Robert J. Kadner Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching


This award was established in honor of Robert J. Kadner, PhD, Norman J. Knorr Professor of Microbiology, who served as the senior founding Chair of the Academy of Distinguished Educators until his death in August of 2005. Robert Kadner devoted his 35-year career at the University of Virginia to the pursuit of outstanding teaching, training and mentorship of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and young faculty. This award recognizes faculty in the School of Medicine who have made outstanding and enduring contributions to teaching and mentoring PhD candidates and/or postdoctoral fellows with MD or PhD degrees pursuing careers in basic, translational, and/or clinical laboratory research.




Extended: Friday, August 30, 2019

Who Is Eligible

Nominees must be:

  • faculty members of the School of Medicine with a rank of Associate Professor or above
  • who are engaged in basic, translational, or clinical laboratory research,
  • have been a faculty member at University of Virginia for at least 7 years,
  • have demonstrated a strong commitment to teaching in both the classroom and laboratory setting,
  • and have demonstrated at an exemplary level the UVA Health System’s ASPIRE values
  • Faculty members who have already received the Kadner Teaching Award are not eligible to repeat as Kadner awardees.
Selection Process

The Selection Committee is composed of the following individuals:

  • Dr. Tim Bender will chair the selection committee, which is comprised of:
  • a representative from the Educators’ Academy Steering Committee
  • Three (3) ADE members from basic science departments and two (2) ADE members from clinical departments, all of whom are actively involved in basic science or clinical laboratory research. These five individuals must have primary appointments in different departments.
  • Two (2) members from the Executive Committee of the Graduate Biosciences Society

Who may nominate

The primary nominator must be a graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or clinical fellow.

Nomination Packet Should Include
Packet Submittal

Send the nomination as a single PDF to Dr. Timothy Bender.
Please adhere to page limits.
Contact Dr. Timothy Bender
Professor of Microbiology

Submit A Packet
  • Primary nominating letter from a graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or clinical fellow (1 page)
  • “Executive summary” from a faculty member evaluating the nominee’s teaching/mentoring.  It is recommended that the nominating student contact another faculty member who knows the nominee’s teaching/mentoring (1 page limit).
  • Up to 3 additional letters/testimonials from trainees (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows) (1 page limit per letter)
  • A statement from the nominee’s department chair or division chief that attests to the nominee’s exemplary demonstration of the UVA Health System’s ASPIRE values

Upon receipt of the nominations, the Selection Committee will solicit the following documents from the nominee:

  • Reflective teaching statement/philosophy (1 page limit)
  • Teaching portfolio (only those sections that are most applicable to the nominee’s teaching activities/outcomes)

The committee is advisory to the Dean who will make the final selection.

About This Award
Award Presentation

The award winners will be announced by the Dean. The Dean will notify each awardee’s Department Chair and the Dean’s Office will be responsible for appropriate publicity in University and non-University publications.

List of Past Recipients

This award was created by the Academy of Distinguished Educators in Honor of Robert J. Kadner, PhD (1942-2005) Professor and Vice Chair of Microbiology and Founding Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Academy of Distinguished Educators.

BobKadnerDr. Robert J. Kadner joined the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1969, rising through the academic ranks to full Professor in 1980. In 1994, he was appointed the Norman J. Knorr Professor of Basic Medical Sciences and held that Chair until his death in August of 2005. Throughout his career, Dr. Kadner was recognized for his advocacy of teaching, particularly instruction in the basic sciences, and his mentorship of medical students, graduate students, fellows, and junior faculty. He organized and taught numerous courses, delivered an impressive number of graduate lectures, and served as course director for many graduate courses as well as medical microbiology. In 1998, he was awarded the first American Society of Microbiology (ASM)-Sponsored Graduate Microbiology Teaching Award.

Dr. Kadner was an internationally recognized microbiologist whose research on microbial physiology spanned four decades. He served as Chair of the ASM Committee on Graduate Education and helped found the ASM Institute for Graduate and Postdoctoral Scientists in Preparation for Careers in Microbiology (since renamed The Kadner Institute, in his honor). He held several positions for the ASM and the Academy for Microbiology, served on government and national society advisory boards, and was an editor of the Journal of Bacteriology.

In acknowledgement of his leadership and teaching excellence, the Academy of Distinguished Educators dedicates the Robert J. Kadner Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching. This award recognizes School of Medicine faculty members who are engaged in basic or clinical laboratory research and demonstrate a strong commitment to teaching in both the classroom and laboratory setting. Through this award, the legacy of Robert Kadner’s devotion to education and research will continue.

“Dr. Kadner is a…legend in teaching at UVA’s Medical School. He is revered by medical students and graduate students alike for his mentorship and his devotion to teaching.” – Robert M. Carey, MD (Dean of the School of Medicine, 1986-2002)