Mentor Award in Humanities and Arts Disciplines

The Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) honors mentors in the humanities and the arts for significant and meaningful scholarly/creative activities with undergraduate students. Mentors are leaders and role models for those involved in undergraduate research, scholarship, or creative activities. The winner will receive an award of $1000 and recognition through CUR’s media outlets and/or notifications through appropriate higher education publications. (Read about past recipients.)
Faculty members in humanities and arts disciplines who have five or more years of teaching and scholarly/research/creative inquiry (URSCI) past the terminal degree in their discipline are eligible for the award. CUR membership is also a requirement.
The nomination process occurs in two phases: the first a shorter submission and the second, for finalists, a longer portfolio. A faculty member must be nominated for the mentor award by her/his institution, preferably by the president or provost/academic vice president. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Only one nomination per campus can be accepted.

Nomination Process—Phase One:  

Submission Target Date:  The nomination period closes November 9, 2020. 
The initial nomination packet should include:
  • A letter from an appropriate administrator at the institution (can be from president, provost, research officer, or dean) highlighting the nominee’s contributions to the mentoring of students in the humanities or arts, and
  • A three-page curriculum vitae (CV) of the nominee tailored to showcase undergraduate mentoring activities, which should include any publications, presentations, exhibitions, and/or performances with undergraduate coauthors.
Please submit the phase-one application 2020 Arts & Humanities Mentor Award.

Nomination Process—Phase Two:  

Submission Target Date: February 22, 2021.
The review committee will select a group of finalists from nominations. Finalists will be invited to submit a complete application portfolio. It is anticipated that all nominees, regardless of whether they will be progressing to the finalist stage, will be notified by December 21, 2020. In addition to the items already submitted, the complete portfolio includes in this order:
  • A first-person written narrative of no more than five pages (maximum of 1500 words) that speaks to the nominee’s professional and personal commitment to mentoring with specific illustrations. The statement may offer examples of student successes, innovative approaches to mentoring, curriculum development that enhances research, any efforts to develop institutional undergraduate research within the humanities and arts or the broader campus, scholarly publications reporting on undergraduate research, or instances of advocacy on behalf of undergraduate research with particular attention to humanities and arts.    
  • Student letters – Two recommendation letters from current or former undergraduate research students mentored by the nominee (two-page limit for each letter).  Students should explain (1) how their mentor contributed to their success and (2) how their mentor was a role model or inspiration. Additional information that gives more detailed insight into the mentor’s work on behalf of the student is welcome.  
Review Process
A committee composed of three representatives from CUR governance, including councilors from humanities and arts disciplines, and undergraduate research program directors who are knowledgeable about humanities and arts disciplines, and inquiry undertaken within them, will review the applications. It is anticipated that the winning mentor will be notified in mid-March 2021 and will be publicly honored during Undergraduate Research Week 2021.
Questions may be addressed to Robin Howard at

"The term 'humanities' includes, but is not limited to, the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life. The term 'the arts' includes, but is not limited to, music (instrumental and vocal), dance, drama, folk art, creative writing, architecture and allied fields, painting, sculpture, photography, graphic and craft arts, industrial design, costume and fashion design, motion pictures, television, radio, film, video, tape and sound recording, the arts related to the presentation, performance, execution, and exhibition of such major art forms, all those traditional arts practiced by the diverse peoples of this country. (sic) and the study and application of the arts to the human environment."
--National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, 1965, as amended