WC Young Recent Graduate Award

Nominations are now closed.
Deadline for nominations is Extended to March 15, 2023.

Award Application

Selection criteria for the WC Young Recent Graduate Award are based on the doctoral dissertation, scholarly productivity, and letters of reference. The WC Young Recent Graduate awardee will have the honor of speaking in the Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology.


Applicants for the WC Young Award include recent PhD awardees who received their PhD between January 1, 2021, and March 31, 2023. The applicant must also be a current member of SBN and must have been a member for at least two of the past three years. Applicants can apply once for this award.

Application materials

  • An essay outlining the specific contributions of the dissertation, and its broader significance to the field of behavioral neuroendocrinology (1200 word limit).
  • A current curriculum vita
  • Up to three letters of recommendation

2023 Award Winner: Nikki Lee, PhD

Nikki Lee graduated from Cornell University in 2015 with degrees in Biology and English. It was at Cornell that she first began working with prairie voles, for her undergraduate honors thesis in the lab of Dr. Alex Ophir. She continued to work with prairie voles during her PhD, investigating the roles of reward and dopamine signaling in prairie vole peer relationships in the lab of Dr. Annaliese Beery at Smith College. She received her PhD in Neuroscience and Behavior from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2021, after which she was a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow at Colgate University until 2022. She is currently an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Dr. Eileen Lacey at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is using an integrative approach to evaluate the neuroendocrine mechanisms underlying dispersal in colonial tuco-tucos. After completing her postdoc, Nikki will be Assistant Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Science at Washington & Lee University. There she plans to continue her work integrating investigation of neuroendocrine mechanisms with field work in wild Belding's ground squirrels and other non-model rodent species.

Past Winners of the WC Young Recent Graduate Award

Year Winner
2023 Nikki Lee, PhD
2022 Jennifer Merritt, PhD
2021 Johnathan Borland, PhD
2020 Jon Cavanaugh, PhD
2019 Jeremy Borniger
2018 Jeremy C. Borniger, PhD
2017 Ashlyn Swift-Gallant
2016 James Burkett
2015 Samuele Zilioli
2014 Aubrey Kelly
2013 Bridget Nugent