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Lerner Center for Public Health Advocacy


Sommer Klag Advocacy Awards

Sommer Klag Advocacy Awards

Why "advocacy awards"?

In 2018, the School launched its latest strategic plan, in which 'advocacy' made an appearance as an essential pillar for approaching today's public health challenges. In that spirit, Sidney and Helaine Lerner initiated a generous gift for the Sommer Klag Advocacy Awards that would build on the School’s long tradition of advocacy and encourage lasting change well into the future. The awards honor past giants in our field, namely Deans Emeriti Alfred Sommer and Michael Klag, and inspire the next generation of advocates and champions.

The Sommer Klag Advocacy Awards will help us achieve the goals laid out in the School's strategic plan by seeding and promoting a culture of advocacy across BSPH, and in academia more broadly.

What are the awards?

1 faculty member

$100,000 Achievement Award, to further their impact

A portion of the awards is expected to be used to develop the pipeline of future public health advocates.

The faculty winner will demonstrate:

  • A proven impact in their area of advocacy expertise
  • A shift in policy, social norms, or behavior
  • How their advocacy work has resulted in significant health protections or impact
2 early-career faculty members

$40,000 Impact Award, used to directly support future advocacy work

In addition to the monetary award, winners will receive communications training, advocacy mentoring, and strategic support as a cohort.

The early-career award winners will demonstrate:

  • Potential for impact in their area of expertise
  • Potential for a shift in policy, social norms, or behavior
  • Fundamental advocacy knowledge, skills, and organizational relationships that could enhance their success
  • What they hope to accomplish with additional resources and support

Who is eligible?

The awards are open to all BSPH faculty members, of any rank, with a primary appointment in BSPH.


What is the timeline?

May - June 2022

Open submission of LOIs for all awards.

September -
October 2022
Open nominations for $100k Achievement Award only.
December 2022 - January 2023Winner of the Achievement Award is announced. The winner will be selected by a prestigious panel of judges.
January -
February 2023
Open nominations for $40k Impact Awards. From the nominations, a panel of judges will select finalists who will go onto give short pitch presentations to the BSPH community.
Early April 2023Pitch presentations for Impact Awards.
Early May 2023Winners of the Impact Awards are announced.

What if I have more questions?

The Lerner Center for Public Health Advocacy will hold a Q&A webinar in Fall 2022, when the first round of nominations is opened. Sign up for our newsletter and stay tuned! For urgent inquiries, you can reach out to us at

Submit a Letter of Intent here: