The Philomathia Prize

Overview

Established in 2021 through a generous endowment gift from the Philomathia Foundation, the Philomathia Prize is intended to recognize exceptional early career faculty members at the University of California, Berkeley from any discipline who demonstrate great distinction and promise in their academic field. The Prize consists of an award of $200,000 to be used at the discretion of the Prize recipient.

In creating this award, the Philomathia Foundation seeks to inspire faculty in the early stages of their careers, and enable them to pursue the kind of highly original inquiry that has the potential to yield the most important advances. An award of this magnitude will recognize the promise, creativity and future potential of faculty at a critical time in their careers.

The Prize will be awarded annually and will alternate between science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and non-STEM disciplines each year. All disciplines will be eligible for the first 2021-2022 Prize cycle. Prize recipients are allotted three years to expend their funding.

Candidates may propose new/extended research projects or propose support of research they are already engaged in. The main criteria for selection is strength of current research, but outside awards and prizes, service to campus, and teaching will also be considered by the committee.

The Philomathia Foundation has been one of Berkeley’s most generous partners for nearly two decades and is dedicated to improving the human condition through the support of innovative, forward-thinking individuals and ideas. Please see Philomathia Center at Berkeley and The Philomathia Foundation for more information on the foundation's programs.

Eligibility

Eligibility is limited to non-tenured, tenure-track Assistant Professors as well as Associate Professors and Professors of Law that have received tenure within the last four years. Associate Professors that are undergoing review to become a full Professor, or whose cases will be submitted for review in FY22, are not eligible.

Application Process

The application process consists of multiple stages: First, a brief application submitted by the applicant to their Department Chair or Professional School Dean by October 22, 2021. If nominated for the next round, the applicant will be notified on November 1, 2021, and asked to submit a more developed proposal due November 12, 2021. 

December 15, 2021 is the deadline for Deans to submit their endorsements and rankings of the applications, up to the maximum allotment per Dean, to the Office of the Vice Provost for the Faculty. The Prize winner will be announced in March, and funds will be transfered later that August. 

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS, October 1, 2021.

FAQs

For additional information about the application requirements, deadlines, and other details, please refer to the FAQs section at the bottom of this page.

Questions may be sent to PhilomathiaPrize@berkeley.edu

Frequently Asked Questions — Philomathia Prize Fund

How many Prizes are awarded each year?

There will be only one Prize winner each year. The Prize will be awarded annually and will alternate between science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and non-STEM disciplines each year. All disciplines will be eligible for the first 2021-2022 Prize cycle.

What if I am eligible to apply, but am currently serving as Department Chair?

If a Department Chair is eligible, the Dean of that Department will appoint an in-lieu Chair, preferably from that Department, who is not eligible, to review applications from that Department.

What if I am eligible to apply, but am currently serving as Department Chair?

If a Department Chair is eligible, the Dean of that Department will appoint an in-lieu Chair, preferably from that Department, who is not eligible, to review applications from that Department.

How should the award funds be used?

The Prize amount is to be used at the sole discretion of the awardee. Suggested usage may include summer salary, dependent care, or the hiring of a post-doc fellow to assist the awardee in the research program.

What is the duration of the award?

Recipients are expected to use the funds within 3 years, after which any unused amount of the prize funds will be reverted back to the endowment.

What is the timeline for applications for Colleges?

L&S: Arts & Humanities, L&S: Social Sciences, L&S Biological Sciences, L&S Math & Physical Sciences, College of Engineering, Rausser College of Natural Resources, College of Chemistry, and College of Environmental Design

October 1, 2021:Call for applications announcement will be emailed to eligible faculty.

October 22, 2021: Deadline for eligible faculty to submit initial applications. Applications will be batched and distributed to Department Chairs by VPF...

What is the timeline for applications for Professional Schools?

Haas School of Business, School of Law, Graduate School of Education, School of Information, Journalism, Optometry, School of Social Welfare, Goldman School of Public Policy

October 1, 2021:Call for applications announcement will be emailed to eligible faculty.

October 22, 2021:Deadline for eligible faculty to submit initial applications. Applications will be batched and distributed to Professional School Deans by VPF office. Each faculty application will...

Is there overhead charged to this award?

What are the responsibilities of the Prize winner?

The Prize winner will deliver the keynote lecture at the Philomathia Day Forum, an event which will highlight the winner's field of study to be held in late 2022, and will assist with the planning of the event, including identifying topics and speakers. A reception will be held to honor the Prize winner, and invitees will include Philomathia Foundation Board members and awardee’s faculty colleagues, students, and family.

Can the award include salary for a post-doc?

The award may be used to hire a post-doc fellow to assist the awardee in the research program. The post doc fellow is chosen by the awardee and shall be known as a Philomathia Fellow.

How many nominations can each dean submit for committee review?

The maximum number of nominations a dean may submit for committee review is based on the size of the eligible population in each decanal unit:

College of Engineering: 4

L&S: Arts & Humanities: 4

L&S: Social Sciences: 4

L&S: Biological Sciences: 3

L&S: Math & Physical Sciences: 3

Rausser College of Natural Resources: 3

College of Chemistry: 2

...

What must be included in the application?

An initial application submitted to Department Chairs or Professional School Deans should include a CV and a brief (no more than 200 words) project description. Those nominated by Department Chairs or Professional School Deans for the final round will submit a more robust application including a nomination statement from the Department Chair, a CV of the candidate, and a 2-page proposal for new/extended research projects or for support of research the candidate is already engaged in.