University Scholars Program is a prestigious program, which is sponsored by the Office of the President and provides tangible recognition of faculty excellence. The program provides a three-year award to faculty members who have demonstrated superior performance in scholarly activities in both research and teaching and who show great promise for future achievements.
Faculty excellence is the cornerstone of any university of high quality. There is no more important task at the University of Illinois than attracting and retaining the very best teachers and scholars. The University Scholars Program is designed to identify outstanding members of the faculty and to provide each with a modest amount of funds annually for a defined number of years. The importance of these awards lies in the flexibility with which the funds may be spent. Recipients may use the funds at their discretion to enhance their scholarly work, except for salary rate increases, which are not permitted. The awards are not made for a specific project or proposal; rather, they are a symbol of the recipient’s excellence and the University’s commitment to foster outstanding people and their work. Therefore, the awards are made through nominations, not by application.
Carefully review the guidelines as minor revisions were made for the 2020-21 nomination period.
2021-22 Guidelines for the University Scholars Program for UIC faculty
2022-23 Guidelines coming in November 2021.
Eligibility & Nominations
- Please Note: This process is a nominator should not inform the individual of their nomination.
- Limited to members of the University of Illinois faculty, as defined in the University Statutes, i.e. members of the academic staff who are tenured or receiving credit toward tenure.
- Nominations of women and underrepresented minority faculty are strongly encouraged.
- Nominators often will be the chair or head of the faculty member’s department; when this is not the case, it is requested that a nominator submit a copy of the nomination materials to the appropriate head or chair for endorsement.
- Nominees need not come from the nominator’s own department.
- Department heads and chairs are themselves eligible for nomination.
- Past University Scholars are not eligible for the award.
The review panel will make its determinations based on the following required nomination materials, which must be included with all nominations. Conciseness and brevity are encouraged. Failure to supply all required materials may result in a returned application requiring further clarification and additions.
- Required Checklist – Checklist must be submitted as the first page of the nomination packet
- Nominee’s current curriculum vitae
- A detailed statement of justification from the nominator
- Outside letters of appreciation or recommendation should NOT be included
- Nominators should make every effort to include complete information on the history of the nominee’s research funding and external awards prizes.
- Nominators should keep in mind that nomination materials will be reviewed at the campus level by a panel of faculty from differing disciplines, i.e., non-specialists. For this reason, nominators are required to include a description of what criteria are especially important for defining excellence and national eminence in the nominee’s field of learning.
- All nominations must be routed through and carry the endorsement of the Dean of the respective College before submission to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. These nominations may be rank ordered.
- Please submit complete nomination packets at the link provided at the bottom of this webpage.
Awards of $15,000 per year will be made on a three-year basis to members of the faculty whose work is clearly superior. University Scholars may be individuals already on the University of Illinois faculty, or the awards may be used to attract faculty from other institutions to the University. Nominees for these awards will be carefully screened to assure that those selected are among the very best in their fields.
University Scholars award recipients will be notified by the President’s Office in late summer.
Award recipients will be recognized at the Faculty Awards Ceremony and Reception which is held annually on the last Wednesday of October.