Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards


The Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards are KU’s highest award for faculty accomplishments in research, scholarship and creative activity. In 1981, Regents Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacy Takeru Higuchi, his wife, Mrs. Aya Higuchi, and KU Endowment established the Research Achievement Award program. Designed to recognize significant research achievement conducted at the University of Kansas or another Regents institution, these awards were first presented in the fall of 1982.

Each award of $10,000 — on deposit with KU Endowment — may be expended over five years in support of research activities, such as research materials, summer salary, fellowship matching funds, equipment, research assistants or any other purpose consonant with the advancement of the individual's research program. 

The Chancellor will award each faculty member upon recommendation of the Vice Chancellor for Research. The awards were established in four categories of scholarly and creative achievement to honor four benefactors of the University of Kansas: Balfour Jeffrey, Olin Petefish, Dolph Simons and Irvin Youngberg.

Contact

All internal funding opportunities

Submit a nomination

Recognize a colleague for their research achievements. Nominations due Nov. 1.

Scholarly disciplines and criteria for each of the four awards

This award will be given in recognition of research achievement in the humanities and social sciences to an individual who may be described as having had a major and substantial impact and who has been of national and/or international interest. This individual’s research should be characterized either as profoundly seminal in nature or as representing a productive record of significant research and expanding intellectual or societal insights. 

This award will be given in recognition of research achievement in the basic sciences to an individual who may be described as having had a major and substantial impact and who has been of national and/or international interest. This individual’s research should be characterized as either profoundly influencing later development in a field or as representing a productive record of significant research that has illuminated basic processes or basic phenomena. The Olin Petefish Research Award will be given for work in the basic sciences in fields such as physics, chemistry, the biological sciences, basic behavioral sciences, and mathematical sciences.

The award will be given in recognition of research achievement in the biomedical sciences to an individual who may be described as having had a major and substantial impact and who has been of national and/or international interest. This individual’s research should be related to biomedical problems and characterized either as profoundly seminal in nature or as representing a productive record of significant research. The Dolph Simons Research Award will be given for biomedical research in areas related to medicine, pharmacy, the biological and behavioral sciences, bio-engineering, and veterinary medicine.

The award will be given in recognition of research achievement in the applied sciences to an individual who may be described as having had a major and substantial impact and whose work has been of significant relevance to the State of Kansas. This individual’s research should be characterized either as profoundly seminal in nature or as representing a productive record of significant research. The Irvin Youngberg Research Award will be given for work in the applied sciences such as engineering, agriculture, business, economics, and other scientific areas of an applied nature.


Eligibility and nomination process

  • Eligibility is limited to tenured faculty members employed at any of the six Kansas Board of Regents institutions. 
  • A substantial portion of the work for which the individual is nominated must have been completed at the nominee’s Kansas Regents institution. 
  • A separate nomination must be submitted for each nominee. Nominations of co-investigators or research teams will not be accepted.
  • Only complete nomination materials will be considered. 

Nominations must be submitted electronically as a single PDF to higuchiawards@ku.edu. Deadline for nominations is 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 1.

Nominations must include the following:

  • A letter of nomination (maximum five pages) outlining the accomplishments of the nominee based on the criteria for the awards. This letter should detail the nominee’s seminal contributions to his or her field, concentrating on contributions that occurred while on the faculty of his or her Regents institution. The panel that reviews nominations consists of faculty researchers from a number of academic disciplines.
    • Note: Please make sure the letter of nomination uses language understandable to those outside the nominee’s area of expertise.
  • Letters from three to five references. These references should have no close academic or personal connection with the nominee (e.g., former professors or students, former or current colleagues, co-authors, etc.) nor should they be associated with any Kansas Regents institution. 
  • A current curriculum vitae of the nominee.
  • Although a specific Higuchi Research Achievement category may be referenced in the nomination letter, nominees will be considered in all categories for which they may be eligible.
  • The nomination committee may choose not to recommend that an award be made in a category in a given year.
  • All nominations remain active for three years.  
  • After three years, a new nomination package must be submitted in order for the nominee to remain in consideration for an award.
  • Past recipients may be nominated for an award after 10 years have passed. Nominations for an additional award will be judged only on the additional body of research, scholarly and creative activity produced since the previous award.
  • The awards committee reviews applications for the Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards and provides a list of eligible candidates along with comments on their candidacy to the Vice Chancellor for Research, who ultimately chooses award recipients.

To update materials for a candidate who was nominated in the past three years, please contact higuchiawards@ku.edu.

  • In order to remain active during the second and third years of eligibility, nominators must annually provide an updated candidate CV and a letter outlining the candidate’s additional noteworthy scholarly accomplishments over the past year. These materials must be received by the annual nomination deadline.

Previous award winners

Balfour S. Jeffrey Award

  • Michael Hoeflich, School of Law, University of Kansas, 2021
  • Donald Haider-Markel, Department of Political Science, University of Kansas 2019
  • Maryemma Graham, Department of English, University of Kansas, 2018

Olin K. Petefish Award

  • Sharon Billings, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, 2021
  • James Edgar, Department of Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, 2019
  • Ryszard Jankowiak, Department of Chemistry, Kansas State University, 2018

Dolph Simons Award

  • Juergen Richt, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, 2021
  • Andrew Godwin, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2019
  • Stephen Higgs, Department of Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology, Kansas State University, 2018

Irvin E. Youngberg Award

  • Kelly Kindscher, Department of Environmental Studies, University of Kansas, 2021
  • Perry Alexander, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Kansas, 2019
  • Raghunath Chaudhari, Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, University of Kansas, 2018