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Success in Multidisciplinary Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity

Award Information

A major success of the public research university in the United States is that collaborators from across disciplines, perspectives, and career stages come together to pursue grand challenges problems that address grand challenges. Such teams represent a change in culture for universities, which historically have recognized achievements in research, scholarship, and creative activity within disciplinary areas, often at the individual scale. To encourage faculty to collaborate around major societal issues and challenges, this award was established for multidisciplinary research, scholarship, and creative activity.

Award Terms

This award recognizes the team with a $5,000 monetary award, split among team members. Awards will be conferred at the Academic Honors Banquet on Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

Award Priorities

This award recognizes a team of no less than three faculty members from more than one unit: academic college, department or outside entity who have succeeded in gaining major external resources and external recognition for their multidisciplinary research, scholarship, and creative activity.


Each UT faculty member must have a primary appointment in an academic unit within the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT), the UT Institute of Agriculture (UTIA), or the UT Space Institute (UTSI). Nominees must have a minimum of three years of service on the faculty of UT, UTIA, or UTSI.

Application Guidelines

Please include the following:

  1. Nomination Letters: Each Department Head associated with the multi-disciplinary team will provide an individual nomination letter using non-technical and jargon-free language. These letters must include:
    1. A description of the team’s research efforts and significance to a grand challenge.
    2. An explanation of why the nominated team’s research accomplishments are particularly noteworthy in addressing this grand challenge.
    3. A discussion of how the research accomplishments of the team have impacted individual disciplines.
    4. Evidence of how the nominated team has received national and/or international recognition in their respective fields.

Department Head’s letter must be provided on departmental letter head and is limited to two pages, single-spaced, 11-point typeface, and 1-inch margins.

  1. Supporting Documentation: Provide the following information for the multi-disciplinary team demonstrating joint collaboration only.* Full CVs will not be accepted.
    1. List any awards and peer recognition received by the research team relating to the multidisciplinary project, including national media.
    2. Articles in refereed journals (include year, volume, issue, page numbers)
    3. Abstracts and/or papers published as proceedings of professionally recognized organizations (include publisher and date)
    4. Chapters in books, non-refereed articles, etc. (give complete references)
    5. Monographs and other Books (include publisher and date)
    6. List research grants, contracts, fellowships, etc. in support of the multidisciplinary project. Include dates, total award amount, duration, and source for each.
    7. Provide names of graduate students involved in the multidisciplinary project, as well as the title of their theses and/or dissertations, any awards or recognition, date degrees were awarded, and placement, if applicable. Also provide names of any undergraduate researchers mentored, their project titles, and any awards or recognition.
    8. Provide evidence of national and international recognition for the project. Give dates and complete information. Also describe any national/international leadership roles or elected positions held within professional associations for all team members.

*Only publications directly associated with the multidisciplinary project should be provided in the nomination information.

Submission Process

  • Each Department Head provides a nomination letter for their faculty member on the team.
  • Department Head (or proxy) completes the online form, attaching the Department Heads’ nomination letters and supporting documentation.
  • Nominations that do not adhere to the guidelines will not be considered (e.g., exceeding page limits, failure to include all sections, etc.)

Review Process

  • Deadline: Department Head nominates faculty member by completing online application by January 17, 2024, 5:00 PM.
  • Evaluation: A subcommittee of the Research Council will evaluate the applications and make recommendations to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovative Initiatives.
  • Selection Results: One team will be selected and notified at the Academic Honors Banquet scheduled for May 1, 2024.

Please direct inquiries to:

Nomination Deadline

  • January 17, 2024

Nomination Form