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FY22 Program Information

Program Purpose | Eligibility Requirements | Nominee Evaluation Criteria
Required Nomination Materials | Nomination Deadline | Submit a Nomination | Contact


Program Purpose

The Distinguished Research Award (DRA) recognizes outstanding achievements in research by University of Utah tenured faculty. Up to three awards for outstanding achievements in research are awarded to University of Utah tenured 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. Nominations are accepted once per year for this award.


Eligibility Requirements

Only tenured faculty who have held an appointment 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.

Priority for awards and recognition will be given to nominated faculty belonging to historically underrepresented groups. Deans are encouraged to guide award nominations committees to any available training programs in implicit and unconscious bias hosted by the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO).


Nominee Evaluation Criteria

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. Evidence of impact and significance generally includes one or both of 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 equity, diversity, and inclusivity in their discipline, department, and/or research.

Required Nomination Materials 

  1. DRA Cover Page (PDF Format ONLY)
    Cover Page must include all nominee AND nominator information listed below.
    • Nominee First and Last Name
    • Nominee Email
    • Nominee Full Title
    • Nominee Department and College
    • Nominee Tenure Home
    • Nominator First and Last Name
    • Nominator Email
    • Nominator Full Title
    • Nominator Department and College 
  2. Letter of Nomination (2 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 equity, diversity, and inclusivity in their discipline, department, and/or research.
    • Other relevant and unique accomplishments that further qualify them for the DRA
  3. Nominee's CV (PDF Format ONLY)
  4. Letters of Recommendation* (PDF Format ONLY)
    Each nominator must provide between 3 (minimum) and 5 (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. TWO of the requested letters should be from individuals affiliated with the University of Utah, ONE of the requested letters should 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.

    *The VPR Office will no longer be soliciting letters of recommendation on behalf of the nominee/nominator. Letters of recommendation must be included in the submitted nomination package. The deadline for this opportunity has been pushed back to allow nominators ample time to procure these letters.

Nomination Deadline

 Nominations are due by 5:00pm (MST) on Friday, January 7th, 2022. Late nominations will not be accepted. 


Submit a Nomination 

Nominations should be submitted via email. Please CLICK HERE to submit your nomination! 


For questions about the DRA program, please contact
Tyler Matsamas at vprgrants@utah.edu

Last Updated: 10/15/21