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The Outstanding University Researcher Award

This award recognizes faculty members who are acknowledged for (a) their research nationally or internationally, (b) their quality of scholarly work, and (c) their contribution to profession/discipline.

Award amount: $3000

Announcement of awards: December 2023

View Award Winners

Criteria for Eligibility

  1. Nominees must be tenured or probationary tenure faculty members currently conducting research. Full time administrators (e.g., Deans, Department Chairs/School Directors, Associate Deans, etc.) are not eligible for these faculty awards. Administrators returning to the faculty become immediately eligible for the award. Research conducted during their time as administrators may be included in their nomination materials. Nominees must have been at Illinois State University for a minimum of three academic years prior to nomination.
  2. Nominees must have received an Outstanding College Researcher Award. Members of the College of Arts and Sciences faculty who have received recognition for research as Arts and Sciences Lecturer are also eligible, as are College of Business faculty receiving that College's Outstanding Research award before the fall of 1985.
  3. Members of the University Research Council are ineligible during their terms of service. Previous recipients of the award are ineligible.
  4. Individuals may not be nominated for both the Outstanding University Researcher Award and the Research Initiative Award simultaneously.

Procedures for Submission of Nominations

  1. Eligible faculty members may ask to be considered for nomination by the College Research Committee; they may be nominated by any faculty member or department chair/school director in the College; or they may be nominated by the College Research Committee. Application materials are provided to each College Dean for distribution to applicants in the College. Applications are submitted to the College. Please check with your College for the date these are due.
  2. The Dean of the College, in conjunction with the College Research Committee, may submit to the University Research Council up to three individuals from among the nominees.
  3. These College nominees must seek written endorsement of their applications from their department chairperson/school director or a colleague in the department/school. In addition, one support letter from a source external to the University addressing the significance of the nominee’s work must be provided.
  4. The College Dean shall submit the completed applications to the Associate Vice President for Research. Requirements for a completed application are listed below. The College nominees should be unranked.
  5. The final evaluation of applications will be made by the University Research Council. During deliberation, the Council may request supporting materials from nominees and/or may ask the College Deans for additional information.
  6. The University Research Council will recommend to the Provost up to three recipients from the list of nominees forwarded to the Council by the College Deans.


A complete application should include:

  1. Cover sheet form
  2. A statement from the nominee describing his/her roles assumed on the various projects, the goals for the current research/creative endeavors, and the rationale involved in the development of research program/creative endeavors. The statement should be written at a level appropriate for peers outside the discipline. In addition to a description of current activities, the statement should address the significance of the nominee's total body of research and/or creative expression to the field. (1 to 1 and 1/2 pages single spaced.)
  3. A full career vita. Research accomplishments should be categorized and listed, beginning with the most ­recent, using the Evaluation Guidelines and Criteria of Scholarly and Creative Productivity found in these application materials. Complete citations must be given for all published works.
  4. Endorsement of the application by the nominee's department chairperson/school director or a faculty member in their department/school is a critical component of the application. The endorsement should address:
    1. quality of the work,
    2. reputation of the journals/juried events,
    3. the scope of influence of the nominees work nationally and internationally, and
    4. contribution to of the work to the advancement of the discipline. (See Criteria for Evaluation below)
  5. At least one external letter of support, but no more than three letters, should be included in the materials submitted for consideration. External letters of support provide reviewers with helpful insights about the contribution of the research accomplishments to the discipline and society.

Criteria for Evaluation

  1. A nominee's record of research and publication while at Illinois State University will be given greatest weight in the Council's deliberations, although a full career vita for each nominee will be evaluated.
  2. Nominees will be evaluated for
    1. nationally and internationally recognized research,
    2. quality of scholarly work, and
    3. contribution to profession/discipline
  3. Written endorsements should address these criteria:
    1. Importance of nominee's research nationally and internationally.
    2. Quality/uniqueness of scholarly work.
    3. How work makes unusual contribution to professional discipline.
    NOTE: Please be aware that reviewers of the Outstanding Researcher Award nominees are colleagues with expertise in diverse scholarly fields. It is important to address each nominee's achievements with information clarifying how the work qualifies as outstanding in the particular discipline represented. (For example, scholarly activity in fine arts may be judged in quite different terms from scholarship in physics.)

Distribution of Award

Each recipient receives $3000, payable as $1000 in salary and $2000 in operating funds. Funds must be expended by the end of the fiscal year in which the award is granted.