Presidential Research Professors

Outstanding faculty scholars at the University may be designated Presidential Research Professors. This designation will not only recognize and honor past excellence in research or creative artistry, but will provide significant tangible support for continuing and future efforts. Each such professor will receive a support budget and some release from teaching and service duties. Presidential Research Professors (PRPs) will be nominated by a Select Committee and appointed by the President.

Only persons who have records of significant and sustained research or creative artistic work, and who have achieved national or international reputation by virtue of accomplishments in their fields, may receive these awards.

Nature of the Award. The Presidential Research Professorship is a non-renewable four-year appointment. Each PRP will receive upon appointment an increment of $2,000 to base salary. A grant of $5,000 per year will be provided during each year of the appointment, provided the recipient remains a full-time NIU faculty member. This is to be used for legitimate purposes related to the professor's scholarly activities (e.g., equipment, graduate assistants, supplies, travel, secretarial help), except for personal salary. In addition, each PRP will be released from one semester of teaching and service responsibility (or the equivalent in part-time releases) during the four-year period of the award. Each PRP must consult with his or her department chair regarding the scheduling of the semester(s) in which released time is to be granted; and it is preferable that this be done before the appointment begins. These provisions are to be over and above any tangible resources or released time that the PRP may obtain through grants or other sources during the appointment period.

Presidential Research Professors will be formally appointed at the Faculty Awards Ceremony, typically in the spring of the year prior to the starting date of their appointments.  At this time they will each be presented with a medallion intended for wearing with academic regalia and afterward will receive a personalized plaque recognizing the award.

Obligations of Presidential Research Professors. PRPs are expected to carry out a continuous program of research or creative artistry during the period of their appointments. At the conclusion of the award period, each PRP will be asked to present a lecture to the University community on his or her current scholarly work.

Distinguished Research Professors. When a Presidential Research Professor completes the four-year award period, his/her title will become Distinguished Research Professor.

The Select Committee. Candidates are evaluated by the Select Committee on Presidential Research Professorships, which consists of current PRPs/DRPs and at-large appointments made by the Vice President for Research and Innovation Partnerships and approved by the President.  The Vice President for Research and Innovation Partnerships is the non-voting chair of the committee.  No member of the Select Committee may be considered for the award.  Professor Emeriti are ineligible to serve on the Select Committee. 

Eligibility and Selection of Presidential Research Professors. From the time of the initiation of these awards in 1982, it has been emphasized they are to be made solely on the basis of scholarly or artistic credentials. Candidates must be full-time, tenured faculty with the rank of professor. Successful nominees will have received national or international acclaim for their research, scholarship, or artistry; will be among the researchers, scholars or artists of highest stature in their disciplines; will have made significant positive impact on the discipline nationally or internationally; and will be expected to continue to contribute to their disciplines at a high level.

In evaluating the nominees, the Committee may draw upon sources of expertise internal and external to the University. Presidential Research Professors are nominated by the Select Committee and appointed by the President. The award is not renewable and will end if and when full-time NIU employment ceases.