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Public Impact Research (PIR) Awards

Nominations due January 31, 2024

2023 Public Impact Research Award Recipients

Yousef Bozorgnia, Sharon Dolovich and Aaron Littman were recognized with the 2023 Public Impact Research Awards.

Program Guidelines

 

Purpose

The Public Impact Research (PIR) Award recognizes faculty whose research or other creative work has had a significant beneficial public impact. In selecting awardees, there is a strong emphasis on cases where this public benefit has been achieved in part through the sustained efforts of the nominated faculty to bring their research or creative activity into the public arena. For the purposes of this award, the term “public impact” is defined broadly to include scientific, social, cultural, artistic, political and other forms of public benefit that may be local, national and/or global.

The rationale for these awards is twofold:

  • These awards are intended to demonstrate that the university recognizes and values the extra effort required to translate or transfer specific research findings into public benefit.
  • The awards provide a platform for UCLA to highlight and publicize the ways in which our local, state, national, and global communities are benefitting from UCLA research and creative activities. This goal is consistent with UCLA’s mission statement, which states that the institution’s “primary purpose as a public research university is the creation, dissemination, preservation and application of knowledge for the betterment of our global society.”

As a public institution that is deeply engaged throughout the public arena, UCLA has many examples of endeavors that have had a significant public impact. Not all of these activities necessarily align with the goals of this award, which is specifically focused on instances where UCLA faculty have translated their research and/or creative work for the benefit of the broader public. 


Background

In honor of UCLA’s Centennial Celebration (2019-2020), the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Creative Activities established this new award to recognize faculty for their sustained efforts to translate their research into positive public action

There have been two cycles of the Public Impact Research Awards, with a total of seven awards given.

2023 PIR Awardees 

2022 PIR Awardees 
 

 

Number of Awards / Award Amount

Up to four awards will be given annually in the amount of $15,000 each.


Awardee Disciplines

The awards will reflect the importance of public impact research across all disciplines at UCLA. At least one award will be made to a recipient from disciplines within the humanities, social sciences, or creative arts. At least one award will be made to a recipient from disciplines within the life sciences, physical sciences, health sciences, or engineering.


Award Disbursement

Award funds will be disbursed to UCLA accounts for the awardees.

The funds may be used at the discretion of the awardees to further support their scholarly work.

Awarded funds must be used in compliance with all university policies and procedures.

Nomination Types

Two types of nominations are possible:

  • Individual nomination - To recognize a single UCLA-affiliated individual
  • Team nomination (e.g. project team, center, institute etc) - To recognize an effort involving multiple UCLA-affiliated project leaders

NOTE: For a team nomination, between two and six individuals with UCLA affiliations should be identified as the UCLA project leaders.


Nominee Eligibility 

 

For individual nominations:

For team nominations:

  • At least one of the project leaders must be a member of the UCLA Academic Senate of any rank. (See Academic Senate membership: UC Regents Standing Order 105.1).
  • The individuals listed as project leaders must have a UCLA affiliation.
  • Other major contributors to the project who do not have a UCLA affiliation should be listed in the nomination as additional contributors/partners.
  • There are no eligibility constraints for additional contributors/partners

Past recipients of the Public Impact Research Award are not eligible for re-nomination. However, an individual past recipient may be part of a nominated team that is being nominated for distinctly different work.


Nominator Eligibility

Nominations may be made by any member of the UCLA campus community.

Self nominations are not permitted.

 

Nomination Submission 

Nominations must be submitted by Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 11:59 pm.

All nominations must be submitted through the online nomination portal. Nominators should access the application using the “UCLA Login” option, which will prompt the user to login using their single sign-on credentials.

Nominations are valid for two award cycles (i.e. the current cycle plus one additional cycle). 

Access Nomination Portal


Renominations

Nominations are valid for two cycles.

Nominators who submitted a nomination in the previous cycle (Feb. 2023 deadline) will have the opportunity to update the nomination package for the current cycle. For any future cycles, a new nomination must be submitted.

It is not required for nominators to update the nomination materials in order for a nomination to remain valid for a second award cycle.

If a nominator would like to update their nomination for the second cycle, please email any updated materials to orcafunding@conet.ucla.edu by the nomination deadline.

If a nominator needs a copy of the nomination materials from the previous cycle (Feb. 2023 deadline), please email orcafunding@conet.ucla.edu.


