Alumni Association Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement and Faculty Excellence Award in Engaged Scholarship


Distinguished awards in Research and Creative Achievement and Faculty Excellence Award in Engaged Scholarship are awarded to faculty who have brought honor and recognition to the University in the following areas:

  • Distinguished Achievement in the Creative Arts
  • Distinguished Research in the Humanities
  • Distinguished Research in the Social Sciences, Business & Law
  • Distinguished Research in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Excellence in Engaged Scholarship


Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Award: The University of Memphis is a metropolitan research institution that seeks to serve its urban, regional, state, and global communities in a number of ways. Vital to this mission is scholarship that addresses that concern and opportunities of these communities. Such scholarship (1) involves academic projects that engage faculty members and students in a collaborative and sustained manner with community groups; (2) connects university outreach endeavors with community organizational goals; (3) furthers mutual productive relationships between the university and the community; (4) entails shared authority in the research process from defining the research problem, choosing theoretical and methodological approaches, conducting the results, developing the final product(s), to participating in peer review; and (5) results in excellence in engaged scholarship through such products as peer-reviewed publications, peer-reviewed collaborative reports, documentation of impact, and external funding. In keeping with this purpose, the University of Memphis has established a faculty award to recognize excellence in engaged scholarship. The Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Award will further awareness of engaged scholarship in partnership between faculty members and students at the University of Memphis and community organizations and agencies in the Memphis/Mid-South region, the State of Tennessee, the United States, and global communities.

College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Research Award (CASDRA)

Each year the pool of candidates for the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Research Award (CASDRA) consists of faculty members who are nominated but are not selected for the Alumni Association for Distinguished Research or Creative Achievement (AADRACA).

The College Council for Graduate Studies and Research Subcommittee selects the CASDRA recipients each year.

This award was initiated in 1993-94 upon the recommendation of the College Council for Research and Graduate Studies. Up to a total of three awards will be given each year at the August faculty meeting of the College of Arts and Sciences each award will be in a different disciplinary area: social sciences, natural sciences and mathematical sciences, and humanities.

Faculty members may receive the CASDRA only one time. Each winner will have access to $500 through the Dean's office to be used for research. It cannot be received as salary. In addition, the faculty member is recognized at the August College of Arts and Sciences faculty meeting and receives a plaque.


  • Candidates must have been employed full-time by The University of Memphis for five academic years prior to the semester of their application or nomination.
    • E.g.: If applying for the 2023-2024 academic year, must have been employed in Fall 2018
  • Former award winners may not be re-nominated within seven years of the first award and may not receive the award more than twice.
    • E.g.: If you won in 2021, you are not eligible again until 2028

Nomination Process

Candidates may be nominated by any full-time faculty; and it is permissible for an individual to nominate more than one person. Self-nominations are permitted.

Each nomination must be accompanied by a letter of support written by the nominator. Eligible nominees will be contacted to provide the following documents:

  1. Current and updated University of Memphis CV system ( with a complete list of publications
  2. A maximum of three copies of scholarly and/or creative activities
  3. A narrative summary of research achievements
  4. A maximum of three external letters from distinguished referrers or community partners 

CAS AADCRA Selection Committee 

  • The committee is constituted by members of the College of Arts & Sciences Council for Graduate Studies and Research and coordinated by the Associate Dean of Research.
  • The committee members represent the three disciplinary areas of the College (Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Science and Mathematical Sciences). Council members who are candidates for the award are ineligible to serve on the committee.

Priorities to be Used by the Selection Committee

For distinguished research and creative achievement, the selection committee will evaluate the following:

  1. Scholarly contribution to the discipline
  2. Originality of contribution
  3. Recognition of work by peers
  4. Quality of work
  5. Membership on student committees
  6. Any other relevant quality measures

For the Faculty Excellence Award in Engaged Scholarship, the selection committee will evaluate based on these criteria within the context of the university’s vision of engaged scholars.

Packet Preparation - Additional Information for Nominees 

Publications and Presentations

The publications may be co-authored; however, it is desirable to distinguish senior and junior authorship. Cite all authors in the order in which they appear in the publication; star the names of student authors. Indicate the five most important scholarly works. Editorships and reviews are excluded as these are taken into consideration under professional recognition. Emphasis should be placed on publications that have been peer-reviewed in national or international journals that are widely disseminated within their field. In those fields where it is possible, evidence and impact in the field (such as recognition as one of the most cited papers) is also important.

Professional Works

  • Scholarly books (normally considered as primary sources of information by peers)
  • Textbooks (normally considered as teaching aids and secondary sources by peers), lab manuals, and related highly specific teaching aids
  • Paintings, sculpture, graphic design, interior design, novels, poetry, short stories, novellas, musical compositions, plays, screenplays, choreography, etc.
  • Activities in performing arts, such as concerts, films, dance, theatrical presentations, etc. at national and International venues.
  • Published articles in refereed international, national, and regional journals
  • Monographs, symposia, and reports published by government agencies and professional societies
  • Papers or abstracts of papers presented at international or national society meetings with refereed selection
  • Papers of a unique nature, such as guidebooks or papers resulting from field trips or special symposia, etc.


List each grant proposal submitted to an external funding source. Include the following information for each proposal:

  • Agency
  • Title
  • All investigators on the proposal
  • Role of candidate (PI, Co-PI, Co-1, Consultant, etc.)
  • Duration
  • Total Direct Costs
  • Total Costs (direct + indirect)
  • Outcome of Proposal: Funded, Not Funded, Pending

List Faculty Research Grant proposals submitted

  • Title
  • Year submitted
  • Funded or not

Graduate Student Mentoring

  • Name
  • Title of dissertation or thesis
  • Degree and year awarded

Professional Recognition


  • National and international journals
  • Regional journals
  • Major monographs and symposia
  • Encyclopedias
  • Other


  • Major office in national and international society
  • Major office in regional society
  • Minor office
  • Professional committees, review boards, etc.
  • Critical reviews of books, plays, performances, etc.

Juried Competitions

  • Awards
  • Service as a judge

The application for the 2023-2024 academic year will open October 2, 2023

Nominate for AADRACA


For additional information related to this award, see information provided by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the College of Arts and Sciences Accolades Website for other award information.