The Distinguished Research Award (DRA) is a prestigious faculty award designed to recognize outstanding achievements in research by three University of Utah faculty each year. This prestigious research award provides the faculty member with a $10,000 grant to pursue research and/or creative pursuits and recognition at the UofU Commencement. Nominees are evaluated on the impact and significance of their career research or scholarly work to their field, as well as to the improvement and enrichment of the human condition (see the "Review Process and Evaluation Criteria" section of this webpage for full details.) Nominations are accepted once per academic year.
Faculty members who have held an appointment (.50 FTE minimum) with the University of Utah for a minimum of five years are eligible to receive this award. Nominations may be made by any faculty member, department, or college within the University.
Nominations are due by 11:59pm (MST) on Wednesday, December 13th, 2023. Nominations must be submitted using InfoReady. Late nominations will not be accepted.
Required Nomination Materials
- Letter of Nomination (three-page maximum, single-spaced, PDF Format ONLY)
The Letter of Nomination should speak to the nominee's:
- Strong record of scholarly publications, creative works, research grants, community-based research, and/or other evidence of research success
- Evidence of innovation or breakthrough achievement that has had a transformative effect on the nominee's scholarly discipline and/or on society
- Convincing and demonstrated history of broadening or enhancing societal impact and sense of community in their discipline, department, and/or research.
- Other relevant and unique accomplishments that further qualify them for the DRA
- Nominee's CV (PDF Format ONLY)
- Letters of Recommendation (PDF Format ONLY)
Each nominator must provide between two (minimum) and five (maximum) letters of recommendation on behalf of the nominee. The letter writers should be a people of stature in the nominee’s field that can adequately speak to the impact of your nominee’s research. ONE of the requested letters must be from individuals affiliated with the University of Utah, ONE of the requested letters must be from an individual that is external to the University (past collaborators, mentors/colleagues from other universities, etc.) The optional letters of support (up to 5 total) may come from either internal or external sources.
Review Process and Evaluation Criteria
DRA nominations are reviewed by a campus-wide committee of the nominee's peers, past DRA awardees, and University senior leadership. Award recommendations are first presented to the VPR (Vice President for Research). After receiving VPR approval, award recommendations are presented to the University President. The President provides final approval for all DRA award recommendations.
Nominees are primarily evaluated on the impact and significance of their career research or scholarly work to their field, as well as to the improvement and enrichment of the human condition. Evidence of impact and significance generally includes the following:
- A long and sustained record of research and scholarly publications, creative works, research grants, or community-engaged research.
- A breakthrough, innovation, or achievement that has had a transformative effect on the nominee’s scholarly discipline and/or on society.
- A convincing and demonstrated history of broadening or enhancing societal impact and sense of community in their discipline, department, and/or research.