Hilldale Professorships

Hilldale Professorships were awarded for the first time in 1980. The awards are for UW–Madison faculty members who excel in scholarly activity, have records of outstanding research or creative work, and show promise of continued productivity.

Annual award allocations are $15,000 for research support (equipment, supplies, books, computers, travel, research assistance, etc.), teaching release during the academic year, or summer salary. Recipients also receive an annual $7,500 temporary base adjustment to their salary from the Hilldale Professorship account. Appointments are for five years and are renewable upon recommendation of the department chair and dean. Funding to support the appointments is held at the UW Trust Funds.

These professorships are managed by the Office of the Provost.

Submitting a Nomination

Nomination Criteria

Strong nominations will address:

  1. The quality, significance, and productivity of the nominee’s research or creative work within their field
  2. Other aspects relevant to the nominee’s accomplishments or impact
  3. Retention aspects, if relevant

Nomination and Renewal Process

When there is an available or expiring Hilldale Professorship, the Office of the Provost notifies the Dean’s Office of the school or college to initiate the selection process.

The Dean’s Office submits nominations and renewals to the Office of the Provost. Renewal requests should be submitted at least one month prior to the award’s current end date.

  1. Create a single PDF file for each nomination or renewal request that includes:
    • Dean’s cover memo stating support for the nomination or renewal
    • The nomination or renewal recommendation from the department, school, college, or division (one to three pages) that includes the quality and programmatic value of the nominee’s research or creative work within their field
    • The nominee’s curriculum vitae
    • For first-time nominations, five (5) letters of recommendation (must have three outside letters and two internal; 1,000 words or less)* *Not required for renewals
    • Any additional relevant materials
  2. Name the PDF file “NomineeLastName-SchoolCollegeDivision-DateSubmitted” (for example, Smith-Education-2024-01-31.pdf)
  3. Upload the file to the Hilldale Box folder.


The deadline to submit nominations is January 31, 2024.

Helpful Hints

Fund Management

    • In WISER, Hilldale awards are managed on fund 161 projects
    • When the term of the professorship ends, allocations cease and recipients can use remaining funds, as long as they remain faculty at UW–Madison
    • Individuals will not be awarded two campus-wide “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 Hilldale) must give up the other. This does not apply to limited-term professorships, such as WARF Professorships, Romnes Fellowships, etc.

Award Termination

  • Funding for the professorship will terminate:
    • If the recipient elects to give up the professorship
    • If the recipient receives a Vilas Research Professorship
    • If there is clear evidence of lack of productivity
    • If the recipient resigns from the university (Note: Account is closed at time of resignation.)
    • Upon granting of emeritus status (Note: Upon retirement the recipient may retain the title of the professorship but further funding will cease. Funds which have been previously granted may be used by an emeritus faculty member after retirement as long as the recipient remains active in their research area.)
  • Schools or colleges must notify the Office of the Provost of any change in status of a Hilldale Professorship recipient via email at professorships@provost.wisc.edu.