The Gerontological Society of America

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Society-Wide Awards
Donald P. Kent Award
Robert W. Kleemeier Award
M. Powell Lawton Award
Maxwell A. Pollack Award
Margret & Paul Baltes Award
Doris Schwartz Award
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M. Powell Lawton Award

M. Powell Lawton

The M. Powell Lawton Award, sponsored by The Polisher Research Institute of the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life, recognizes outstanding contributions from applied gerontological research that have benefited older people and their care. The award was established to honor the memory of the late M. Powell Lawton, PhD, director emeritus of the Polisher Research Institute and a leading figure in aging research. 

The award is presented at the GSA's Annual Scientific Meeting to an individual who exemplifies Dr. Lawton's personal and professional qualities, and whose contributions in gerontology have led to innovations in gerontological treatment, practice or service, prevention, or amelioration of symptoms or barriers. Individuals who have influenced public policy changes or demonstrated leadership in defining and implementing a creative program that led to improvement in the lives of older persons are also eligible.

The awardee receives a $2,500 cash prize and certificate, and presents a lecture at the GSA's Annual Scientific Meeting the following year.  In addition, if the awardee has no support for attending the meeting, up to $1,000 can be made available for travel and per diem expenses.

Nominations of candidates in the early or mid stages of their careeers are encouraged.

Nominations should be responsive to the following guidelines:
  • Description and documentation of the nominee's contribution, including originality and creativity.
  • Demonstration of the innovation's positive impact over a sustained period.
  • Evidence of replication by others or dissemination.
  • The significance of the contribution in improving the lives of older persons.
  • An explanation of how the candidate exemplifies the qualities of the late M. Powell Lawton, including evidence of leadership, commitment to mentorship, humility, and respect.
May 1st
  • The nominator must be a member of GSA, however nominees can be nonmembers.
  • Formal nomination letter.
  • A current Curriculum Vitae.
  • Two letters of endorsement.

Nomination packets must be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with a subject of "Lawton Award Nomination - NOMINEE NAME HERE." Please remember to substitute your nominee's name in the subject.

"Aging Well and the Environment: Toward an Integrative Model and Research Agenda for the Future," by Hans-Werner Wahl, Susanne Iwarsson, and Frank Oswald, is a revision of the M. Powell Lawton Award Lecture delivered at the Annual Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America held in in New Orleans, Louisiana, in November 2010.