Todd and Low Award

Presented annually to a mid-career scientist in recognition of their commitment to fostering positive and inclusive environments

The Todd and Low Award is named in honour of Ruth Todd (1913 - 1984) and Doris Low (1920 - 2008). Ruth Todd was one of the world’s leading authorities on foraminifera and studied both fossil and modern species from all over the world, with expertise in taxonomy and systematics, biostratigraphy and (palaeo)ecology. Ruth was also the first recipient of the Joseph A. Cushman Award and was elected a GSA Fellow in 1955. Ruth Todd acted as a mentor to Doris Low, who became a proficient foraminifera researcher in her own right. Together, they curated the Cushman Foraminifera Collection and managed the Ruth Todd Memorial Library (which began as the Joseph Cushman Library) at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. This award, which recognises the importance of teaching and mentorship, was named after these researchers because of their positive mentor-mentee relationship, and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). 

The Todd and Low Award is given to a mid-career scientist, 10 to 30 years from the highest attained degree (excluding career breaks). This award will recognise candidates who demonstrate a commitment to teaching, mentoring, EDI, accessibility and fostering a positive culture within their workplace environment. We value, welcome and encourage applications for this award from those in academia and industry alike. 

There are many ways in which individuals can evidence their commitment to these principles include:  

  • Working with and/or mentoring individuals, particularly those from historically underrepresented groups in geoscience  
  • Actively participating in learned society/service committee(s) 
  • Implementing EDI and accessibility initiatives within their community 
  • Showcasing micropalaeontology (and allied fields) to the public/education groups through public engagement activities 
  • Being a positive role model to others 

A career break for this award is defined as a substantial period of leave which would impact professional endeavours and trajectory, such as parental leave, medical leave and trying out new careers (not an exhaustive list). For the committee’s information, career breaks should be noted briefly, if known, so that the panel can assess the application thoroughly and appropriately. We would like to reassure applicants that this information will not disadvantage them and that all applications are confidential.

Any information and/or EDI strategies mentioned within applications will be treated with full confidence and stay within panel discussions. The information will not be used to inform any society activities. Nominators will remain anonymous to the awarding committee.

The award will be presented at the Micropalaeontology Society’s Annual General Meeting held in November each year. The award has a value of £300, but more importantly, it is meant to serve as a substantive endorsement of the value of the recipient’s work made by their peers. The first award was made in 2021.

Nominations can be made by any TMS member. Nominees need not be TMS members. To make a nomination, please complete the form here, which will ask for the name and e-mail address of two nominators (one of whom must be a TMS member) and relationship to the nominee; the name, e-mail address, graduation date and place of highest academic qualification of the nominee; and a brief (max. 500 words) case for support.

All applications must be received by the 28th February each year.

All nominations will be considered at the Spring TMS Committee meeting. Nominations must be made in the strictest confidence and the person nominated should not be informed. Unsuccessful nominations will be retained for re-assessment the following year, with the option for the nomination to be updated. After this, resubmission is possible for a further year assuming that the individual remains eligible (three submissions total).

We additionally expect nominees to adhere to the Nolan Principles of Public Life. We remind nominators that TMS is a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

For any further information or any questions please contact the TMS secretary at

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Nominee name (does not need to be a TMS Member) *
Nominee e-mail *
Nominee affiliation (e.g., University or Business) *
Date and place of graduation (i.e., date of last university degree) *
If applicable, please give brief  details of any career breaks (e.g., parental or medical leave)

Case for support: Please outline briefly (max. 500 words) how you feel the nominee has demonstrated that they fulfil the remit and principles of the award. We encourage nominators to include undergraduate, postgraduate, and PhD students, and postdocs of the nominee in the nomination writing process. Please remember that the nominators remain anonymous, so please do not include your details in this section.

First nominator name (must be TMS Member) *
Date of nomination *
Relationship to nominee *
Second nominator name (does not need to be a TMS Member) *
Relationship to nominee *
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