Conference Awards

To encourage student/trainee SAS members to participate in the important process of recognizing the accomplishments of our members, the nomination form is very brief.  We encourage self-nominations as well as nominations of others. The SAS Awards Committee especially encourages creative nominations (i.e., for individuals or teams) and will recognize multiple awardees, as fitting.

Key Dates

Flash Talk & Poster Submissions – CLOSED

SAS  Trainee Diversity Submissions – CLOSED

Thematic Flash Talk & Poster Awards

To acknowledge the Society for Affective Science’s appreciation of its trainee members, the most outstanding trainee presentations each year are recognized with awards. All trainees (postdocs, graduate students, undergraduate students, and post-baccalaureate students) who were first-author on a poster or thematic flash talk are eligible for these awards.

Awards are determined based on a two-step process. Candidates are initially identified based on the quality of submitted abstracts (blind to author name/affiliation) by a team of three raters from the SAS program committee. Abstracts are evaluated for the impact of the work; those who self-select to present flash talks and who are rated the highest are chosen to present flash talks at the conference. All others are chosen to present posters. These same ratings are used to designate which trainees will subsequently be evaluated in person for flash talk or poster awards. Approximately the top 10% of flash talks and posters are selected for further evaluation after the initial review of abstracts.

Second stage evaluation is completed at the conference by a team of judges from the SAS program committee that spans disciplines. Each flash talk and poster selected from the first stage is evaluated in person by a team of three judges. Flash talk and poster candidates are rated on three dimensions: research quality, presentation clarity, and effectiveness in answering questions. Awards are given to the top-rated flash talk presenter and poster presenter. Awardees are recognized at the conferences’ award ceremony and/or via society-wide email.

Best Thematic Flash Talk

Pablo Arias Sarha

University of Glasgow

Best Poster – New Results

Anna Gilioli

University of California, San Francisco

Best Poster – New Idea

Claire Whiting

Princeton University

Previous Winners

Best Thematic Flash Talk
Ellen Roche, University of Maryland

Best Poster – New Results
Eva Dicker, Rice University

Best Poster – New Idea
Veronica Remirez, University of California, Irvine


Best Thematic Flash Talk
Erika Weisz, Harvard University

Best Poster
Pooya Razavi, University of Oregon


Thematic Flash Talk Winners
Jin Hyun Cheong, Dartmouth College
Ashley Doukas, New York University
Jennifer G. Pearlstein, University of California, Berkeley
Adrienne Wood, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Best Posters
Sydney M. Krueger, Columbia University
Daina Crafa, McGill University
Jennifer Yih, Stanford University
Jacinth Tan, University of California, San Francisco


Thematic Flash Talk Winners
Dyan Connelly, University of California, Berkeley
Katie Hoemann, Northeastern University
Kent Lee, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Daniel Lim, Northeastern University

Best Posters
Elizabeth Cosby, Brown University
Veronica Heng, University of California, Davis
Jennifer MacCormack, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Aliza Schwartzblatt, CUNY Graduate Center


Thematic Flash Talk Winners
Elise Kalokerinos, KU Leuven
Shir Atzil, Mass General Hospital
Autumn Kujawa, University of Illinois at Chicago
Brett Ford, University of California, Berkeley

Best Posters
Erik Nook, Harvard University
Victoria Spring, University of Iowa
Erin Moran, Washington U School of Medicine
Kelly Finn, University of California Davis


Best Posters
Brett Ford, University of California, Berkeley
Alice Hua, University of California, San Francisco
Sandy Lwi, University of California, Berkeley
Andrew McCullough, Northeastern University
BoKyung Park, Stanford University
John Purcell, University of Colorado Boulder
Ashley Ruby, University of Washington


Best Posters
Jozefien DeLeersnyder, KU Leuven
Janine Dutcher, UCLA
Sunny Dutra, Yale University
Marlies Houben, KU Leuven
Philipp Opitz, Tufts University
Jennifer Silvers, Columbia University
Daniel Stout, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

SAS Trainee Diversity Award

The Society for Affective Science is committed to supporting trainees within our society and increasing the diversity of the field of affective science. All graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are welcome to apply if they feel their background will add to the diversification of SAS.

The winners will receive:

  • complimentary registration to the 2024 Annual Conference
  • a guaranteed flash talk for the 2024 Annual Conference
  • a $200 travel award

How to apply:

  • During the abstract submission process, indicate your interest in applying for the award.
  • Those interested will be contacted with instructions for next steps in the application process which will include providing:
    • A copy of the submitted abstract
    • A one-page letter of self-nomination that includes the student’s research interests, how they contribute to diversity within SAS and the broader field of affective science (e.g., lived experiences), and how they would benefit from receiving the award.
  • Students will be notified if they have won or not via e-mail following abstract acceptance and rejection notifications in early January.

To be eligible, candidates must:

(1) be a member of SAS at the time of application,

(2) be currently enrolled in a graduate degree program or employed as a postdoctoral researcher with a focus on a topic related to affective science,

(3) not have previously received the award,

(4) not be a current member of the SAS Student Committee Executive Team (Chair, Vice-Chair, or Secretary),

(5) identify as a member of an underrepresented group including, but not limited to racial/ethnic minority, LGBTQ+, first-generation students, students with a disability, international students (i.e., trainees from outside the US currently at US-based institutions), and non-US-based students (e.g., trainees currently at institutions based outside the US)

(6) have submitted an abstract as the presenting author for the upcoming SAS conference, will attend and are prepared to present their work as a flash talk.

Receipt of the Trainee Diversity Award is contingent upon abstract acceptance to the conference. Abstracts are evaluated in a separate process that is not related to the diversity award review. Diversity award applications (including the names of the applicants) will not be shared with the conference abstract reviewers.

Please send any questions to the SAS Student Chair, Kyle Barrentine

Previous Winners

2024 Winners

Randy Lee, Cornell University

Heidi Kellam, Claremont Graduate University

Chen-Wei Yu, Northwestern University

Kiran Kaur, University of Utah

Dena Sadeghi-Bahmani, Stanford University

Pauline Goodson, Rice University

Shandra Montgomery Jones, Harvard University

Jacqueline Beltran, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Ozge Ugurlu, University of California, Berkeley

Gwyneth DeLap, University of Rochester

2023 Winners

Amandeep Kaur, University of California, Irvine

Ariana Castro, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Mirinda Whitaker, University of Utah

Daphne LiuStony Brook University

Costanza Vidal Bustamante, Harvard University

Gerald Young, University of California, Berkeley

Kimberly MartinUniversity of California, San Francisco

Regina EboUniversity of California, Berkeley

Maia Ten BrinkStanford University

Minjae Seo, University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign