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Presidential Scholar Award

The Presidential Scholar Award has been created to support the work of exceptionally promising mid-career faculty in academic units across the campus. The purpose of the award is to promote retention of these talented individuals who are significant contributors to scholarship, education, and outreach at the University of Utah, and who are at particular risk of recruitment by other institutions. The Presidential Scholar Award is possible due to private support from a donor who is particularly interested in supporting the success of mid-career faculty. The aim is that the Presidential Scholar recognition becomes a noteworthy campus achievement and helps us retain and recognize talent as we strengthen the number of named professorships and chairs.

The Presidential Scholar Awards provide $10,000 in funding each year for three years. These funds may be used at the discretion of the faculty member to support their scholarly, teaching, and/or outreach activities. Funds need not be fully used each academic year and may be carried over from one year to the next.

Up to four new Presidential Scholar Awards will be made each year. The goal of the Presidential Scholar Award is to recognize exceptional achievement, generally between the time of the initial promotion to associate professor through the promotion to professor, with the aim of enhancing retention, supporting creative efforts, and ensuring that scholars remain at the U through the most productive time of their careers.


The Presidential Scholar Awards will recognize tenured faculty members, including those who are in the final stage of the tenure review process, who are established or emerging leaders with exceptionally strong scholarly recognitions, significant promise for continued achievement, and established contributions to our educational mission. Nominees should be scholars who have achieved a level of visibility in their field(s) that enhances vulnerability for external recruitment.


Deans of units with tenure-line faculty may submit one Presidential Scholar nomination each year (all main campus colleges, plus Dentistry, Health, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy). Deans should work with department chairs to identify associate professors who are particularly likely targets for outside recruitment and/or who would be particularly difficult losses for the institution if recruited away. Brief written nominations are due to the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs by July 12, 2024.

On rare occasions, off-cycle nominations for Presidential Scholar recognition will be considered, in instances of particularly urgent retention. Nominations should include a cover letter describing achievements, promise, and centrality to the unit of the nominee, as well as the nominee’s CV.

Nominations should be sent to Ann Holbrook at

For a list of the 2023 recipients, please go to this link: 

For a list of the 2022 recipients, please go to this link: 

For a list of the 2021 recipients, please go to this link: 

For a list of the 2020 recipients, please go to this link:

For a list of the 2019 recipients, please go to this link:

For a list of the 2017 recipients, please go to this link:

For a list of the 2016 recipients, please go to this link: