Call for Nominations for Vilas Awards and Professorships

Nominations of tenured faculty are invited for two new Vilas Research Professorships which become available on July 1, 2021.

Vilas Research Professorships were created “for the advancement of learning.” A candidate should be of proven research ability, and possess unusual qualifications and promise. The individual must have contributed significantly to the research mission of the University, and be widely recognized both nationally and internationally for the quality of research. Vilas Research Professorships provide for a reduced teaching load, a $10,000 salary supplement, an annual account of $50,000 for research expenses, and a retirement supplement of $2,500 per year for an individual who has served at least 15 years as a Vilas Professor. These professorships for scholarly achievement are funded from the generosity of the Trustees of the William F. Vilas Estate. These professorships are managed by the provost.

Submission Process

Nominations may be submitted at any time, but no later than April 1, 2021. Nomination materials for these professorships must be submitted electronically to

All nominations will be reviewed by the chancellor, provost, and an ad hoc faculty committee of current holders of named professorships and tenured faculty. They will determine the awards for the recipients.

An academic department or interdisciplinary center/institute may submit one or more nominations for these named professorships. You may use the materials prepared for the WARF Named Professorship or similar competition in the current or previous year for this nomination (condense letters to 1,000 words or fewer). In cases of split appointments, endorsement of both deans/directors is required. Individuals will not be awarded two “in perpetuity” professorships (i.e., professorships that are renewable indefinitely) at the same time. Therefore, anyone who already holds such a professorship (e.g., a Bascom) and is awarded a new one (e.g., a Vilas Research Professor) must give up the other. This does not apply to limited-term professorships, such as WARF Professorships, Romnes Fellowships, etc.

Nominations should include:

  • Cover page with the nominee name, department and school or college
  • Letter of endorsement from the dean or director
  • Brief letter (1,000 words or fewer) of nomination from the department or center/institute
    executive committee(s) that explains how the nominee was selected and highlights the
    major features of his/her work. The criteria are the quality, significance, and productivity
    of the nominee’s research or creative work, and the quality and programmatic value of
    the nominee’s teaching and service.
  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae and bibliography of the nominee
  • Five letters of recommendation (must have three outside letters and two internal)

Publications should not be submitted. If viewable online, a listing of where to find electronic versions may be included.

We anticipate announcing the names of the recipients by June 2021.

Questions regarding the nominations may be directed to Beth Meyerand, vice provost for faculty and staff affairs, at

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