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 winner who receives a stipend of $10,000, and up to two Metcalf Award winners 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 for submitting nominations for the 2022 Metcalf Awards is Friday, October 1, 2021. Please email your nominations to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions about the Metcalf Awards, please contact Morgan Danna, Administrative Coordinator (email@example.com).
Criteria used to select winners of the Metcalf Cup and Prize and the Metcalf Awards:
- 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?
- Challenge and ambition. How and to what extent does the nominee challenge students intellectually?
- 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.)?
- 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.
Congratulations to 2020 Metcalf Cup and Prize Recipient, Sarah Sherman-Stokes, LAW; as well as to the 2020 Metcalf Award Recipients, Seth Blumenthal, Arts & Sciences Writing Program, CAS; and Courtney Goto, Religious Education, STH.