University of Wisconsin–Madison

Awards and Grants

The Office of the Provost administers and helps to support the following awards and grants for faculty and staff. Additional award opportunities are offered across campus by specific schools and colleges, as well as other units including, but not limited to, the Secretary of the Academic Staff, Secretary of the Faculty, and Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.

Award opportunities for students – undergraduate and graduate – are offered by units across campus, as well, including, but not limited to, the Undergraduate Academic Awards Office, Graduate School and Scholarships@UW-Madison.

Awards and Recognition

  • Academic Staff Excellence Awards

    UW-Madison Academic Staff Excellence Awards honor nine academic staff members annually in several categories:

    • Chancellor’s Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Research (two awards)
    • Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service to the University
    • Wisconsin Alumni Association Awards for Excellence in Leadership (two awards)
    • Robert and Carroll Heideman Award for Excellence in Public Service and Outreach
    • Martha Casey Award for Dedicated Service to the University
    • Ann Wallace Career Achievement Award

    All awardees receive a plaque and $5,000 stipend. Learn more.

  • Awards for Mentoring Undergraduates

    The Office of the Provost offers awards to recognize the important role mentors have in fostering undergraduates’ intellectual, personal and professional growth. These awards provide members of the faculty, academic staff and post-doctoral fellows/graduate students with recognition for their excellence in mentoring undergraduates and their contribution to a core component of students’ Wisconsin Experience. Learn more.

  • Faculty Distinquished Teaching Awards

    The UW-Madison Faculty Distinguished Teaching Awards recognize excellence in teaching, diversity and inclusion, and outreach teaching. These awards are administered each year through the Secretary of the Faculty Office, in partnership with the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning. Nominations may be submitted by faculty members, departments and student organizations. Learn more.

  • Outstanding Women of Color Awards

    The UW-Madison Outstanding Women of Color Awards acknowledge and honor women of color among UW-Madison faculty, staff, students (undergraduate or post-baccalaureate) and in the greater Madison community, who have made outstanding contributions in one or more of the following areas:

    • social justice, activism and advocacy on behalf of disadvantaged, marginalized populations;
    • community service;
    • scholarly research, writing, speaking and/or teaching on race, ethnicity and indigeneity in U.S. society, and;
    • community building on- or off-campus, to create an inclusive and respectful environment for all.

    Nominations are solicited annually by the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, with the nominations typically due in September. For more information, contact:

  • Teaching Academy Fellowship and Award

    The Teaching Academy partners with the vice provost for teaching and learning to provide a forum for faculty and staff from across campus to connect and discuss best-practices in teaching and learning. Fellowship in the Teaching Academy is an honor bestowed on individuals who have demonstrated teaching excellence, are recognized and nominated by their peers, and are committed to advancing the mission of the Academy. Each year, a faculty or staff member is selected by a peer committee to receive the Academy Award for excellence in teaching. Learn more.

  • Vilas Faculty Early Investigator Awards

    Through the generosity of the Vilas Trust, the Office of the Provost is able to provide the Vilas Faculty Early Investigator Awards to recognize outstanding faculty members.  The award is meant to recognize research and teaching excellence in faculty who are relatively early in their careers. These awards provide between $25,000 and $100,000 in flexible funding over two years.

    When funding is available, a call for nominations is sent to deans and academic program directors in the early fall. Deans and directors should encourage departments to make nominations as early in the academic year as is feasible.

  • Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Awards

    Through the generosity of the Vilas Trust, the Office of the Provost is able to provide the Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Awards to recognize outstanding faculty members. The award is meant to recognize research and teaching excellence in mid-career faculty members. These awards provide between $25,000 and $100,000 in flexible funding over two years.

    When funding is available, a call for nominations is sent to deans and academic program directors in the early fall. Deans and directors should encourage departments to make nominations as early in the academic year as is feasible.


  • Academic Staff Professional Development Grants

    UW-Madison Academic Staff Professional Development Grants are intended for professional development and/or training to improve the effectiveness of academic staff members in their current roles. The funds are not intended for basic job training or for job requirements. Learn more.

