Excellence Award for Directors of Graduate Studies

The director of graduate studies is a faculty member charged with managing the essentials of the graduate program.

This may include oversight of, or involvement in, graduate student recruitment and admissions, orientation and training, fellowships and funding, and GE appointments, assignments, and supervision.

The Graduate School seeks to recognize those faculty members in this position who exceed expectations by making innovative or unique contributions that positively impact the quality of the graduate program and/or student experience.

The Award

One award will be made.

The award recipient will receive a $500 research/travel award in their name to be granted to a graduate student in their department.

The award recipient will also receive a plaque commemorating the award and will be recognized at the Distinguished Teaching and Research Faculty Excellence Awards ceremony.


Complete nomination packets are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22, 2020.

Eligibility and Nomination Process

To be eligible, the faculty member must have served as director of graduate studies or graduate program director for at least one full academic year at the time of nomination.

Nominations may come from graduate students, faculty members, department heads, school/college deans, or department/college staff members relevant to the graduate program. Nominations must be submitted as a single pdf by the deadline stated below and include:

  • A letter of nomination that addresses the nominee’s years of service as the director of graduate studies or graduate program director and includes specific examples of contributions, innovative ideas, and/or other accomplishments that demonstrate the nominee’s success in improving the quality of the graduate program (2 page maximum).

    The letter of nomination should include the author’s full name, role/title, and email address and may be signed by one nominator or a group of nominators.

  • Letters of support that provide specific examples of the nominee’s contributions, innovations, or accomplishments.

    One of these letters must be authored by one or more students. Additional letters can come from graduate students, faculty, or staff members.

    These may be signed by one supporter or a group of supporters.

    Up to three letters (other than the letter of nomination) will be reviewed by the committee. Please limit letters of support to one page each.

Submit a Nomination

Selection Criteria and Process

Nominations will be evaluated by a committee including Graduate School staff, Graduate School deans, and a member of the Graduate School Student Advisory Board.

Successful nominations will include examples that highlight ways in which the nominee’s contributions:

  • Demonstrate wise, innovative, and effective management of the graduate program
  • Demonstrate positive impact on program quality
  • Demonstrate positive impact on graduate students themselves
  • Effectively convey how these contributions are important to the success of the graduate program

Selection results will be provided by email to those who nominated and to the nominees in early June.