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Esther Farfel Award

Nomination Process

The University of Houston announces the annual Esther Farfel Award, the highest honor accorded to a University faculty member. The award, a symbol of overall career excellence, carries a cash prize of $10,000.

Nomination deadline: Friday, November 20, 2020

Fall Nomination Checklist


Nominees must be tenured faculty members who have held a full-time continuous faculty appointment at the University of Houston for at least five academic years prior to the year of nomination. Nominees must demonstrate excellence in all areas of faculty responsibility. For those tenured faculty members who may have temporarily held a temporary position as interim university administrator, the time spent in that interim administrative position will not be considered a break in faculty service for the purposes of this nomination. The selection committee will consider:

  1. the significance and national/international impact of the candidate's research or creative activity;
  2. evidence of outstanding teaching ability; and
  3. distinctive and exemplary service to the University, the profession, and the community.

Nomination Process

Faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni may make nominations. In addition, the selection committee actively solicits nominations. Nomination is a two-step process:

Step 1: Nomination deadline: Friday, November 20, 2020

  1. Submit the nomination form, two-page letter of nomination and the nominee’s full current curriculum vitae electronically as a single PDF document via email to (please label the document with the nominee’s last name, first name). The maximum pdf file size is 20mb.
  2. After the selection committee conducts the initial review of nominations, candidates will be notified of the results by late November or early December. Finalists may then choose to proceed with the nomination process as follows:

Fall Nomination Checklist

Step 2: Finalist supporting materials deadline: Monday, February 1, 2021

All documents should be submitted as PDFs as outlined on the finalist checklist. The documents should be emailed as four PDF documents containing the materials under the categories of Nomination, Research, Teaching, and Service. The maximum file size for each emailed PDF is 20mb. Please use the finalist checklist offered for download below for the order and presentation of materials.

Supporting materials are needed under each of the categories of research and scholarship, teaching, and service. For recommendations from external letter writers, provide a summary of the credentials of each referee and relationship, if any, to the nominee.

Finalist Checklist

  • Research and Scholarship
    Six letters supporting the quality and significance of the nominee's research and scholarship, at least three of which must be arm's length reviewers from outside the University of Houston community.
  • Teaching
    Four letters addressing the contributions of the nominee to teaching must be included — three from among the nominee's current or former students and one from a UH colleague. Provide a list of students the nominee has mentored and their current employment or position (if known). Documentation of quality teaching, including summarized and comparative student and department and/or college course evaluations for at least the previous two years. Documentation may also include activities such as course development, advising and other contributions to student learning.
  • Service
    Three letters documenting distinguished and exemplary service to the University, the profession, and the community.

Selection Process

The selection committee may contact the references for more details. The committee will then review the nominations and recommend a finalist by early March. After the Provost and the President approve the recommendation, the President will inform the recipient of the award. The award will be presented at the Faculty Awards ceremony at the end of the spring semester.