Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research


A well-crafted nomination for this award would clearly address sustained excellence and innovation in guiding undergraduate research. This award is designed to foster and to reward excellence in involving and guiding undergraduate students in scholarly research. Up to two recipients will be selected to receive this award: one tenure-system faculty and one specialized faculty. The award consists of an honorarium and a personalized commemorative plaque.


Nominations are only accepted from colleges. Contact your college to determine its deadline for departmental submissions.

February 1 – Deadline for college nominations to be submitted.

Early March – Recipient(s) and their nominator(s) will be notified.

April – Awards are presented at the annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence.

*When a deadline falls on a weekend or campus holiday, nominations will be due the next business day.



  • Tenure-system faculty member at Illinois
  • Taught on the Urbana-Champaign campus for at least 5 years
  • Has not won this award in the previous 10 years

Specialized Faculty:

  • Specialized faculty member at Illinois
  • Taught on the Urbana-Champaign campus for at least 5 years
  • Has not won this award in the previous 10 years

Evaluation Criteria

  • Sustained excellence in involving and guiding undergraduate students in research projects
  • Positive impact on student scholarship or intellectual development
  • Innovative approaches to guiding undergraduate research
  • Other contributions to guiding undergraduate research (e.g., developing courses and curricula; leading workshops on mentoring undergraduates in research; advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning; or making other multidimensional contributions to enhancing undergraduate research; etc.)


A nomination may be submitted by students, faculty members, administrators, or alumni, and should be submitted to a departmental selection committee.* (See Selection section below for additional information.)

*The selection committee should include at least one graduate student member. Note that faculty members who have been nominated during a particular year should not serve on the committee during that same year.

Nomination packets must include all materials described below, and should be formatted in 12-point Times New Roman or equivalent font; single-spaced; and 1-inch margins. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination:

  • The standard cover page (Attachment A) with the appropriate signatures. (Not to exceed 1 page.)
  • A nomination letter addressing each of the Evaluation Criteria described above. The nomination letter should indicate why the nominee is exceptional as an excellent mentor of undergraduate research. (Not to exceed 3 pages.)
  • A philosophy statement provided by the nominee. This statement should include a discussion of the challenges, methods, and goals of guiding undergraduate research. (Not to exceed 2 pages.)
  • Two letters of support* from current or past undergraduate students, preferably one current student and one alumnus. (See Attachment C for a sample solicitation letter.) (Not to exceed 2 pages each.)

*NOTE: Letters from students should be solicited by the departmental selection committee, not the nominee. The nominee may be asked to suggest some names and the department should add some names.



Nominations should be submitted first to a departmental committee. This committee will select its final candidates to forward to the college. (The college may establish a limit for the number of candidates each departmental committee can submit.)

A college committee, which should include at least one undergraduate student member, will select the final candidate nominations to submit to campus.

Nominations are only accepted from colleges and must be submitted to tab-awards@illinois.edu. The nomination deadline is 11:59 p.m. February 1. If this date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is 11:59 p.m. the next business day.


The campus selection process is overseen by the Teaching Advancement Board, and is advisory to the Provost. Recipient(s) and their nominator(s) will be notified by early March. Awards are presented at the annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence.

Previous Recipients
Award RecipientDepartmentAward Year
Kristin HogansonHistory2022
Michael LembeckAerospace Engineering2022
Helen NguyenCivil & Environmental Engineering2021
Denise LoydBusiness Administration2021
Jennifer HardestyHuman Development & Family Studies2020
Darko MarinovComputer Science2020
Kiel ChristiansonEducational Psychology2019
Mei ShenChemistry2019
Scott WhiteAerospace Engineering2018
Rizwan UddinNuclear, Plasma, & Radiological Engineering2017
Janet Carter-BlackSocial Work2017
Becky FullerAnimal Biology2016
Mark RoodCivil & Environmental Engineering2015
Philippe GeubelleAerospace Engineering2014
Amy Wagoner JohnsonMechanical Science & Engineering2013
Isaac CannAnimal Sciences2012
Scott SilvermanChemistry2011
Timothy StrathmannCivil & Environmental Engineering2010
David N. RuzicNuclear, Plasma & Radiological Engineering2009
Jeffrey WoodsKinesiology & Community Health2008
Edward McAuleyKinesiology & Community Health2007
Eric OldfieldChemistry2006
Darrel J. KeslerAnimal Sciences2005
Dorothy EspelageEducational Psychology2004
Yi LuChemistry2003
Robert M. SkirvinNatural Resources & Environmental Sciences2002
Arlette Ingram WillisCurriculum & Instruction2001
Michael J. PlewaCrop Sciences2000
Juliet E. K. WalkerHistory1999
Jay D. BassGeology1998
William T. GreenoughPsychology1997
Edward F. DienerPsychology1996
Theodore HymowitzAgronomy1995


For more information about Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction, contact the Office of the Provost at tab-awards@illinois.edu or 217-333-6677.