DEI Funding

The Barbara D. Webster Scholar Award


Honoring a Pioneer for Women: The Opportunity

We are grateful for the opportunity to honor the legacy of Dr. Barbara D. Webster, by partnering with you, to continue her transformational impact in support of gender equity among faculty in the Department of Plant Sciences. 

The Barbara D. Webster Scholar Award will provide support for faculty members in the Department of Plant Sciences who represent excellence in their field, present unique and transformative perspectives, exhibit the leadership ability to impact their discipline, and work to advance women in Plant Sciences. 

The goals of the Award are: (1) to reward excellence and research in Plant Sciences; (2) to develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic Plant Science careers; (3) to develop innovative and sustainable ways to promote gender equity in the Plant Science academic workforce; and (4) to provide leadership in advancing gender equity and the intersection of gender and other identities in academic careers.  The Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis and the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences are committed to the development and promotion of a diverse and equitable faculty and learning environment.


Candidates must be tenured or tenure-track faculty in the Department of Plant Sciences as defined by UC Davis.  The Award will alternate annually between junior faculty and senior faculty.

Selection Criteria

Awardees will be chosen based on the following criteria:

  • Applications for the Barbara D. Webster Scholar Award will be evaluated on the intellectual merit (the advancement of knowledge) and the potential impacts (the benefit to society) of their research and publications in the fields of Plant Sciences. 
  • Preference for the Barbara D. Webster Scholar Award will be given to faculty members who meet the following evaluation criteria:
    • Demonstrate understanding of or have experienced the impact of gender inequality and /or discrimination in their discipline
    • Have experienced and/or tried to reduce barriers to women in the field
    • Are committed to advancing the status of Plant Sciences women faculty in higher education
    • Have demonstrated experience in teaching and mentoring of women students in Plant Sciences 
    • Have transcended their personal experience into inspiring research and teaching models that benefit female undergraduate and graduate students  
    • Have significant caregiving commitments outside of their career that impact their time investment in research

Application Process

Candidates shall submit applications through their Department Chair.

  1. Complete the Application Form.
  2. Attach an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae, including a bibliography of published work.
  3. Attach a Letter describing their qualifications and commitment to advancing gender equity (experience and plans).
  4. Include a Letter of Nomination from someone familiar with your scholarship. The letter must indicate which of the evaluation criteria listed above apply to the nominee, and indicate where these professional activities or experiences may be found within the application materials. Self nomination is acceptable.

Selection Committee

The Chair of Plant Sciences will appoint a Selection Committee composed of faculty members to review nominations and select the Awardee for the Barbara D. Webster Scholar Award.

Information about the Awardee will be shared with Susan Webster following selection.


Awarded funds must be used within one calendar year from issuance of the Award.  Funds will not be renewed, and a new Awardee will be chosen each year.

The Award will consist of $20,000 in discretionary funds for the academic year. Recognizing that faculty, especially those in programs with heavy teaching loads, often struggle to find time for scholarship, Barbara D. Webster discretionary funds may be used to provide partial teaching relief during the award year.

The discretionary funds may also be used for research-related expenses, such as research-related travel to international meetings, salaries for research assistants, students (including graduate student fees), or postdoctoral fellows on the research team, and to fill the summer salary gap of an Awardee. 


Each Awardee shall provide a final report detailing how funds were used and giving a synopsis of their year. The report should be submitted to the Chair, Gail Taylor, or their designee, within one month of the end of the award year. The Chair or designee will receive, review, and forward the annual reports to Susan Webster.  Awardees must acknowledge the "Barbara D. Webster Scholar Award" in all publications, presentations, posters, interviews, seminars, etc. that were supported by the Award.


As part of the University’s obligation to recognize the Barbara D. Webster Award, there will be at minimum one UC Davis news article written about the Award and Barbara D. Webster each year, in addition to the announcements of the Award and Awardee.

The department will also honor Barbara D. Webster with a wall display in the Plant and Environmental Sciences Building. The display will inform students, faculty, staff and university guests of Barbara D. Webster’s contributions to advance women in academia and will name the faculty Awardees. A page on the Plant Sciences web site also will be dedicated to The Barbara D. Webster Award.