (transformation)  (16)
    4. Ability to develop alternative solutions or divergent thinking for a problem -- in other words, to "think outside the box” (16)
    5. Ability to connect thoughts that previously have been isolated (synthesis)  (16)
  2. Candidates should have the following desirable personality traits (20 points total)
    1. Intellectual curiosity, openness to new information and experiences (4)
    2. Tolerance of ambiguity (Recognizing patterns in confusing or ambiguous data) (4)
    3. Love of problem solving  (4)
    4. Passionate, yet still objective and honest in the judging of their own work  (4)
    5. Willingness to take risks  (4)

Nomination packages must be received by ESA headquarters by June 1. This deadline refers to receipt by the awards administrator of a complete package in a readable format. Therefore, early submission is highly recommended. All nomination packets will not be able to be changed after June 1.

Renomination -
Any candidate nominated, but not selected, may be renominated no more than two times within the two-year period after his/her initial submission. Nomination packages will be retained for two years by the awards administrator. Nominators must send a letter of renomination to the awards administrator by the nomination deadline above. Previously submitted documentation will be used for the evaluation process unless the nominator submits new or updated documents. The renomination e-mail must contain this additional documentation. New or updated documents must follow the electronic submission requirements noted above.

The awards administrator will notify all candidates and their nominators with the results of their nomination approximately two months after the nomination submission deadline. 


For questions about this award, please click here.

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