Research, Graduate Studies seeks nominations for 2011 Presidential Research Professorships

Jeff Karl Kowalski, Amy Newman and Xhili XiaoNIU’s Presidential Research Professorships are awards in recognition of outstanding accomplishment and future potential in academic research or creative artistry.

Faculty can be nominated, or may initiate their own candidacy, by forwarding letters of nominations or self-nominations (declaration of own candidacy) by Monday, Oct. 11, to the office of Lisa Freeman, vice president for Research and Graduate Studies.

The nomination and self-nomination letters must include the candidate’s qualifications in accordance with the expectations indicated below, four complete sets of application materials (including the original) and are due to Freeman by Monday, Nov. 1.

The award: Up to three new Presidential Research Professors are designated each year, and on initial appointment each receives a base salary increment of $2,000. For each of four con­secutive years of full-time employment, each awardee receives an allocation of $5,000 to support his or her scholarly activities (other than personal salary); during that time, there is to be one semester of release from teaching and other non-research responsibilities. After these four years, the title changes to Distinguished Research Professor.

Expectations: Each awardee is judged to have received national or international acclaim for his or her scholarship, to be among the researchers or artists of highest stature in his or her specialty, to have made significant positive impact on the discipline nationally or international­ly, and to be likely to continue to make such impact. From the time of the initiation of these awards in 1982, it has been stressed they are to be made solely on the basis of scholarly credentials.

Eligibility and selection: Candidates must be full-time, tenured faculty with the rank of professor. They are evaluated by the Select Committee on Presidential Research Professorships, which consists of previous awardees, plus additional professors appointed by the president to achieve representation from all NIU colleges. Freeman serves as the non-voting chair of the committee. In evaluating the candidates, the committee may draw upon sources of expertise internal and external to the university. Presidential Research Professors are nominated by the Select Committee and appointed by the president. The award is not renewable and will end if and when full-time NIU employment ceases. No member of the Select Committee can be consid­ered for the award. 

Application materials: Candidates for the award are asked to submit the following to the Select Committee in the office of Research and Graduate Studies:

  • The letter of qualifications indicated in the first paragraph.
  • A current vita listing all creative and other scholarly works, as well as recognitions, awards, offices and memberships that are relevant to the profession. In listing publications with multiple authors, indicate your role as an author by clarifying lead authorship, percent contribution, senior authorship, etc., so that the committee can objectively evaluate candidates from diverse fields across the university.
  • Please arrange to have three (and no more than three) outside NIU letters of recommendation from recognized authorities in your field of research. These letters should be mailed directly to Freeman’s office before the deadline. These three outside individuals should have achieved national or international reputations in the appropriate field and should not have a close personal connection with the candidate. To ascertain that these individuals have the capacity for making authoritative comments on your scholarship, candidates may provide brief biographical sketches of these outside references. Alternatively, these references can also attach their CVs with their letters of recommendation. In addition to the three outside supporting letters, the committee will select and solicit up to three additional letters from the experts in your field. These extra letters will be secured only for the finalists.
  • A narrative describing the development of the candidate’s research or artistic career. The latter might be in the form of a biog­raphy — with ample reference to the information in the vita — in which it is shown how scholarly contributions have been made. The narrative may be written by the applicant or by a nomina­tor, and the Select Committee has requested that the following elements be included: a description of the impact that the candidate has had on the discipline, details of the recognition that has been generated by this impact, and a discussion of likely future developments in the research or creative endeavor along with an indication of how advances will proceed from current accomplishments and how they will be assisted by the award of a Presidential Research Professorship. A limit of 1,000 words is suggested.

Deadlines: The letter of qualification first item must reach Freeman by Monday, Oct. 11, and all four components of the applica­tion materials must are due by Monday, Nov. 1. Four copies, including an original, of all application materials is required.

Persons who have submitted the above materials in previous years may reactivate their candidacy by submitting four copies of that information necessary to update the previous file. Call (815) 753-9400 to ascertain the dates of the last materials submitted or for more information.

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