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Office of the Vice President for Research


Opportunities for Faculty

2014 Call for Nominations: Breakthrough Leadership in Research Awards

The Office of the Vice President for Research is seeking nominations for the Breakthrough Leadership in Research Award. Nominations will be accepted beginning Tuesday, July 1 through 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. Complete details about the award, nomination guidelines and necessary forms are provided below. If you have any questions, please contact Jack Beasley at 803-777-5458 or beaslejd@mailbox.sc.edu.

2014 Breakthrough Leadership in Research Awards Guidelines and Criteria

Rationale

The Office of the Vice President for Research created the Breakthrough Leadership in Research Award in 2013 as a means to recognize faculty members from the Columbia, Comprehensive, and Palmetto College campuses who have made outstanding contributions to research, and who also demonstrate sustained leadership in research. These faculty members excel in their own research and utilize a synergistic approach to promote and inspire excellence in research, and perform these activities beyond the scope of their expected duties. The Breakthrough Leadership in Research Award recognizes faculty for these truly exceptional achievements and celebrates their contributions to the university and surrounding communities.

Award Description

The recipients of this non-cash award are featured in a supplement to Breakthrough magazine, and are featured throughout the year in other mediums. Additionally, they are invited to attend the annual Breakthrough Awards Dinner, held each spring. The award raises awareness of the importance of leadership and mentoring amongst faculty, particularly senior faculty who take an interest in the development of junior faculty. It also recognizes those who work in capacities outside the university, utilizing their unique skills to promote research in the greater community. Breakthrough magazine and its supplement are widely distributed to all faculty and administration, peer institutions, program managers, legislative representatives, and selected alumni and donors.

Award Criteria

The primary criteria for the award are:

  • Strong commitment to and evidence of excellence in research and scholarly activity.
  • Sustained demonstration of leadership in research that positively impacts the research performed by others.
  • Sustained demonstration of activities which have a positive impact in the greater community (internally or externally) and/or on public perceptions of the university.
  • Special merit is given to research-related activities that are in addition to expected duties as recognized by the nominee's discipline or position. Some examples of these types of activities include: successful mentoring of junior faculty, establishing research centers with university-wide impact, promoting research in K-12 settings, community outreach through research, creating research programs aimed at increasing diversity, internationalization, etc.

There are many unique ways through which faculty can demonstrate leadership in research. Award consideration is not limited to the above examples.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Any full-time faculty within the USC system may be nominated.
  2. Nominee must be employed within the USC system for a minimum of 3 years at the time of nomination.
  3. Past nominees who were not selected in previous years are eligible for re-nomination.
  4. Past recipients of the award are not eligible for re-nomination for a period of 3 years.
  5. Members of the Breakthrough Awards Committee are not eligible to be nominated.
  6. Faculty members may not nominate themselves.
  7. A nomination may be submitted by any faculty member, chair, dean, associate dean for research, or chancellor.

Nomination Procedures

Complete nomination packets should be compiled into a single PDF file that includes the following, in order:

  1. A completed nomination form. [pdf]
  2. A completed nominee-provided summary form. [pdf]
  3. A letter of recommendation from the nominator (2-page limit).
  4. 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 (2-page limit).
  5. The nominee's complete CV.

Arrange all nomination materials in the order shown above, and save as a PDF file named:
NOMINEELASTNAME_2014 Breakthrough Leadership.

Complete nomination packets should be emailed to beaslejd@mailbox.sc.edu with the subject: NOMINEELASTNAME_2014 Breakthrough Leadership.

Complete nomination packets are due no later than 5PM EST, September 2, 2014.

If you have any questions or difficulty submitting nomination materials, please call Jack Beasley at 803-777-5458.

Notes and Exceptions

  • Nominators may only submit one nomination per year.
  • The committee will accept and review only one nomination per nominee.
  • The committee will not accept or review more than the 2 required letters of recommendation. Each letter is limited to 2 pages.

Selection Process

Nominations that are complete and responsive to the requirements of this announcement will be evaluated by the Breakthrough Awards Committee. The committee will evaluate nominations using specific review criteria. The committee will provide a prioritized list of recommended recipients to the Vice President for Research (VPR) based on the quality of the materials provided by the nominator. The VPR will determine recipients based on the committee's recommendations.

Nominees and their nominators will receive notification of their selection or declination on or before October 10, 2014.

Review Criteria

Evaluations will be performed by the Breakthrough Awards Committee. The committee will use a weighted rubric to inform the prioritization of recommendations presented to the VPR. Committee members will evaluate nominations independently, then meet and come to a consensus for recommendations to the VPR.

The committee will evaluate nomination materials using a weighted rubric, and will look for specific evidence of key attributes in making their recommendations.

Nominee-Provided Summary (50 percent of score)

  • Nominee will use the provided summary form to answer the following statements:
  • Describe how your contributions have positively impacted the research of other faculty.
  • Describe how your contributions have positively impacted the greater community (internally or externally), and/or public perceptions of the university.
  • Describe how you have excelled in your current role and how your contributions go beyond expected duties as recognized by your discipline or position.
  • Describe your record of leadership as it relates to your research and scholarly activity.
  • Describe how your record of research and scholarly activity exceeds expectations in your discipline or position.

Nominator Letter of Recommendation (2-page limit; 20% of score)

  • This letter should provide evidence of positive impact by the nominee on the nominator or impact on others.
  • This letter should provide other anecdotal evidence of the nominee's merit for the award.
  • This letter should provide evidence that the nominee's contributions have exceeded expectations for leadership in their discipline or position.
  • This letter should provide evidence that the nominee's contributions have exceeded expectations for research and scholarly activity in their discipline or position.

OR

Outside Letter of Recommendation (2-page limit; 15 percent of score)

  • This letter should provide anecdotal evidence of the nominee's merit for the award.
  • This letter should provide evidence that the nominee's contributions have positively impacted the greater community (internally or externally), and/or public perceptions of the university.
  • This letter should describe lasting positive impacts in the greater community attributable to the nominee's contributions.
  • CV (15% of score)
  • The CV should demonstrate excellence in research, scholarly activity, and leadership.
  • The CV should accurately reflect and support the nominee-provided summary and letters of recommendation.