Research Awards 

The Office of Research has many opportunities for faculty to be recognized in their achievement in research. Whether you research independently, mentor undergraduates, or tutor graduate students, there are opportunities for you to be recognized. Please read below to see what awards you could be eligible for.

D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award

Named after USU’s first Vice President for Research, D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award is given to an individual on the USU campus who has completed outstanding research in his or her career.

The award is given annually to one outstanding university researcher who is recommended by a committee of peers, all previous award recipients. Nominees are evaluated for the significance and quality of their research and creative achievement and recognition by national and international experts.

Nomination Procedures

Nominations for the D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award are due to the Office of Research electronically or by hard copy by 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, 2019. To complete a nomination, fill out the online nomination form.

The D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award is Utah State’s most prestigious career research recognition for senior faculty, and it includes a $5,000 honorarium. The basis of selection for the award is the significance and quality of research or creative achievement, as distinct from service or teaching. Recognition of one’s work by experts of national and international reputation is a key indicator of its importance; hence, evaluations from outside the university will be sought for each full professor nominee.

Any faculty member, department, or college within the university may make nominations for the Thorne Award, but nominators should submit only one candidate. The following materials should be submitted in support of nominations:

  • The faculty nominee must be a current employee of USU or have retired within the past 12 months prior to submission.
  • Nominees not selected from the previous year are automatically carried forward once for consideration the following year.
  • Nominees not selected either of two consecutive years must remain out of the process for one selection cycle before resubmitting a package.
  • Nominee will be available on campus the week of February 9 for a video shoot if selected as the awardee.
  • Name and A # of nominee
  • Curriculum vitae of the nominee in standard format including a complete list of publications, awards, sponsored projects, and other recognitions by peers – international, national and regional.
  • A letter of nomination not to exceed five pages. This letter should be a summary of the nominee’s relevant accomplishments, with particular attention to such issues as the impact of their contributions through research or creative activities (please include citation or other recognition data), evidence of originality and creativity, and probable long-range significance of their work. Not all members of the review committee will be experts in the nominee’s field; descriptions of contributions should be written with this in mind.
  • A list of six recognized experts (including all contact information) in the field from whom the review committee may request evaluations. The people listed should be familiar with the nominee’s work; the opinions of nationally and internationally recognized experts are most persuasive. Letters of recommendation are not to be included with the nominating letter; these will be solicited from the list provided.
  • Nominations can be submitted by any current faculty member of the University.
  • The D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award Committee will review all nominations.
  • The committee will review their analysis of the candidates with the Vice President for Research.
  • The Vice President for Research will carry the committee’s recommendations into discussion with the President of the University.
  • The President of the University will select the D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Awardee.
  • Deadline for online and hard copy submissions to the Office of Research is OCTOBER 15, 2018.
  • Recipient will receive a $5,000 monetary award.
  • Recipient will be honored during Research Week events April 8-12, 2019.
  • Recipient will be asked to give the annual D. Wynne Thorne Lecture during Research Week the following year.
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Faculty Researcher of the Year Award

Beginning in 2008, the Vice President for Research has selected the University Faculty Researcher of the Year from the pool of College Researchers of the Year that are chosen annually by each of the eight academic colleges.

The Office of Research will oversee a selection committee that will include College Researchers of the Year from prior years. The University Researcher of the Year is announced during Research Week in April.

Nomination Procedures

  • The faculty nominee must be a current employee of USU or have retired within the past 12 months prior to submission.
  • The faculty nominee must be the newly-selected College Researcher of the Year for this college.
  • Name and A # of nominee
  • Curriculum vitae of the nominee in standard format including a complete list of publications, awards, sponsored projects, and other recognitions by peers – international, national and regional.
  • A letter from the department head summarizing the impact of the awardees’ research, scholarship or creative activity on the department and its programs over the past 3 years.
  • 200-word bio of the nominee
  • Current photograph (professional-type headshot preferred)
  • The following information must be easily identified in the submitted Curriculum vitae or it must be submitted as separate lists:
    1. A list of honors and awards indicating recognition of the nominee’s research, scholarship or creative activity at the national or international level over the past 3 years.
    2. A list of research, scholarship or creative publications for the past 3 years. This list should clearly denote graduate and undergraduate coauthors.
    3. A list of off-campus participation in research, scholarship or creative works for the past 3 years (e.g. invited seminars, conference presentations, performances). This list should also clearly denote graduate and undergraduate coauthors.
    4. A list of all extramural support that has been secured over the past 3 years, with outcomes (if known).
    5. A list of the names of completed MS and PhD students, and undergraduate researchers mentored over the past 3 years.
  • College deans’ offices will fill out the online form to submit one nominee for consideration.
  • A committee appointed by the Vice President for Research will review nominees and recommend an individual for the University Faculty Researcher of the Year Award.
  • Deadline for online submission to the Office of Research is JANUARY 31, 2020.
  • University award will be announced at USU’s Robins Awards ceremony.
  • University award winner will receive a $2,000 monetary award.
  • Recipients will be honored at USU’s Research Gala, held during Research Week.
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Graduate Mentor of the Year

