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Office of the Vice President for Research


Opportunities for Faculty

Breakthrough Leadership in Research Awards

Announced in the fall, Breakthrough Leadership in Research award recipients take a multifaceted approach to research. Any full-time faculty member currently employed within the USC system can be nominated by colleagues or administrative leadership. A nominee may not win two years in a row.

The primary criterion for the award is the demonstration of leadership through sustained commitment towards synergistic activities like:

  • Successful mentoring of junior faculty
  • Establishing research centers with university-wide impact
  • Promoting research to K-12 students
  • Engaging in community outreach through research
  • Creating programs aimed at increasing diversity
  • Any other activities that are considered non-traditional, for which USC currently does not provide recognition

Please note that there could be many other unique ways through which the faculty may provide leadership to help promote research and scholarly activity. Activities that qualify senior faculty members for this award are not restricted to the above examples.

Nomination calls are sent out in late June or early July each year, typically with an approximately eight-week turnaround time before the due date. Any faculty member or administrative leader can submit a nomination (one nomination per year, per person). To complete the nomination package, the nominator must submit:

  • A completed nomination form
  • A completed nominee-provided summary form
  • A letter of recommendation from the nominator (two-page limit)
  • A letter of recommendation from another faculty member or administrator within USC, or a letter of recommendation from someone outside of USC who has first-hand knowledge of the nominee's contributions and impact (two-page limit)
  • The nominee's complete CV

Breakthrough Leadership in Research Awards Guidelines and Forms

The below guidelines and forms are from the fall 2014 Breakthrough Leadership in Research Awards nomination cycle. This documentation is subject to change from year to year.