The Research Achievement Awards aim to recognize faculty for their excellence in research and scholarship leading to the advancement of knowledge in their own fields and discoveries with significant impact on society.

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

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

Application Deadline:

Nominations are now closed.

Event: January 29, 2020 (by invitation only)

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. 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.

Research Mentor Award

Nominated by junior 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.  For Additional information on Public Impact Research see this report from the APLU.

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 $3,000 award to support their research related activities.

Innovator of the Year**

The highest honor bestowed on University of Virginia innovators, the Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year award recognizes an individual or team each year whose research discovery is making a major impact.

Award winners receive a $10,000 cash prize.

**The LVG team will manage nominations and review for Innovator of the Year. 

To nominate a UVA researcher or research team, please submit a nomination letter via email to

Nomination Process:

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

  1. Coversheet: Download template. [this includes name, title and school of nominee, name of award, and name, title of nominator; 200 words or less executive summary/abstract]
  2. Nomination letter (up to 2 pages): This letter should introduce the nominee to the review committee and provide an assessment of excellence and supporting documentation for consideration by the review committee. 
  3. One External Letter of Support (up to 2 pages): This letter is optional for all categories except for the Distinguished Researcher Award for which it is required.
  4. Nominee’s abbreviated curriculum vitae (2 pages for each CV): For a team nomination a max of three CVs.

All documents should be in Calibri, Font size 12. Combined in order listed. File name for PDF should be AwardName.NominatedFacultyLastname.FirstName (e.g. ResearchExcellence.Cole.Meredith)

Email completed nomination as a PDF to Meredith Cole by 5:00 pm, Monday, December 2, 2019


A committee will review the nominations for all the research awards in December 2019 and will make the final decisions on the winners.

**The LVG team will manage nominations and review for Innovator of the Year.

Winners will be announced in January 2020, and celebrated at an award ceremony and dinner reception on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at the Boar’s Head Pavilion. This event will also include the awarding of the Learning Ventures Group Innovator of the Year Award. By invitation only

*All funds (except Innovator of the Year) will be provided as internal PATO 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.