About the Charles C. Shepard Science Award

Established in 1986, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR) Charles C. Shepard Science Award was named in honor of Dr. Charles C. Shepard, M.D., the internationally recognized microbiologist who was Chief of the Leprosy and Rickettsia Branch at CDC for more than 30 years, until his death on February 18, 1985. The Charles C. Shepard Science Awards recognizes excellence in science at CDC and ATSDR.  An award is presented for scientific publications in the following areas:  Assessment, Prevention and Control, Laboratory Science, Data Methods and Study Design, and Health Equity Science.  An award is also presented for lifetime scientific achievement.   For scientific publications, the award is presented to CDC/ATSDR scientists for the best original research manuscript published in a reputable, peer-reviewed journal. For lifetime scientific achievement, the award recognizes an individual with a body of scientific work contributing to public health.

To learn more about the history of Dr. Shepard’s career and the history of the award, please see the Award History page.



Each year CDC’s Office of Science issues a call for Charles C. Shepard Science Award nominations and presents the awards at the agency’s annual Shepard Scientific Awards ceremony. Colleagues from across CDC/ATSDR nominate candidates for Charles C. Shepard Science Awards.

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Scientific Publication Categories

There are five publication award categories: Assessment, Prevention and Control, Laboratory Science, Data Methods and Study Design, and Health Equity Science.


    • In each category, an award may be presented for the best paper on original research published in a reputable, peer reviewed journal by a CDC/ATSDR scientist during the previous calendar year.
    • Only publications with a CDC/ATSDR staff member as first author or senior author, under the primary supervision of CDC/ATSDR staff when the work was performed, are eligible.
    • To be considered the senior author, the author must have played a major role in the design and concept of the study or had major scientific oversight of the study. If the first author is not a CDC/ATSDR author, the CDC/ATSDR Center, Institute, Office (CIO) must designate the CDC/ATSDR senior author as the eligibility source and the justification for that designation.
    • Assessment:
      Purpose: Assessment publications characterize health, disease, conditions, or behaviors, and their determinants in communities or populations.
    • Prevention and Control:
      Purpose: Publications in this category address the prevention and/or control of one or more diseases, conditions, or other challenges to public health or the prevention and/or control of risk factors for these diseases, conditions, or challenges.
    • Laboratory Science:
      Purpose: Laboratory science papers describe the development and/or use of laboratory methods to solve problems of public health importance.
    • Data Methods and Study Design:
      Purpose: Publications in this category report on a new or refined non-laboratory method and/or a new, innovative, or otherwise exceptional study design that addresses one or more public health challenges. In other words, this award recognizes the development and demonstration of an outstanding or exceptional approach to solving a public health problem.
    • Health Equity Science:
      Purpose: Publications in this category contribute to health equity science by deepening the understanding of health disparities and social determinants of health or expanding an evidence-base for identifying effective, new, or emerging interventions to reduce disparities and achieve health equity.

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Nomination Procedures: Lifetime Scientific Achievement


This award recognizes an individual for a lifetime of scientific work contributing to public health. Examples include careers of scientific research and careers of scientific research followed by administration/management. It is expected that over the years, awardees will represent different scientific disciplines. It is accepted that in some years CDC/ATSDR may not present a Lifetime Scientific Achievement award.

Eligibility/Nomination Process:

  • The nominee must be a senior scientist respected by peers within and outside of CDC/ATSDR.
  • The majority of the nominee’s work must have occurred at CDC/ATSDR and been published with a CDC/ATSDR affiliation.
  • The nominee must be an individual living at the time of the nomination.
  • One nomination per CDC/ATSDR Center, Institute, or Office (CIO)
  • The nomination must name the nominated individual and describe their career or body of work and its importance for which the nomination is being made.
  • The nomination must address each of the Selection Criteria on the Charles C. Shepard Science Award for Lifetime Scientific Achievement nomination form.  The Shepard Award Full Committee will not accept nominations that do not use this form. The entire narrative, addressing all selection criteria, must not exceed five pages.  If more than five pages are submitted, only the first five pages will be provided to the Shepard Award Full Committee for review and consideration.
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) is required to support the nomination.

Review Criteria


All nominations are reviewed by a committee which includes 17 reviewing members, 2 co-chairpersons, and an executive secretary.

Scientific Publication Categories

Publications within the Scientific Publication Categories are evaluated based on scientific merit (including aspects such as originality, difficulty, efficiency, methods, and clarity) and impact on public health (importance and significance).

Lifetime Scientific Achievement

Nominees for Lifetime Scientific Achievement are evaluated in terms of the body of their work, its scientific merit, the impact of the work on public health and its contribution to the mission of CDC/ATSDR. Nominees are also evaluated based on the recognition of their work by scientific peers and on leadership both with their peers and within the scientific discipline or field of research.

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Page last reviewed: October 11, 2017
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