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 the Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research: tenure-system and specialized faculty are eligible. The award consists of an honorarium and a personalized commemorative plaque.


  • Tenure-system or specialized faculty
  • who have taught on the Urbana-Champaign campus for at least 5 years as of the first day of the current academic year.
  • 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;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; and,
  • 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.

Individuals who have been nominated during a particular year should not serve on the departmental selection committee during that same year.

Nomination packets must include all materials described below. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination:

  • The standard cover page (Attachment A) with the appropriate signatures.
  • 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 including a well-articulated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through their mentoring. (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.)

*Letters from students should be solicited by the departmental selection committee, not the nominee. The nominee may be asked to suggest names.


Previous Recipients
Award RecipientDepartmentAward Year
Alison BellEvolution, Ecology, & Behavior2023
Shannon MejiaKinesiology & Community Health2023
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


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.