Distinguished Scholar Award


The Distinguished Scholars Award recognizes outstanding mid-career faculty who create transformative innovations in their disciplines and make highly valued contributions to the teaching, research, and outreach priorities set out in the University's Strategic Plan.


Eligible candidates will be mid-career faculty, with priority given to those candidates of exceptional promise at the associate rank who have been promoted within the last six years at the University of Arizona.


Recipients will receive a one-time allocation of $10,000 in University funds to facilitate further work within their discipline and the title of Distinguished Scholar.


Candidates will be judged both on the evidence that they are achieving national/international recognition for ground-breaking innovations and on their broader contributions to research, teaching, and community engagement, including their efforts to meet the priorities set out in the University’s Strategic Plan.

Nomination Process

Any member of the University of Arizona community may submit a nomination. A nomination packet must be submitted with the following materials:

  • CV for the nominee, and
  • Four letters supporting the nomination.

These nomination letters should include one from a department head or program director, one from a UA faculty member (preferably from outside the candidate’s home department), one from the candidate’s college dean, and one from an external reviewer (with the permission of the reviewer, a letter from a recent promotion dossier may be used).

As an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, the University of Arizona recognizes the power of a diverse community and strongly encourages nominations of individuals with varied experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds.

Materials are to be submitted via UA Competition Space.

Review the nomination packet carefully before submitting to make sure that all of the required material is accurate and included. Packets that are incomplete may be delayed.

Due Date

The deadline for the Distinguished Scholars Award applications is 4:00 PM on Monday, December 2, 2019. UA Competition Space will not accept applications after the 4:00 p.m. deadline.

Selection Process

The nomination packet should be sent to the candidate's college dean.  Each dean will submit two or three nominations, depending in part on the number of faculty in the individual college.  Up to three Distinguished Scholars will be selected by the President from the recommendations of a committee comprised of Distinguished and Regents' Professors.


The recipient(s), if any, will be celebrated at the Pillars of Excellence Award ceremony in the Arizona Student Bookstore. Title will be effective in the beginning of the academic year.

Previous Recipients

View the list of Distinguished Scholars