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Professional Promise in Research & Creative Achievement

Award Information

The Professional Promise in Research and Creative Achievement awards recognize tenured or tenure-track faculty members, at the assistant or associate professor rank, who have received national and/or international recognition in their fields and show professional promise in their areas of research and creative achievement.

These awards also encourage excellence in research and creative achievement, emphasize the critical role of research and creative achievement in the professional development of our faculty, and reinforce that faculty research and creative achievement are integral to the mission of the University of Tennessee.

Award Terms

Four recipients will each receive a $3,000 monetary award. Awards will be conferred at the Academic Honors Banquet on Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

Award Priorities

This award recognizes faculty who have received national and/or international recognition in their field and show promise (i.e., a continuing upward trajectory) for further achievement. Nominees should not be recognized for their first major achievement but should show a continuance of research or creative activity output. For example, an individual with a book and a chapter for the next volume would score higher than an individual with a book alone.


Nominees 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 be tenured or tenure-track faculty at the assistant or associate professor level, with no more than ten years of service as a tenure-line faculty member (cumulative across institutions) as of January 15, 2024. Further, nominees must have been a UT, UTIA, or UTSI tenure-line faculty member for at least three years as of January 17, 2024.

Application Guidelines

Please indicate items that have been subjected to external evaluation and those publications or proposals where the nominee is the senior author or the principal investigator.

  1. Nomination Letter: The Department Head (or proxy) will provide a letter of recommendation describing the quality of the nominee’s research or creative achievement using non-technical and jargon-free language. This letter must include:
    1. A clear description of departmental norms and expectations and an explanation of the nominee’s accomplishments in the context of those norms and expectations.
    2. An explanation of why a nominee’s particular accomplishments are noteworthy within their discipline.
    3. Evidence of how the nominee 1) has received national and/or international recognition in their field and 2) shows promise to make a significant impact on their discipline.

Must be written 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 last five years as a tenure-line faculty member. Full CVs will not be accepted.
    1. List performances exhibits, publications, papers, etc., with peer recognition. For all collaborative items, please delineate your contributions:
      1. Articles in refereed journals (include volume, issue, page numbers)
      2. Abstracts and/or papers published as proceedings of professionally recognized organizations (include publisher and date)
      3. Chapters in books, non-refereed articles, etc. (give complete references)
      4. Monographs and other books (include publisher and date)
      5. Performances (include dates, locations, audience)
      6. Exhibits (include dates, locations, audience)
      7. Other
    2. List grants, contracts, fellowships, etc., for the last five years. Include dates, total award amount and amount received by the nominee if more than one PI, duration, and source for each.
    3. Provide names of graduate students supervised for the last five years and the title of their theses and/or dissertations, any awards or recognition, the date degrees awarded, and placement. Also provide names of undergraduate researchers mentored, project titles, and any awards or recognition.
    4. Provide evidence of national and international involvement and recognition. Provide evidence of national/international recognition (include dates and complete information). Also describe any national/international leadership roles or elected positions held within professional associations 

Submission Process

  • Department Head provides a nomination letter for the faculty member who meets the eligibility requirements.
  • Department Head (or proxy) completes the online form, attaching the Department Head nomination letter 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, at 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: Four applicants 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