Teaching Awards and Special Opportunities

Teaching Awards and Special Opportunities

In support and celebration of teaching excellence, the University of Oregon offers a number of awards and other opportunities for faculty and graduate employee teaching practices. We encourage you to explore these awards and opportunities to find ones that may intersect with your teaching goals and interests.
Related Topics: Teaching Awards

Teaching Awards

CAIT Fellowships

The Teaching Engagement Program offers competitively awarded and funded fellows positions in its learning and leadership communities (CAITS). These small groups investigate topics of importance to UO’s teaching and learning culture from both pedagogical and institutional change perspectives.

Learn more.

Center for Undergraduate Research and Engagement Mentor Awards

These awards recognize outstanding faculty for their contribution to mentoring students in research and incorporating research into the classroom. Winners are given a framed plaque as well as a $2,400 prize.

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Distinguished Teaching Awards

Each year the University of Oregon recognizes a select group of faculty for excellence in teaching. Nominations come from faculty, students, and staff. The Distinguished Teaching Awards committee awards one Herman Award for Faculty Achievement and one Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching annually. Three additional faculty are recognized for Specialized Pedagogy, and one receives the Herman Award for Outstanding Online Education. These awards come with generous stipends, some awarded one time, some distributed annually throughout recipients’ teaching careers.

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Faculty Excellence in Universal Design Award

Excellence in Universal Design involves the development of flexible curriculum and instruction to ensure equity and access for all learners. The Accessible Education Center offers this $1,000 award each year.

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Sustainability Award for Teaching Excellence

The award recognizes faculty for the creative integration of principles of environmental, social, and economic sustainability through innovative curriculum design and instruction and for teaching and mentorship that inspires student engagement in sustainability projects on campus or beyond. Recipients are honored with a plaque and video about their teaching at a reception and dinner.

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Tykeson Teaching Awards

The Tykeson Teaching Awards are presented every year to one faculty member in each division of the College of Arts and Sciences: the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Recipients are recognized for their excellence in teaching and receive a certificate and $2,500 cash prize. The awards began in spring 2015.

Read about recent recipients.

Williams Fund

The Tom and Carol Williams Fund awards both fellowships and instructional grants each year.

Fellows are excellent teachers and have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to undergraduate education by challenging their students academically, creating an engaged and inclusive learning environment, striving to improve the learning process, and fostering interdepartmental collaboration. They receive a $5,000 award; a separate $5,000 award is given to the recipient's department, supervised by the recipient, to affect tangibly the teaching and learning experience of undergraduates in the department.

Instructional grants are awarded each year to individuals or groups based on proposals that allow teachers the opportunity to renew, broaden, restructure, or develop classes and curricula that actively engage students in the learning process.

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Undergraduate Advising Award

Excellent advisors foster personal and professional student growth by upholding the integrity of UO, cultivating academic excellence, providing outstanding student support, demonstrating an understanding of the cultural factors that impact student success and development, and engaging in professional development. Any faculty member who advises students in addition to other teaching and/or research responsibilities is eligible for this $2,000 award, which is presented each year.

Learn more.

Kimble First-Year Teaching Award (for graduate students)

The Kimble First-Year Teaching Award, named in honor of professor emeritus Dan Kimble, is jointly sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Graduate School, and the Division of Undergraduate Studies, and administered by the Teaching Engagement Program. The award recognizes outstanding teaching by graduate student instructors who have demonstrated a commitment to professional development and reflective practice. The annual prizes typically are awarded to one first-time lab or discussion section leader and to one first-time sole instructor. 

Learn more.


    Special Teaching and Student Engagement Opportunities

    • Propose a Freshman Interest Group (FIG). First-year Programs seeks to make incoming students’ transition to the University of Oregon “seamless, substantial, and rewarding.” Faculty can propose small, themed "Freshman Interest Groups” (FIGs), which allow students to take two thematically linked general education courses, along with a one-credit “College Connections” course to make interdisciplinary connections explicit and to give students targeted advising and academic research training. Some FIG students live together in the residence halls; all have undergraduate peer mentors that liaise with faculty and support students’ academic and social adjustment to UO. Faculty can receive special funds for co-curricular events and outings—such as hikes, concerts, or trips to, say, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival or the Oregon National Primate Research Center.
    • Incorporate resources from the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in your teaching. The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art invites faculty to incorporate its collections into their course design and offers ideas for everything from one-time visits to class-created exhibitions. Its Academic Support Fund can bring materials to UO and support performances, screenings, and artists’ visits, and symposia linked to course content. Find out more on the JSMA's faculty resource center page.
    • Engage students with UO Libraries Special Collections, which can get students working with primary source materials. Its staff can “assemble and present collections on specific subject areas” for classes and support small- or large- scale student research projects. The collections include “rich resources from the 19th and 20th centuries, many of which have not been explored. Your students could make important discoveries.”
    • Collaborate with the Museum of Natural and Cultural HistoryThe Museum is “Oregon's primary repository for anthropological and paleontological collections.” Its staff can work with classes on one-time visits or longer-term projects.
    • Apply for an Oregon Humanities Center professorship. OHC offers two annual professorships to support excellent teaching through course enrichment funds and summer stipends for faculty. Both invite applications from faculty who want to co-teach. The Wulf Professorship is held each year by faculty whose course examines and responds critically to ethical issues that confront individuals and society. The Coleman-Guitteau Professorship is held by faculty whose interdisciplinary course focuses on basic questions of human nature, conduct, and culture.
    • Apply for a project grant from the Wayne Morse Center for Law and PoliticsThe Center “brings scholars and activists to Oregon to discuss critical topics in the tradition of Senator Morse.” It awards multiple project grants of up to $10,000 each year to support community organizations, university faculty and departments, and student organizations. Awards help fund projects and educational events that are related to the center’s theme of inquiry.
    • Participate in University’s Housing’s “Dine on Meal Plan,” which facilitates faculty members’ out-of-class engagement with residential students. Send Kevin Hatfield, assistant vice provost for undergraduate research and director of academic residential & research initiatives, your 95# to activate five meals on your account.