Trailblazer Award & Lectureship

Jointly bestowed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the Trailblazer Award & Lectureship recognizes exceptional leaders who have advanced the science at the nexus of nutrition/dietetics and food science for at least five years. This award is conferred upon a leader, preferably a joint member of the Academy and IFT, who has demonstrated innovative contributions to improve health among underserved populations through a least one aspect of food science and technology, and has exhibited intellectual courage in research, instruction and/or communication at this intersection.


  1. Member of the Academy or IFT.
  2. Has at least five years of experience since receiving his/her last academic degree.
  3. Has demonstrated and documented impact of contributions at the food science and nutrition nexus.
  4. Has demonstrated and documented inspirational leadership among colleagues and collaborators.

Award Presentation:

  • The Trailblazer Award recipient will receive $2,500 and plaque.
  • The Trailblazer Award recipient will provide a presentation not to exceed 45 minutes in length at the respective organization's annual meeting.
  • The Trailblazer Award will be presented on an annual basis, alternating between Academy and IFT annual meetings. The next award will be presented at the Academy's annual meeting.

Scoring Criteria

  1. Demonstrate and document impact of contributions at the food science and nutrition nexus. (45 points total)
    1. Visible champion of interface and benefit of respective disciplines. (20 points)
    2. Moves the understanding of each discipline forward. (15 points)
    3. Joint activities with members of both societies. (10 points)
  2. Demonstrate and document inspirational leadership among colleagues and collaborators. (45 points total)
    1. Promotion of collaborative efforts between food scientists and RDNs (e.g. committees, research, papers, media interviews). (15 points)
    2. Leadership among food science and nutrition colleagues. (10 points)
    3. Role model to food science: nutrition professions. (10 points)
    4. Dedication to high standards of the professions. (10 points)
  3. Letter of support that addresses candidate's qualifications. (10 points)

To submit a nomination, email nomination documents to Deadline is March 1, 2021.

A complete nomination consists of:

  • Completed Trailblazer Nomination Form
  • Nomination Statement explaining how the nominee meets the award qualifications (not to exceed 4 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) summary including educational background (not to exceed 10 pages)
  • One (1) substantive letter of recommendation

Nomination Statement Requirements: not to exceed 4 typed pages. Include educational background, professional affiliations, honors and appointments of nominee. List offices held and dates; committees served on and dates, and other Academy/IFT activities. Explain why this individual should receive this award (refer to the "Qualifications" and "Scoring Criteria" above).

View past recipients.