Nomination Contents

To be entered into the appropriate fields of the nomination form:

Nominator Information

  • Information for the primary nominator, including name, email, affiliation, and title
  • Up to three additional nominators may be listed

Nomination Information

  • Nominee
    • For individual nominations, enter the person's name in the following format (Last, First).
    • For team nominations, please enter the name of the team (e.g. center title, project title, etc.) as it would appear in an award citation. (NOTE: Individual project leaders for a team nomination can be listed later)
  • Nomination Type
    • Individual nomination - To recognize a single UCLA-affiliated individual
    • Team nomination (e.g. project team, center, institute etc.) - To recognize an effort involving multiple UCLA-affiliated project leaders
  • Nomination Rationale (200-word maximum)
    • The rationale should succinctly state the reason for the nomination, including the significant beneficial public impact of the nominee’s work and how the nominee has endeavored to bring that impact into the public sphere.
    • The rationale should address how the nominee exemplifies the PIR award's specific focus on instances where UCLA faculty have translated their research and/or creative work for the benefit of the broader public. 
    • NOTE: The nomination rationale should be written in the third-person and may be used in announcing the awardees. 

Nominee Information (Individual)

  • Nominee name, UCLA affiliation, title, and email

Nominee Information (Team)

  • NOTE: This section will request information about the project leaders. A team nomination requires between two and six individuals with UCLA affiliations to be identified as project leaders.
  • Nominated Team Name
    • Enter the name of the team (e.g. center title, project title, etc.) as it would appear in an award citation. Individual project leaders will be listed further down.
  • Project leader Information 
    • For each project leader, include name, title, UCLA affiliation, and email

To be uploaded in the nomination form in pdf format:

Letter of Nomination (No more than 2 pages)

  • This letter from the nominator should describe how the nominee/team’s research or creative activities translated into public benefit and the nominee/team’s contribution to that translation.
  • Nominators are encouraged to review the selection criteria (listed below) to ensure their letter addresses those topics.
  • If there are multiple nominators, they are encouraged to co-sign a single letter. If separate letters from nominators are necessary, please combine all letters into a singe pdf.

Personal Statement (No more than 2 pages)

  • This statement from the nominee/project leader(s) should address their work in the context of its public impact.
  • Nominees are encouraged to review the selection criteria (listed below) when developing their personal statement.
  • For team nominations, a joint statement from the project leaders should be uploaded.

Support Letter(s) 

  • The nomination must include at least one letter of support.
  • Letters should come from members of the public/community who benefited from the nominee/team’s contribution and/or can speak with personal knowledge of the community benefit.
  • All letter should be combined into a single pdf.

Nominee CV(s)

  • For team nominations, CVs should be provided for everyone listed as a project leader and combined into a single pdf

Additional Materials (Optional) 

  • Nominators are encouraged to include additional materials for the review committee to consider. These materials should focus on demonstrating the public impact of the nominee’s work.
  • Example materials include news articles or other publications in external lay media about the nominee’s research or creative activity.
  • For digital media, a page with links to items can be included.
  • Additional materials should be combined into a single pdf, where possible given file size limitations

Initial Screening

Program staff will conduct an initial screen of nominations to confirm eligibility and completeness. Nominators will be contacted if there are any questions.


Review Criteria

Review of the nominations will primarily be focused on the following criteria:
 
Public Impact
The nominee has undertaken a concerted effort to bring their research/creative activities into the public arena. These endeavors are characterized by a deliberate effort to translate or transfer their research/creative activities for the benefit of the broader public. “Public impact” is defined broadly to include scientific, social, cultural, artistic, political, and other forms of public benefit that may be local, national, or global in scale.

Evidence of Public Impact
The nomination materials (including the letter(s) from community beneficiaries of the work) demonstrate that the nominee’s research/creative activities have had a clear and sustained public impact.
 
Extent of Public Impact
Taking into account the area of the nominee’s research/creative activities, they have exceeded expectations for the typical public impact in their field and have striven to push the boundaries of how their work may benefit the public. The scale and scope of their public impact is exceptional in the context of any challenges and difficulties they have encountered. For individual nominations, the extent of the public impact is exceptional for the nominee’s career stage. For teams or centers, the extent of the public impact is exceptional for the length of time the collaboration or center has existed.
 
Sustained Commitment to Public Impact
The nominee has demonstrated a continuing commitment across a significant period of time to ensuring that their research/creative activities are of benefit to the wider public. Public impact has been a central component in the conception of their research/creative activities. 
 
Alignment with Program Goal
These awards are intended to provide a platform for UCLA to highlight and publicize ways in which our local, state, national, and/or global communities are benefitting from UCLA research. Recognition of the nominee’s work would align with this program’s goal by underscoring how the nominee is promoting UCLA’s mission of the “creation, dissemination, preservation and application of knowledge for the betterment of our global society.”

For questions about the Public Impact Research (PIR) Awards, please email orcafunding@conet.ucla.edu