  • Anonymous Fund

    The Anonymous Fund was established in 1943 to benefit UW-Madison programs in the arts and humanities.  Funded by an anonymous donor, the bequest is charged to “strengthen and enlarge the cultural and artistic undertakings of the University.”

    The majority of Anonymous Fund money is distributed to departments and programs in the form of block grants for academic programming with a public component.  A portion of the fund also supports programming by individual units, especially those collaborating on conferences, film screening, exhibitions and the like.  The committee looks favorably upon programs that are accessible to the greater Madison community.

    The Anonymous Trust Funds are administered by a committee appointed by the chancellor and chaired by the College of Letters and Science Associate Dean for Humanities.

  • Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment

    The Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment is a competitive grant program designed to foster public engagement and advance the Wisconsin Idea – the notion that the knowledge and solutions generated at UW-Madison will benefit the people of Wisconsin, our nation and our world. The endowment supports UW-Madison faculty, staff and students in the development of new and innovative projects, or new dimensions to existing translational outreach, community-based research and public engagement activities. Learn more.

  • Brittingham Funds

    The Brittingham Trust supports general university objectives with an emphasis on projects in the arts and humanities. The fund benefits innovative or experimental projects that may subsequently be funded through traditional sources, interdisciplinary activities, and special projects that contribute to the university’s knowledge base or provide distinctive learning experiences for students or faculty.

    The fund is controlled by outside trustees, comprised primarily of the Brittingham family. Grants are awarded on a calendar year basis.

    A one-to-two-page application, outlining the proposed program, can be sent to Eden Inoway-Ronnie, chief of staff, Office of the Provost, via school of college dean, by August 31 for consideration in October.  All applications must include a summary paragraph and a detailed budget.

    For further information, contact Eden Inoway-Ronnie at 265-5975 or

  • Educational Innovation (EI) Small Grant Program

    The EI Small Grant Program is committed to supporting faculty and staff in their efforts to experiment with different pedagogical approaches and technologies. Learn more.

  • Faculty Development Grant Program

    The Faculty Development Grant Program is dedicated to the maintenance of academic excellence in the University of Wisconsin System. Institutions are expected to dedicate available funds to support an effective and comprehensive program of faculty development tailored to the institution’s academic needs. In addition, in keeping with the conditions and intent of the legislation that supports this program, “the purpose of this comprehensive program is to increase the flexibility and effective use of existing faculty personnel in the University of Wisconsin System.” Learn more.

  • Faculty Sabbatical Leave Program

    The Faculty Sabbatical Leave Program enables faculty members to engage in intensive study in order to become more effective teachers and scholars, and to enhance their services to the university. Sabbatical leave may be granted for the purpose of enhancing teaching, course and curriculum development, conducting research or any other scholarly activities related to instructional programs within the field of expertise of the faculty member. Learn more.

  • Grant Funding System

    The Grant Funding System (GFS) in the Office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer (OVPCDO) and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA) provides small grant allocations to support innovative projects. Learn more.

  • Research Service Grant Program

    The Research Service Grant Program recognizes the service contributions that non-tenured faculty members, especially women and members of minority groups, are asked to make to the university. Such service promotes the university’s interest in having a broad range of perspectives represented on important committees. It also helps increase the involvement of non-tenured faculty in university governance.

    Through this program, assistant professors and instructors who are in the first five years of tenure-track service at UW-Madison are eligible for summer salary (2/9ths of the academic year salary or equivalent) to pursue worthy research projects. Learn more.


For more information about the following professorships, please contact Yvonne Quamme, assistant to the provost, at

  • Named Bascom Professorships

    Named Bascom Professorships honor the distinguished scholar and former university President, John Bascom. The coveted awards are for faculty members, and may be awarded in areas designated by the specific donor or to individuals designated by the donor.

    Though the amount of the principal varies considerably, the minimum must provide a reasonable income to be used as an annual allocation for books, computers, research assistants, travel and other support of teaching and scholarly activities. The annual allocations range from
    $10,000-$20,000 per year. Some have annual $5,000 temporary base adjustments that come from the professorship account if the account can support it. The appointments are usually for five years and most are renewable. Funding comes through the UW Foundation.

