KU Research Achievement Awards

2021 Nomination submissions are now closed.

The KU Research Staff Achievement Award and the KU Research Postdoctoral Achievement Award are intended to recognize the numerous contributions of unclassified professional staff and postdoctoral researchers to the research mission of KU, honoring outstanding individuals who have had a tangible impact in the research labs and projects in which they work. Examples of recognized contributions include co-authored publications and/or direct participation in externally funded grants and contracts. 

The award recipients (one in each category) will be recognized at a spring semester ceremony and will receive a plaque and $5,000 in funds to be used for approved research or professional development activities.


  • For both awards, qualifying individuals should have a full-time appointment (≥75% of FTE) in a KU Lawrence Campus academic unit or research center.
  • The individual’s research should be characterized as having significant influence in their field and/or as representing a productive record of important research that has expanded intellectual or societal insights. A substantial portion of the work for which the award is given must have been done at KU.

Please note these awards for Unclassified Professional Staff complement the existing Steven F. Warren Research Achievement Award, which is limited to full-time Unclassified Academic Staff Researchers.

Nomination Process

Nominations must be submitted electronically as a single PDF to ovcr@ku.edu.  Deadline for nominations is 11:59pm on November 1, 2020.

Nominations must include:

  • A two-page letter of recommendation from the head of the unit or close collaborator addressing the significance of the challenge/problem/question(s) posed, the magnitude of challenge/problem addressed, the importance of the contributions from the work conducted to date, a very brief explanation of the discipline’s expectations for the particular area/field, the form(s) in which the research is communicated and, of these forms, which is the most prestigious or recognized by colleagues.
  • A curriculum vita or resume for the nominee.
  • Letters from at least 2 references familiar with the nominee’s work and its significance.

Please note:  The letters of support should be written in a manner that is understandable to reviewers who may not be experts in the specific field of research of the nominee.

Once nominated, an individual remains eligible to receive the award for two years; however, an updated CV should be submitted.

Questions? Please contact ovcr@ku.edu.


Previous Award Winners Affiliation Year
Jie Chen Achievement and Assessment Institute 2019
Tom Hill Molecular Biosciences, Rob Unkless Research Group 2019
David Burnham Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum 2018
Matt Jackson Department of Chemistry, Steve Soper Research Group 2018