I am pleased to announce a new university award, the UCF Medal of Societal Impact, designed to spotlight a core aspect of a public university’s mission: conducting research for the betterment of society. This award will recognize faculty whose research has significantly benefited society, similar to the contributions of members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
The award will include a $50,000 grant and recognize discovery and innovation that reaches beyond the scientific community to aid the world. All UCF faculty are eligible for nomination for this award. Self-nominations and nominations from others are welcome. The submission deadline is Sept. 30 and must include the names of two references from outside UCF. More about the requirements and the nomination process is available on this webpage.
An external committee with members from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine will evaluate nominees. If they determine anyone’s record rises to the requisite national level of societal impact, one winner will be honored on Founders’ Day with the medal presented by the president.
The distinction between this medal and other faculty recognitions is the emphasis on societal impact – a visible and important contribution societally or economically or in some other way to the human condition – in addition to, and more important than, traditional academic measures of success such as citations, publication venues, etc. This shines a bright spotlight on a core aspect of a public university’s mission: conducting research, scholarship and creative activities for the betterment of our society.
I am grateful for the many ways our faculty impact our community and world, and I look forward to the new recognition the UCF Medal of Societal Impact will bring to this dimension of our faculty’s valuable work.