Vilas Research Professorships

Vilas Research Professorships were created “for the advancement of learning” and are considered among the highest recognition for faculty at this institution. A candidate should be of proven research ability and possess unusual qualifications and promise. The individual must have contributed significantly to the research mission of the university and be widely recognized both nationally and internationally for the quality of research. Vilas Research Professorships provide for a reduced teaching load, a $10,000 salary supplement, an annual account of $50,000 for research expenses, and a retirement supplement of $2,500 per year for an individual who has served at least 15 years as a Vilas Research Professor. Additionally, Vilas Supplemental Funds are periodically available to Vilas Research Professors. When available, these funds may be requested for special nonrecurring research expenses (e.g., a piece of equipment, new acquisitions for our library collections relevant to your area of research, etc.).

These professorships for scholarly achievement are funded through the generosity of the Trustees of the William F. Vilas Estate and are managed by the provost. A call for nominations occurs only when a Vilas Research Professor resigns or retires.

An academic department or interdisciplinary center/institute may submit one or more nominations for this professorship. These nominations should be endorsed by the dean. You may use the materials prepared for the WARF Named Professorship or similar competition in the current or previous year for this nomination (condense letters to 1,000 words or fewer). In cases of split appointments, endorsement by both deans/directors is required. Individuals will not be awarded two “in perpetuity” professorships (i.e., professorships that are renewable indefinitely) at the same time. Therefore, anyone who already holds such a professorship (e.g., a Bascom) and is awarded a new one (e.g., a Vilas Research Professor) must give up the other. This does not apply to limited-term professorships, such as WARF Professorships, Romnes Fellowships, etc.

 

Submitting a Nomination

Nomination Criteria

Strong nominations will address:

  1. The quality, significance, and productivity of the nominee’s research or creative work
  2. The quality and programmatic value of the nominee’s teaching and service
  3. The nominee’s contribution to the research mission of the university, as well as evidence the nominee is widely recognized both nationally and internationally for the quality of research

Deadline

Nominations may be submitted at any time before, but no later than, March 1, 2023.

Application Process

  1. Create a single PDF file for each nomination that includes:
    • A cover page with the nominee’s name, department, and school or college
    • A letter of endorsement from the dean or director
    • A brief letter (1,000 words or fewer) of nomination from the department or center/institute executive committee(s) that explains how the nominee was selected and highlights the major features of their work. The criteria are the quality, significance, and productivity of the nominee’s research or creative work, and the quality and programmatic value of the nominee’s teaching and service.
    • An up-to-date curriculum vitae and bibliography of the nominee
    • Five (5) letters of recommendation (must have three outside letters and two internal, each of 1,000 words or less)
    • Optional: If viewable online, a listing of where to find electronic versions of publications may be included. Publications should not be submitted.
  2. Name the PDF file “NomineeLastName-SchoolCollegeDivision-DateSubmitted” (for example, Smith-Education-2022-09-13.pdf)
  3. Upload the file to the Vilas Research Professorship Box folder
  4. The chancellor, provost, and an ad hoc faculty committee of current holders of named professorships and tenured faculty review proposals and notify departments of their decision.