The University of Massachusetts Amherst

SBS Awards

SBS Dean's Research Excellence Award

The SBS Dean's Research Excellence Award was introduced in the spring of 2016 and recognizes distinguished achievement in scholarship and research. Award recipients will receive a $1,000 prize and a plaque at an SBS event.

Award Eligibility

Tenure line faculty at all ranks are eligible for the award. Self-nominations are welcome, as well as nominations from faculty peers, Departmental Personnel Committees, and Department Chairs. The types of achievement envisioned should be within the last five years and include:

  • The winning of a prestigious prize.
  • Receipt of distinguished awards from one's peers.
  • Receipt of a major grant.
  • Noteworthy publications in the field.

Award Timeline

The deadline for nominations is March 27, 2020.

Nomination Criteria

  • Letter of nomination from nominating person.
  • Candidate’s CV.
  • Scholarly materials sufficient to allow evaluation of their merits.


SBS Dean's Research Excellence Award past recipients.

SBS Faculty and Staff Professional Development Awards

SBS Staff Professional Development Award

These awards are open to all full-time staff within SBS and are intended to provide professional development opportunities not otherwise available through existing units. Opportunities may include conference attendance, trainings, webinars, bringing in outside speakers or trainers, and other forms of professional development.

Applications are due no later than March 1, 2019. We anticipate at least ten award recipients per year, of up to $1,000 each from SBS, to be matched 1:1 by departments, for a total maximum award of $2,000 per person or group. Departments that provide staff with professional development funds can redeploy those funds towards the departmental match.


SBS Research Development Award

These awards are open to full-time tenure system SBS Associate Professors and are intended to promote the development and sustenance of research that will lead to promotion to Professor and continued scholarly achievement. Preference will be given to faculty who have been at the rank of Associate Professor for 5 or more years and those whose progress towards promotion has been constrained by significant service obligations.

Applications are due no later than November 1, 2019. We anticipate up to two awards per year. Ideally, this award will be attached to a one-semester sabbatical, effectively providing the awardee with a full year’s leave and limiting the service burden on the department. Each award recipient will receive:

  1. Semester-long release from teaching, with departments compensated by the college
  2. Departmental and college service leave for one semester
  3. A research stipend up to $3500


SBS Professional Development Award for Full-Time Non-Tenure System Faculty

These awards are open to full-time faculty outside the tenure system and are intended to recognize past achievements in teaching, advising, leadership, and service and provide opportunities to further enhance success in these areas.

Applications are due no later than November 1, 2019. We anticipate at least 8 awards per year, of up to $1,000 each from SBS, to be matched 1:1 by departments, for a total maximum award of $2,000 per person. The awards can be used for conference attendance, curricular development, research related to teaching/advising, and other responsibilities related to the faculty member’s position.


SBS Faculty and Staff Professional Development Awards Past Recipients

SBS Outstanding Staff Award

The SBS Outstanding Staff Award was instituted in 2015 to recognize the contributions and impact of SBS staff members. Recipients have demonstrated impact through one or more of the following:

  • Growth in areas of responsibility.
  • Improved a work process or system that significantly increated efficiency or resulted in a fiscal savings.
  • Performed duties with superior integrity and dedication.
  • Favorably represents their office, administrative unit, SBS, and university.
  • Fosters collaboration.
  • Creates a positive and motivating work environment.

The deadline for nominationsis April 3, 2020.


SBS Outstanding Staff Award past recipients.

SBS Outstanding Teaching Award

The SBS Outstanding Teaching Award was instituted in 1995 to augment the University Distinguished Teaching Award by recognizing a larger number of talented teachers within SBS. Candidates for the SBS Outstanding Teaching Award are nominated by their peers and selected by the SBS Outstanding Teaching Award Committee, which is chaired by the Senior Associate Dean for Education and Student Development.

Award Process

Each program in the college is invited to nominate one candidate for the SBS Outstanding Teaching Award. The programs are: Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Journalism, Landscape Architecture, Legal Studies, Political Science, Resource Economics, Social Thought and Political Economy, Sociology, Sustainable Community Development, and the School of Public Policy.

Nominations are made by department personnel committees and/or department chairs.

Award Eligibility

Any full-time faculty member who has been a member of SBS for a minimum of three years and who has taught at least two semesters before being nominated.

Faculty who have received the Distinguished Teaching Award or the SBS Outstanding Teaching Award within the past five years are not eligible.

Award Timeline

The deadline for nominations was February 12, 2019. The next award cycle's deadline will be announced soon.

Nomination Package

The nomination package must include the following documents:

  • One letter of support signed by the personnel committee chair and/or department chair. The letter should include an explanation of the department's procedures for evaluating teaching and how the nominee’s record reaches the level of outstanding.
  • Summary of teaching activities from the last 3 Annual Reports. In addition to credits and enrollments in courses, the summary may include activities such as: advising, mentoring, program administration, curriculum and/or teaching innovations, etc.
  • Samples of course syllabi.
  • Quantitative evaluations of teaching for the past 3 years. Please include percentage of students responding for each course. If only qualitative evaluations are available, indicate the percentage responding for each course and submit all student evaluations for each course, not just selected samples.

The following documents are recommended, but not required:

  • Qualitative evaluations of teaching from past 3 years. Please submit a maximum of a five-page summary of student comments. Please do not submit all written evaluations.
  • A maximum of five letters of support from students and/or faculty colleagues. Please be sure that the letters focus on the nominee’s teaching, mentoring, and related activities.


SBS Outstanding Teaching Award past recipients.

SBS Senior Lecturer Professional Improvement Fellowship

The SBS Senior Lecturer Professional Improvement Fellowship provides a one-semester release for select non-tenure-track faculty in the College who have achieved the rank of Senior Lecturer or above, to engage in professional improvement activities that directly relate to their job responsibilities and/or advance important initiatives of the College or their department.

Each recipient shall, upon completion of the fellowship, file a detailed report of their activities with their Department Chair and Dean.

Award Eligibility

Applicants must have achieved the rank of Senior Lecturer or Senior Lecturer II to apply.

Award Timeline

The deadline for applications was February 22, 2019. Applications will be reviewed by the College Review Committee, the Dean, and finally the Provost. The Provost will award fellowships by April 5, 2019.

Award Criteria

Applications must include a CV, a current job description, and a detailed fellowship proposal.

The proposal should describe how the fellowship will be used to develop and expand the applicant’s expertise and future contributions to the College or their department. In evaluating applications, the College will prioritize activities that advance the mission of the College, its departments, and programs.