Francis Alison Faculty Award

The Award

The Francis Alison Faculty Award is the University’s highest competitive award for faculty. It consists of a $10,000 prize. In addition, the Alison Society inducts all recipients into the Society.

Nominations Procedure

The Faculty Senate’s Committee on Student and Faculty Honors invites UD faculty to submit nominations for the Alison Award. Nominations and supporting evidence from faculty and chairs are to be submitted to the appropriate deans by March 1.

In turn, deans should compile candidates’ dossiers and submit them to the Committee on Student and Faculty Honors by March 15. Each college may submit one nomination, with the exception of Arts and Sciences which, owing to its larger size, may submit up to three.

All dossiers must include a Dossier Submission Checklist.

Criteria of Excellence

The award, which was established by the Trustees of the University, is to be given each year to a faculty member of the University of Delaware who has made notable contributions to his or her field of study. Notable contributions may be defined in the context of the Rev. Dr. Francis Alison’s achievements. Alison’s contemporary, President Ezra Stiles of Yale, called Alison “the greatest classical scholar in America.” It was said of him that “few schoolmasters [in the American colonies] ever taught a larger number of pupils who afterwards acquired such distinguished reputations.” The Committee seeks to recognize those individuals in our intellectual community who best characterize the scholar-schoolmaster.

Distinction as a research scholar is primary. Evidence of contributions as an educator in one’s field or at UD is also essential for demonstrating that the candidate is an outstanding scholar-schoolmaster.

Rules of Eligibility for the Award

  1. All current full-time faculty who hold either a primary or secondary appointment as faculty.
  2. Has not won the Alison Award previously.
  3. Must attend the ceremony at which the award is presented.

Materials Required

Because the Francis Alison Faculty Award is the University’s highest competitive faculty award, the Committee requires strong and substantial evidence for nominees.

Each dossier must contain all of the following. Dossiers with missing items will be returned unread.

  1. A completed Dossier Submission Checklist.
  2. Dean’s letter: Must summarize the quality and impact of the nominee’s scholarship and teaching.
  3. Chair’s letter (unless chair is the candidate): Must provide specific and detailed evidence on the quality and impact of the nominee’s research and for his or her influence on students and instruction as a teacher, advisor, mentor, or leader in the field.
  4. Candidate’s vita.
  5. Letters from national and/or international experts.
  6. Letters from former students.

Letters from UD colleagues and other supplementary materials may be submitted but are not required.

Specificity of Supporting Evidence

It is important to provide specific and detailed evidence to support the following sorts of accomplishment, where applicable.

Contributions as a Scholar

  • National and international distinction within field: Is this individual widely recognized as a national or international expert within his or her research field? To what degree are other experts in the nominee’s field of study familiar with the nominee’s research?
  • Quality and impact of research: Is the nominee’s work considered fundamental to the development of his or her research field? Is any of the nominee’s research considered “cutting-edge” or “seminal?” To what extent is this research used as a basis for further research by other scholars? How influential is the nominee’s research both within and outside the field?

Contributions as an Educator

  • Dedication to teaching, advising, and mentoring: What is the nominee’s reputation as a teacher, advisor, and mentor? How influential has the nominee been in the lives and pursuits of students? Has the nominee inspired student interest in his or her area of research? How successful and influential are those students? How much do they credit their enthusiasm for their discipline and their success to the nominee’s teaching, advising, or mentoring?
  • Leadership and contributions to education: Has the nominee taken a leadership role within his or her department, program or college at the University of Delaware? What has been the nominee’s influence on the quality of education at in the field? Has the nominee inspired other teachers?


Faculty submissions to deans: March 1.
Deans’ submissions to Committee: March 15.

Deans should submit dossiers to the Faculty Senate Office, 011E Hullihen Hall.

Materials submitted for those candidates not selected for the award will be returned to deans so that they may be included, if so desired, in future submissions for the award. The Committee encourages renomination of worthy candidates.


Please contact the Faculty Senate Office or the Chair of the Committee.