  • Evjue Chair for the Wisconsin Idea

    The Evjue Chair for the Wisconsin Idea was created with an endowment from the William T. Evjue Foundation to recognize outstanding contributions to outreach and service, and to honor the late William T. Evjue, founder, editor, and publisher of The Capital Times.

    The chair is designed to support the strategic initiative “Enhancing the Wisconsin Idea” and further the legacy of the century-old Wisconsin Idea, which holds that the boundaries of the university are boundaries of the state and beyond.

    The holder must have contributed substantially to the outreach mission of the university and demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge and research through individual efforts or coordination of multidisciplinary activities. The candidate must also be widely recognized, both nationally and internationally as a distinguished teacher and researcher.

    Currently, the annual allocation for the chair appointment is $75,000. The appointment is for five years and may be renewed for additional five- year periods. No other professorships can be held concurrently. Funding comes through the UW Foundation.

    Nominations are managed by the provost and awarded through a competition process.

  • Hilldale Professorships

    Hilldale Professorships are given to faculty members who excel in scholarly activity, who have records of outstanding research or creative work, and show promise of continued productivity.

    New awardees will receive $15,000 per year for research support, which also may be used for teaching release during the academic year or for summer salary. In addition, each recipient will receive a temporary base adjustment of $7,500 that comes from the Hilldale Professorship account for the term of the professorship. The appointments are for five years with the possibility of renewal until the individual leaves the university or retires.

    The professorships are awarded through a competition process when there are vacancies. They are managed and administered by the Office of the Provost.  Funding comes through UW Trust Funds.

  • John D. MacArthur Professorship Chair

    The John D. MacArthur Professorship Chair was established by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, in honor of John D. MacArthur. The professorship is considered one of the most prestigious research chairs on campus and recognizes highly distinguished research scholars.

    The typical annual allocation is $50,000 per year for a duration of five years with the possibility of renewal. The income from the endowment is available for unrestricted research support. The portion of the income not needed for immediate research purposes is allowed to accrue, thus creating a “quasi-endowment” fund available to the recipient for the duration of his/her employment at the UW-Madison, or if he/she is appointed Emeritus status.

    Funding comes through the UW System Trust Funds Office, and the professorship is granted at the discretion of the provost.  No competition is required.

  • Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorships

    The Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorships recognize professors whose distinguished scholarship has advanced the confines of knowledge, and whose excellence has also included teaching or service.

    The professorships provide a fixed allocation of flexible funds in the amount of $75,000. The awardees carry the title of Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor for the duration of their career at UW-Madison. The Office of the Provost, through the generosity of the Vilas Trustees, provides $50,000 towards the $75,000 total. The nominating dean, in concert with the department, provides initial funding of $5,000 and an additional $5,000 per year, over the five-year period.

    The Vilas funds are to be used within the first two years of the professorship. The college/department funds must be expended within five years. Per the terms of the Vilas Trust, the professorships may not be used to supplement salary or pay summer salary beyond $10,000  per year.

    The professorships may be appointed by the provost and vice provost for faculty and staff, or through a competition process.

  • Vilas Research Professorships

    The Vilas Research Professorships were created “for the advancement of learning.” Candidates 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.

    The 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.

    The professorships are funded from the generosity of the Trustees of the William F. Vilas Estate. They are managed by the provost and are appointed by a competition process.

  • Wisconsin Distinguished Professorships

    The Wisconsin Distinguished Professorships Program was established in 1987 and provides incentive for top faculty to engage industry and other private sources in the UW-Madison research enterprise, which benefits the University and the State of Wisconsin.

    The professorship is supported with $40,000 annually, which can be used for salary support and research. The UW-Madison support must be matched with external support for each of the five years.

    These professorships are managed by the provost and are awarded through a competition process.

School and College Professorships

UW-Madison schools, colleges, institutes and divisions also have named professorships/chairs that are designated for specific areas within their unit and are managed by their respective deans.