Founders Week Awards Criteria


The Faculty Senate is charged with creating written criteria for assessing candidates for Founders Week awards in four categories: teaching, research, public service, and entrepreneurship. The criteria are intended to help the awards committee apply uniform standards across schools and enable nominators to prepare competitive portfolios.

Recommendation for Implementation

Schools are advised to seek a champion to prepare their award candidate's portfolio. The champion should be very conversant in the scientific, academic, public service, or entrepreneurial aspects of the candidate’s career. In addition, an administrative liaison is needed from the respective schools to write, edit, and organize the portfolio information.


The criteria are organized into two parts.

  • The first part shows examples of the general criteria that apply regardless of the category.
  • The second part lists more specific criteria that apply to the individual categories of teaching, research, public service, and entrepreneurship.

A. General Criteria

  1. Description of the individual in terms of academic, professional, or public achievement. A designated champion of the candidate should write a narrative that highlights achievements by the candidate. Target questions concern the following:

    • Demonstrate that the scope of the individual’s work/effort is worthy of recognition relative to peers in their chosen field.
    • Demonstrate recognition by other disciplines at this campus.
    • Show how the candidate’s recognition serves the University’s mission.
    • Personal factors that reflect significant strength of character.

  2. Internal letters of recommendation solicited by the preparer of the application.
  3. External letters of recommendation solicited by the preparer of the application.

B. Specific Award Criteria for Educator of the Year

  1. Past national and/or local teaching awards.
  2. If available, multidisciplinary curriculum development or contributions toward course development.
  3. Innovative methods or approaches to teaching.
  4. Student-initiated applications, evaluations, and student endorsements.*

*To encourage student-initiated applications, the campus should promote information on the teaching award to the appropriate student organizations at the campus and school levels. Senators could be instrument at the school level.

C. Specific Award Criteria for Researcher of the Year

Strength of research accomplishment in terms of:

  1. Scope of the work: years of investigation; extent of science citation; and impact of the findings on clinical practice and/or public policy, advancing basic biomedical or public policy research, or academic scholarship.
  2. Extent to which the work contributes to the strategic research plans of the school in which it is housed and to the Universitywide mission.

D. Specific Award Criteria for Public Servant of the Year (staff and faculty are eligible)

  1. Extent to which the service fulfills the campus mission and strategic plans.
  2. Extent to which the candidate’s public service is a public health or social policy issue.
  3. Extent to which the candidate’s public service addresses the unmet needs of underserved health, school and social service populations of Maryland, particularly among the disadvantaged.

E. Specific Award Criteria for David J. Ramsay Entrepreneur of the Year

The  David J. Ramsay Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding faculty member whose creativity and persistence have made tangible progress in solving a critical health or social problem. Examples may include commercializing a research discovery or engaging in social entrepreneurship to deliver health or human services to underserved populations. UMB faculty, staff, and research collaborators may champion nominees for this award. Faculty may also nominate themselves. Nominations should address the following criteria:

  1. Nomination Letter (not to exceed three pages)
    • Nominee’s professional achievement
      • Scope of the individual’s work and effort
      • Accomplishments supporting the mission of UMB
      • Personal factors reflecting significant strength
    • Entrepreneurial activities
      • Creativity and importance of the nominee’s work
      • Potential impact on society
      • Success at overcoming obstacles
      • Collaboration with nonacademic entities, including businesses, foundations, and government agencies

All nomination packets must be submitted via email by 5p.m. on Friday, July 15, 2022, to:

Celeste Gerhart
Office of the Provost