The Research Achievement Awards recognize University of Virginia faculty every year for their excellence in research and scholarship.  We believe we are what we celebrate, so every year we recognize the accomplishments of our faculty. We also run a news story to highlight the 100 top researchers as the best and brightest of the year based on sponsored funding, publications, and awards. The awardees from the below categories will be invited to dinner with the President, Provost, and Vice President for Research at the Boar’s Head along with the top 100 researchers for 2024.

All current University of Virginia faculty are eligible for nomination by their colleagues under one of the nomination categories.

  • Emeritus faculty are not eligible for the awards. 
  • The awards honor the accomplishments of faculty over the course of their career, not just their research over the past 12 months. 
  • Please note that 2023 winners are not eligible for 2024 awards.

Faculty Research Awards: provide $3,000* internal funds for professional development or to enable research for selected winners.

Submission Due: Email to Sara Chiles by December 2, 2024 at 5:00 PM

Award Ceremony: TBA

Award Categories and Criteria:

Research Excellence Award

This award recognizes faculty members who have generated sufficient volume of scholarship of high quality and are emerging in their fields as leaders and acknowledged as such by their peers. A candidate must not be more than 10 years beyond receipt of the Ph.D. or M.D. degree, by December 31st of the year in which they are nominated.  

Number of Awards:  Up to three awards $3,000 each to support research related activities.

Distinguished Researcher Award

This award recognizes a faculty member for their excellence in research through significant discoveries and scholarship. It is intended for scholars who are making an impact in their field and on society, and are acknowledged as a leader in their field.

Number of Awards:  Up to three awards $3,000 each to support research related activities.

Research Collaboration Award

This award recognizes a team of faculty researchers (3 or more individual scholars) who have collectively made unique and significant contributions through their research collaboration. The award also recognizes innovative approaches to the process of research collaborations by a team of researchers.

Number of Awards:  One $5,000 award to support their collective research related activities.

Award for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities

This award recognizes a faculty member for their outstanding contributions to arts and humanities. It is intended for faculty who are creating new knowledge and creative works in their discipline that are acknowledged by their peers as meeting the highest standards in their fields. Often the work and its impact on society will have the potential of becoming a gold standard in the field.

Number of Awards:  Up to three awards $3,000 each to support activities in their field.

Research Mentor Award

Nominated by faculty mentee(s), this award recognizes faculty members for their dedicated and extraordinary efforts to help others succeed in their research careers. This award is intended to recognize mentoring of faculty members, not students or others. 

Number of Awards:  One $3,000 award to support their research related activities.

Public Impact Focused Research

This award recognizes contributions by faculty from all academic disciplines who help to improve lives and serve society through their work. The award includes individuals who demonstrate public impact either through public outreach or dissemination of their work, or through direct public partnership and engagement with a particular community. The former includes proactively sharing research or viewpoints on research and policy issues with the public via traditional or new media channels, while the latter means working with a particular community on a community research project designed for positive impact. Methods and approaches should be demonstrated within the planning phase of the research. This award acknowledges that both efforts serve the larger mission of creating and disseminating knowledge across all disciplines for the benefit of the community, the region and the world.  

Notable characteristics of Public Impact Focused Research include the following:

  • Broad participation and engagement, which includes external stakeholders, experts, university researchers, students, and diverse members of the community—potentially including global partners. 
  • Creation or synthesis of new knowledge or understanding, with benefit to the public the central purpose of any public impact project —and often responding to the needs of a particular community.
  • Involvement of researchers from multiple disciplines. 
  • Outcomes of such research may be transitioned to commercial or non-profit organizations or to communities for actual deployment in the “real world.”

Number of Awards:  One to three awards of $3,000 each to support their research related activities.

Rath Public Service Focused Research Award

The Bhakta Rath Research Award, established in 2022 by a gift from Dr. Bhakta B. Rath and his wife, Sushama Rath, offers an opportunity to promote and reward excellence in Public Impact Research (PIR).

Recipients of this award will be a graduate student or postdoc and their collaborating UVA faculty member. The award recognizes those who conduct exceptional research in anticipation of the future needs of the nation while supporting potential advances in PIR, and will continue to apply this knowledge upon establishing a career within the U.S. or its territories. Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Does the work have a Public Impact?
  • Does the work have a major scientific or technological impact?
  • Has it created new knowledge with the potential for transformational capabilities?
  • Has it fundamentally improved the scientific and technological knowledge base?
  • Does it have the potential for transitioning the findings to an industrial sector?

More information available on this page.

Nomination Process:

All nomination packages for the research awards should include the following:

  1. Nomination Form: Download template
  2. Optional one External Letter of Support* (up to 2 pages)   
    1. *This letter is optional for all categories except for the Distinguished Researcher Award for which it is required.
  3. Nominee’s abbreviated curriculum vitae (2 pages for each CV): For a team nomination a max of three CVs. 

Email completed nomination ideally as a PDF to Sara Chiles by December 2, 2024 at 5:00 PM


Please note: 

A committee will review the nominations for all the research awards and will make the final decisions on the winners.

Winners will be announced in January 2025, and the award ceremony will be held in 2025 at The Boar's Head Pavilion.

*All funds will be provided as internal funds for faculty use in their department. These funds will be available for a max of 24 months.


Can you self-nominate for the awards? 


Are the nominations limited submissions (by school/department)?


What do you mean by external letter of recommendation?

The letter of recommendation should come from someone outside of the University of Virginia. It is only required for the Distinguished Researcher Award.