Distinguished Researcher Award

2024 Award Recipient

Verna L. Hendricks-Ferguson PhD, RN, FPCN, FAAN

View past recipients


Recognize the contributions of an ONS member who conducts or promotes research that enhances the science and practice of oncology nursing. The recipient will present his or her research results at the annual ONS Congress®.


A $2,000 cash prize, a desktop award, and travel reimbursement to attend the annual ONS Congress.

Eligibility Criteria

The nominee must be an active ONS member who has been nominated by an ONS member. In addition, the nominee must have an earned doctorate in nursing or a related field, and demonstrate the following:

  • Evidence of outstanding and major contributions to the scientific foundation for practice
  • Evidence of a sustained program of substantive research
  • Evidence of a record of publication in oncology
  • Evidence that the scientist's research program has advanced the delivery of quality cancer care by nurses
  • Evidence that the scientist's research program has provided a foundation for research by others
  • Evidence of documented contributions to ONS
  • Evidence of documented contributions to the cancer community-at-large.

Application Materials

The following materials are required:

  • Nomination narrative
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • The nominee's curriculum vitae

Nomination Deadline Notice


ONS uses an external, vendor-supported online program for all award nomination applications. The application system is set up so that at exactly 5:00pm ET (Eastern Time), September 30, the application site will automatically shut down and be locked. Any applications that are open (not completed) at this time will be terminated and will not be accepted. It is imperative that all open applications be submitted prior to 5:00pm ET, September 30, in order to be accepted into the online system and be eligible for consideration. In order to be fair to all who may nominate individuals for consideration for an ONS award, the September 30, 5:00pm ET deadline cannot be extended without prior authorization from the ONS Board of Directors. If you have any questions regarding the ONS awards nomination process, please call the ONS Awards staff (412) 859-6320, or email: awards@ons.org.

Submit Your Nomination


Visit the awards portal. You will be asked to create an account and confirm your account via email. Once completed, you will be given the option to “Start a New Nomination” and select the desired award from the dropdown menu.

Travel Information

The recipient will receive travel reimbursement to attend the annual ONS Congress. ONS will reimburse the award recipient for round-trip economy airfare to and from the recipient's home address to the ONS Congress location, provided the recipient makes all travel arrangements through ONS's travel agency. Additionally, one night's lodging will be permitted provided that the recipient makes the hotel arrangements through the ONS meetings department. Meals for a 24-hour period will be reimbursed, along with the reimbursement of certain ground transportation situations and parking, but there are limitations. Please contact awards@ons.org for complete details about the travel reimbursement policy.