We confer honors and awards, including awards, grants and fellowships on individuals for significant contributions to oral, dental and craniofacial research (the field). The AADOCR retains the right to use its judgment and discretion to grant, defer or decline to grant an Award to any person.
For all awards, applicants will be required to agree to the AADOCR Policy for Honors and Awards upon submission of an award application or nomination.
The American Association for Dental Research (AADOCR) confers honors and awards, including awards, grants and fellowships (Award) on individuals for significant contributions to oral, dental and craniofacial research (the field). The AADOCR retains the right to use its judgment and discretion to grant, defer or decline to grant an Award to any person.
When AADOCR grants an Award, the Award reflects the AADOCR’s judgment that an individual’s contributions to, and effect on, the field are exemplary. When making decisions regarding Awards, AADOCR considers the effect of the individual’s work as well as professional and ethical conduct and reputation. It expects those who receive Awards to demonstrate that participation in and recognition by AADOCR are privileges. AADOCR expects that its honorees will serve as leaders of the field and embody highly professional and ethical conduct in their work and personal lives that does not cast serious doubt on their core ethics.
References to conduct in this policy include professional as well as personal conduct. Unethical conduct includes, among other acts, harassment and discrimination based on other factors unrelated to ability and promise (e.g., race and ethnicity), whether in isolation or intersecting with sexual harassment. These acts perpetuate longstanding structural and systemic barriers to participation of all talent in the field, have an immediate and adverse effect on individuals and undermine excellence in the field. AADOCR takes unprofessional and unethical conduct seriously, whether such conduct occurs in research, learning/teaching, practice or at AADOCR Annual Meetings. (See Section 3 of AADOCR’s Professional Conduct at Meetings Policy for a list of unacceptable behaviors.)
Ethics Considerations in Conferring Awards
The AADOCR finds that determined unethical conduct of a current nominee for an Award, as well as credible, but undetermined, questions about the ethical conduct of such an individual, can contribute to longstanding structural and systemic barriers in the field. Consequently, for the purpose of placing heavier weight on what is best for excellence in the field rather than what is best for any individual when the two must be balanced, the AADOCR will not confer any Award on any individual whose conduct has been determined to be unethical. That determination will be based on AADOCR’s own review and AADOCR’s consideration of any others’ determinations (with supporting information) made available to AADOCR.
AADOCR will not confer an Award on any individual whose ethical conduct is the subject of a credible question known to AADOCR, so long as the question has not been finally and favorably determined to the AADOCR’s satisfaction, and in its discretion. When applying this policy in situations of credible but undetermined questions, AADOCR will withhold judgment and refrain from making a statement or determination regarding any individual. Rather, AADOCR will use this policy as a precautionary measure to support the broader field’s efforts to tackle longstanding barriers to excellence.
AADOCR’s conferral of an Award is an exercise of its discretion, not an obligation.
Awareness of Conduct Issues—Required Disclosures
The AADOCR is aware of conduct issues about the Award recipient or potential recipient if its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or any individual who participates in the official Awards process, whether a staff member, committee member or decision maker, is aware. These individuals must notify an officer of the AADOCR Board of Directors.
Anyone who makes a nomination or recommendation and knows that the nominee has been determined to have engaged in unprofessional or unethical conduct, or that a credible but undetermined question exists about the nominee’s conduct, is required to make a disclosure to the AADOCR Board of Directors as part of the nomination process.
A person who is being considered for an Award (upon becoming aware of being considered), or who holds an Award, has a continuing duty to disclose to the AADOCR Board of Directors the existence of any fact, situation or circumstance that could be considered relevant to the AADOCR’s decision on whether to bestow or revoke an Award under provisions of this Awards Policy. Failure to make a disclosure may result in the AADOCR withholding, suspending or revoking an Award, per the AADOCR’s discretion.
Process for Suspension or Revocation of Existing Awards
Upon notice by AADOCR to a person already holding an Award, a suspension or revocation shall take effect. At least 30 days before a notice of revocation or suspension, AADOCR will give the holder of the Award a notice of intent to revoke or suspend the Award. The notice of intent will include a statement of the interests of the field served by the proposed revocation or suspension, in AADOCR’s judgment. The holder of the Award will have an opportunity to submit to AADOCR, within 14 days of receiving a notice of intent, a written statement of any reasons why s/he believes it would not be in the best interests of the field for the revocation or suspension to be affected. After that 14-day period, whether a statement has been submitted, AADOCR will act in its discretion. AADOCR, at any time, may review and act on pertinent information that was not available or known to it at the time of its decision.
Awards Held by Deceased Individuals
Special circumstances arise when unprofessional and unethical conduct of a deceased person who holds an Award is raised. AADOCR will exercise its discretion to address such situations on a case-by-case basis and may determine that no action is needed. It will consider the following:
- A deceased person is unable to participate in even an informal investigation or process, is unable to defend against allegations, e.g., of sexual harassment, or to participate in restorative remedies.
- A deceased person cannot continue unprofessional and unethical conduct, eliminating threats that the conduct will be ongoing.
- Heightened concerns for impact on the field, even after death, may exist when the act of unprofessional and unethical conduct has been determined during a person’s lifetime and is highly egregious. This is particularly so when the deceased holder of the Award is very prominent in the field, or the Award is exceptional, or there is a named Award continuing to be conferred on others.
- When action is warranted, it may range from revocation of the Award to a statement about intolerance of the type of conduct raised. Revocation is an extraordinary remedy.
- AADOCR is not expected to newly investigate a question of professional and ethical conduct related to a deceased holder of an Award.
Restoration of an Award
In the event of determined conduct inconsistent with an Award, or in the event of a credible but undetermined question about such conduct, the AADOCR may provide opportunities for restorative remedies. AADOCR would generally endeavor to consult the accused and consider, among other factors:
(a) the egregiousness, prevalence, effect, and age of such conduct, and the stage of career when it occurred;
(b) whether an individual with determined unprofessional and unethical conduct takes responsibility for the conduct and demonstrates through action (non-repetition) that s/he learned the necessary lesson and is unlikely to repeat similar conduct;
(c) whether an individual appears to be sincerely committed to demonstrating professional and ethical conduct, understanding how the determined conduct or questions of conduct occurred, avoiding a repetition, and restoring relationships—not just to qualify for receipt of an Award, but recognizing the importance of professional and ethical conduct to excellence in the field.
PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT DISCLOSURE:
I, the nominator/applicant, agree to comply with the AADOCR Policy on Honors and Awards.
I certify that, to the best of my knowledge, the nominee, or myself as applicant, has not been the subject of a filed allegation, complaint, investigation, sanction or other legal, civil or institutional proceeding, where there was a finding of misconduct; or, is currently the subject of such a professional conduct allegation, complaint or investigation.
Further, I agree to notify AADOCR promptly if there are any changes to my response. I acknowledge that failure to comply with the AADOCR Policy on Honors and Awards, may result in my, or the nominee’s, ineligibility to receive any AADOCR award or honor or the revocation of an AADOCR award or honor.