Carnegie Mellon University

Teaching Innovation Awards Nomination Process

Carnegie Mellon's Teaching Innovation Awards honor specific teaching innovations implemented by full-time faculty members. It recognizes teaching practices designed to improve student learning in online, blended or face-to-face courses. Innovations may be any teaching strategy used in a course, class meeting, assignment or other learning activity. Three to five faculty members or teams will be honored each year.

The award is intended to recognize and disseminate teaching practices based on the:

  • originality of the teaching strategy or how it was implemented
  • impact on student learning and/or engagement
  • potential to adopt the teaching strategy (or key elements thereof) within or across disciplines

Innovative teaching strategies developed and implemented within CMU undergraduate and graduate courses may be nominated. Any CMU faculty or staff member who was an instructor of record for the course AND contributed significantly to the development and/or implementation of the innovation is eligible for nomination. Innovations from all disciplines and CMU teaching contexts are welcomed. Previous winners are not eligible for nomination in consecutive years.

The provost is responsible for the administration of the nomination and selection process, including calling for proposals and convening the award selection committee.

The award selection committee consists of:

  • previous recipients of the Teaching Innovation Award
  • three additional faculty members appointed by the provost
  • at least one undergraduate and graduate student selected through a process developed by the dean of Student Affairs
  • the chairman of the committee (a representative of the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation, a non-voting member).

Any CMU faculty, staff, or student may submit a nomination (self-nominations are welcome).

Phase One of Nomination

Nominations consist of a letter (maximum 500 words or one single-spaced page) responding to the following questions and explaining why the teaching innovation is worthy of the award:

  • Who is the nominee (faculty member or team)?
  • What was the name and number of the CMU course in which the innovation was implemented?
  • What was the teaching practice? Why is it innovative?
  • How did it positively impact student learning and/or engagement?

Phase One Submission Deadline

The letter must be submitted on or before the first Monday in November* to be considered for that academic year.

The committee will select up to 10 nominees to be considered for phase two of the nomination process.

In 2021, the nomination deadline is the third Monday in November: Monday, November 15.

Phase Two of Nomination

Nomination packages must include the following components:

  • a description of the innovation completed by the nominee (maximum 1,000 words or two single-spaced pages), addressing
    what motivated this teaching innovation (i.e., what problem it was designed to address or what opportunity it was designed to leverage), how the innovation was implemented and how it impacted student learning and/or engagement (e.g., evidence of changes in students' performance on tests/assignments, attendance, participation, attitudes, use of instructional materials, etc.)
  • up to three distinct supporting materials associated with the innovation assembled by the nominee (e.g., assignment description, link to online instructional resource, examples of student work)
  • two to four letters of support written by current students or faculty members testifying to the impacts of the innovation on student learning and/or engagement

Phase Two Submission Deadline

Using the online submission form above, a single PDF of the complete nomination packet, must be submitted on or before the first Monday in February. Questions regarding the application content should be directed to

The award committee will choose three to five faculty members/teams to be recommended to the provost as the year's recipients of the award. Upon the provost's approval, the recipients will be notified and the awards will be presented at the Celebration of Education event in the spring.