U21 Health Sciences Teaching Excellence Award

The U21 Health Sciences Group (HSG) has announced a U21 Health Sciences Teaching Excellence Award. At their meeting in Shanghai in September 2014, U21 Deans of Medicine came up with the idea of establishing a U21 Health Sciences Teaching Excellence Award as an appreciation of the need to better recognize and value educational scholarship in the academic university setting, particularly amongst research-intensive universities. The award is designed to support faculty in the area of health sciences, and is targeted towards junior faculty to provide them with an opportunity to develop international collaborations and international recognition.

Nature of the Award

Each year, the award will be given to two nominees from different institutions who do not need to have worked together. Ideally, they will be from different professional disciplines and will have some educational commonalities. The recipients will be required to work together to facilitate an educational workshop that will be delivered at the U21 HSG Annual Meeting.

The award is principally aimed at early to mid-career academics across the U21 HSG. It offers applicants a fantastic opportunity to develop new collaborations, to work internationally and to share their joint expertise with others.

Nominees must be faculty or instructors in one of the U21 HSG member universities and hold a position with a significant component of teaching. They are expected to have had 5-10 years of teaching experience.


  • May: Award is open for applications

  • July: Deadline for universities to submit their nominee

  • August: Winners designated by selection committee

  • September: Winners announced


  • September: Winners to facilitate workshop at the U21 HSG meeting

Applicants must be full-time faculty in a health sciences field, who have completed at least three years but fewer than eleven years of teaching duties. Only one candidate will be nominated from UConn every year.

UConn Global Health Sciences Committee will nominate one health sciences faculty member to the U21 Health Sciences Group selection committee. The nomination will include all application materials and a 3 page summary statement describing how the nominee satisfies the selection criteria and evidence of outcomes of improved interdisciplinary learning. The UConn Global Health Sciences Committee will consider the following criteria, recognizing the career stage of the applicant. Applicants should try to provide:

Evidence of contributions to advancing teaching and learning with a particular focus on interdisciplinary teaching and on students’ interdisciplinary learning that can be demonstrated by some of the following:

  • New or revitalized initiatives that engage students in interdisciplinary learning;
  • Community or workplace interdisciplinary learning initiatives;
  • International interdisciplinary learning initiatives;
  • Classroom and/or specialized interdisciplinary learning.

Evidence of international collaboration in teaching and learning or internationalization of curricula that can be demonstrated by some of the following:

  • Use of international contacts and networks in the professional area;
  • Presentations or input from guest lecturers with international experience;
  • Use of international case studies or examples; analysis of information from a range of international resources;
  • Use of fieldwork/internship/placement with local organizations working on international projects or in international agencies;
  • Exploration of cultural and regional differences in values and assumptions affecting the discipline and how these might impact on the actions of individuals;
  • Use of online multicultural teams for problem-solving tasks related to the professional area.

Evidence of an outstanding and sustained record of teaching which can include but is not limited to:

  • Evidence of excellent overall quality in teaching courses as determined by students and peers at both the undergraduate level and, where possible, the graduate level;
  • Evidence of sustained commitment to excellence in teaching and learning over a number of years;
  • Incorporation of innovative and evidence-based teaching and learning approaches where possible and appropriate;
  • Effective and appropriate use of technology for online, blended, and face-to-face contexts;
  • Utilization of effective and innovative assessment methods that focus on the deep learning of the subject and the development of critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to engage and inspire in students independent and original thinking.