Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity Award - Criteria

Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity Award - Criteria

Purpose of Award

To recognize and encourage excellence in academic research, creative activity, scholarship, and mastery of subject matter by faculty at Penn State Harrisburg.  Nominations may be based on a long record of research/scholarly productivity, a recent publication of particularly high quality, recent receipt of significant research funding, or other meritorious achievement.  Nominees will be expected to also demonstrate appropriate quality of service in the areas of teaching and citizenship within the College.


To be eligible for this award, a candidate must hold a full-time tenured faculty position at Penn State Harrisburg. Candidates must been a faculty on campus for a minimum of three years. Previous recipients of this award will not be eligible to receive it again for another period of five years, and then only with evidence for new meritorious achievements in research/scholarship.

Nomination Procedure

Each faculty member/administrator at Penn State Harrisburg may submit one research/ scholarship award nomination no later than the deadline, as posted on the Faculty and Staff Awards page.

The nominee, who should be notified promptly of the nomination, will supply all the appropriate supporting materials to the Office of Research and Outreach by the deadline set above for their receipt.

Description of the Award

The Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity award will consist of a $500 check and a framed certificate.
The names of the yearly winners will be inscribed on a plaque located outside the Office of Research and Outreach.
The award will be presented at the annual Faculty/Staff Awards Convocation in March and the recipient will be asked to present a talk on their work in the Faculty Seminar during Research Week in April.


The Associate Dean for Research and Outreach will facilitate the selection process, which will consist of three levels of review:

  1. A faculty review committee will consist of past Research Awardees or selected high level researchers, one from each School chosen by the Associate Dean of Research and Outreach in consultation with the School Directors.  The members will be selected after receipt of all nominations a) to ensure proper disciplinary expertise to review the nominations and b) to avoid, in so far as possible, conflicts of interest.  After the Associate Dean charges the committee, Committee members will meet to discuss the nomination and prepare a report of the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate to forward to the Associate Dean for the next step in the selection process.  All discussions will be considered confidential.
  2. Nominations for the award will be referred to a second committee consisting of the School Directors. This committee will determine which nominations to forward to the Chancellor for final consideration for the award.
  3. The Chancellor will make the final award selection.  Importantly, the Chancellor may decide to not make an award if they feel that none of the nominees has provided evidence of sufficient meritorious achievement in research/scholarship.

Supporting Materials

Each nominator and candidate should provide sufficient supporting material to give the review committees a thorough understanding of the quality of the candidate’s research/scholarship activities, including for example the following information:

  1. A standard nomination form indicating the candidate's name, school, and the reasons for supporting the nomination in lay person’s terms accessible to faculty in all disciplines.
  2. A personal statement prepared by the nominee explaining the objectives of their research/ scholarship project and the significance in lay person’s terms.  The candidates should provide documents that emphasize the broad based trajectory of their research and how it has (and expects to) impacted the discipline.  The language of this section of the research statement and nomination letter should be understandable across the areas of work so that a generalizable appreciation for the value of the research can be appreciated by all of the reviewers, especially those outside the field.
  3. Documentation attesting to the nominee's superior performance in the areas of research and scholarship. Due by the deadline posted on the Faculty and Staff Awards page.

Suggested materials include:

  • Curriculum vita or resume
  • Copies of up to 5 key papers or other publications related to the work for which the faculty member has been nominated
  • Other materials that attest to the quality of the work
  • Peer review letters from up to 4 colleagues supporting the quality of research and scholarly activities of the nominee; the strongest letters are those from colleagues in the field, but external to the College.

The Associate Dean will carry out the review process, including assembling the review committees as described above.