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, previous Metcalf Prize and Award winners, a previous Gitner Award winner, a previous Provost’s Scholar-Teacher of the Year Award recipient, and members of the Office of the Provost. The committee also includes two undergraduate students: one Harold C. Case Scholarship winner and one Dean Elsbeth Melville Scholarship winner, and a graduate student. 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.


Students, alumni, staff, and members of the faculty at Boston University are invited to nominate candidates for the Metcalf Awards. Nominations should be completed via the official nomination form and 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 2024 Metcalf Awards is Friday, October 13, 2023. Please email your nomination form to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs at If you have any questions about the Metcalf Awards, please contact Kristen Vellinga, senior administrative coordinator, at

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 as demonstrated by one or more of the following:
    • 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?
    • How has the nominee developed and implemented innovative teaching practices?
  • 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.

Past Awardees:

Congratulations to 2023 Metcalf Cup and Prize recipient, Karin Hendricks, Music Education, CFA; as well as to the 2023 Metcalf Award recipients, Stephanie Byttebier, Rhetoric, CGS; and Joanna Davidson, Anthropology, CAS.