Metcalf Cup and Prize and Metcalf Awards for Excellence in Teaching

About the Awards

The Metcalf Cup and Prize and Metcalf Awards were established in 1973 by a gift from the late alumnus and Boston University Trustee, Dr. Arthur G. B. Metcalf, to create “a systematic procedure for the review of the quality of teaching at Boston University and the identification and advancement of those members of the faculty who excel as teachers.”

Each year, the Provost’s Faculty Teaching Awards Committee selects one Metcalf Cup and Prize recipient who receives a stipend of $10,000, and up to two Metcalf Award recipients who receive stipends of $5,000.

The Provost’s Faculty Teaching Awards Committee consists of the Chair, a committee member from a previous year, previous Metcalf Prize and Award winners, and a previous United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year. The committee also includes two students: one Harold C. Case Scholarship winner and one Dean Elsbeth Melville Scholarship winner. Learn more about the committee here.

Over the course of the year, the committee solicits and reviews supporting materials from the candidates:  short essays on their approaches to teaching, course syllabi, student evaluations, graded assignments, samples of student feedback, documents to support learning, other interactive and/or web-based course materials, and letters of recommendation from the candidates’ department chairs. The members of the committee visit the classes of the finalists and, in the spring, present their recommendations to the University President. The Cup and Prize and the Awards are presented annually at Commencement.

Letters of Nomination

Students, alumni, staff, and members of the faculty at Boston University are invited to nominate candidates for the Metcalf Awards. Letters of nomination (about one page) should briefly detail how the candidate meets the criteria below. Individuals may nominate only one candidate per year.

The deadline to submit nominations for the 2017 Metcalf Cup and Prize and the Metcalf Awards has now passed. The Provost’s Faculty Teaching Awards Committee will select candidates to recommend to the Provost and the President to approve for the awards, which will be presented at the 2017 Boston University Commencement. Solicitations for nominations for the 2018 Metcalf Cup and Prize and Metcalf Awards will go out in the summer of 2017.

Criteria used to select winners of the Metcalf Cup and Prize and the Metcalf Awards:

  1. Excellence in teaching in the context of a research institution. How and to what extent does the nominee engage students in the results and creation of new research, scholarship and creative work (i.e., new discoveries, new ideas, new creative work in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professions)? To what extent does the nominee excel across the range of teaching opportunities, including effectively mentoring graduate and/or undergraduate research projects?
  2. Challenge and ambition. How and to what extent does the nominee challenge students intellectually?
  3. Engagement. How and to what extent does the nominee engage students in active learning (discussions, interactive lectures, group and individual projects, service or community-based research and learning, presentations, responsibility for the learning of classmates, etc.)?
  4. Thoughtful evaluation of student work. How careful and effective is the nominee in providing feedback aimed at improving student work?

To be eligible, a faculty member must:

  • Have held a full-time, continuing appointment on the teaching faculty for not less than six semesters;
  • Be teaching during the Spring semester of the current academic year;
  • Not be currently under review for promotion or tenure;
  • Not be on sabbatical leave, or leave of absence;
  • Not be a previous winner of the Metcalf Cup and Prize or Award.

Lecturers are eligible.

Past Awardees:

Congratulations to 2017 Metcalf Cup and Prize Recipient, Professor Naomi Mann, LAW; as well as to the 2017 Metcalf Award Recipients, Professor Sophie Godley, Community Health, SPH; and Professor Gary Lawson, LAW.