The University Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award recognizes faculty excellence in the complex process of mentoring graduate students to prepare them for productive careers. Nominees should be effective advisors who facilitate degree completion, model sound scholarship and ethical behavior, help students understand and benefit from departmental and university resources, provide emotional support, offer constructive criticism, and involve students in publishing and other professional activities.

The $2,000 award is presented during Research Week in April.

Nomination Procedures

Nominees must be a USU faculty member (tenured, tenure-track or adjunct), current or retired within the past 12 months.

  • Name and A # of nominee
  • Curriculum vitae of the nominee (no more than 3 pages)
  • A statement from the nominee of the nominee’s mentoring philosophy (no more than 1 page)
  • Up to 3 letters of support. Writers should address specific examples of mentor’s work and effectiveness drawn from current students, past graduates, or faculty colleagues. One of the letters may be submitted collectively by current students.
  • In order to provide discipline-specific context, a department description (maximum of 1 page in length) of what excellent mentoring in this field looks like, what types of activities would be expected in this field, and the significance of job placement after graduation.
  • A nomination letter by the department head, limited to 2 pages.
  • A list of the nominee’s past graduate advisees and their current positions/activities (no page limit).
  • A cumulative list of nominee’s publications/presentations/exhibitions/awards with graduate students.
  • 200-word bio of the nominee.
  • Colleges should seek broad input for nominations including specific outreach to RCDE faculty in the department.
  • Each college may submit one nominee for consideration using the online submission form.
  • A committee appointed by the Vice President for Research will review nominees and recommend an individual for the University Outstanding Graduate Mentor of the Year Award.
  • Individuals who are not chosen for the award in the year they were nominated will remain in the nomination pool for a second year. The nominating college may update nomination materials for those individuals.
  • Deadline for online submission to the Office of Research is JANUARY 31, 2020.
  • University-wide recipient will receive a $2,000 monetary award.
  • Recipient will be recognized in the graduate student commencement program.
  • Recipient will be recognized at Research Week ceremonies, including the annual research Gala and the student research awards ceremony.
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Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year Award

This award was inaugurated in 2003 to recognize outstanding faculty as mentors of undergraduate researchers. Faculty who mentor undergraduate researchers are characterized as counselors and guides who encourage, instruct, and advocate. A good faculty mentor provides a role model for methods of inquiry in a field of study and for the responsible conduct of research.

Good mentors often provide students with their first entry into professional circles and support the dissemination of the student’s work as through professional conference participation or publication.

Nomination Procedures

  • The faculty nominee must be a current employee of USU or have retired within the past 12 months prior to submission.
  • The faculty nominee must be the newly selected College Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year for this college.
  • Name and A # of nominee
  • 200-word bio of the nominee
  • Current photograph (professional-type headshot preferred)
  • Curriculum vitae of the nominee with an emphasis on undergraduate student mentoring
  • Up to 3 letters of support from current or former undergraduate students. Writers should address specific examples of mentor’s work and effectiveness.
  • A nomination letter by the dean or department head, limited to 2 pages
  • Colleges will conduct college specific processes to select College Undergraduate Research Mentors of the Year Awardees. 
  • Colleges are urged to specifically reach out to all appropriate RCDE units for inclusion in their college-wide processes.
  • Deans will complete the online form to submit one name.
  • Deadline for online submission to the Office of Research is JANUARY 31, 2020.
  • A $500 monetary award will be given to each of the eight colleges’ recipients.
  • An additional $500 award will be given to the university-wide winner for a total of $1000.
  • Recipients will be recognized during Research Week. 
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