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Distinguished University Innovator Award

Past Distinguished University Innovator Award Recipients

View a list of past recipients for the Distinguished University Innovator Award.


A current member of the tenure/tenure track, research, or clinical faculty, or a team of up to three (3) faculty members. Nominations of outstanding women, minorities and members of other groups historically underrepresented in their disciplines are encouraged.


An honorarium of $5,000 to the individual recipient or shared by the team recipients. The recipient will accept the award and deliver remarks at the annual Celebrate Invention event held in the fall.

Selection Criteria

The Distinguished University Innovator(s) will have accomplished one or more of the following:

  1. Developed a breakthrough idea, process, or technology and demonstrated its transformational potential relative to an otherwise conventionally accepted practice or market;

  2. Taken a significant innovation developed in the University through to market-readiness, either through partnership with a commercial enterprise, licensing a patent, or by starting a company;

  3. Demonstrated a new method or means for moving innovations from the University into the private sector through the establishment of partnerships or other relationships that promote the strategic or economic position of the region, state or nation.

Nomination Guidelines

Any member of the U-M community may submit a nomination. In the Nomination Packet, include:

  • Nomination Questionnaire

  • A one-page description by the nominee describing actions the individual or team has taken to promote innovations, technologies or activities to support innovation;

  • Nominee CV;

  • Three letters of support from a range of constituents to demonstrate the depth and breadth of the individual's or team's impact on innovation.

Deadline and Submission Instructions

The nomination deadline is Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Please forward each nomination as one PDF file to Mark Maynard (


By consensus of the U-M Office of Research, Award Advisory Committee appointed by the Vice President for Research, and with concurrence of the Vice President for Research.

Announcement of Award

Recipient(s) will be announced in October 2018. The award recipients will receive the award at the annual Celebrate Invention event, sponsored by the U-M Office of Research.

Points to consider in support of nomination

This award is open to a current member of the tenure/tenure track or research faculty, or a team of up to three (3) tenure/tenure track or research faculty members among all U-M campuses, schools, colleges and units.

More information

Please contact Mark Maynard in the U-M Office of Research (


The Distinguished University Innovator Award is supported by endowments from the U-M Office of Research and the Stephen and Rosamund Forrest Family Foundation.