Awards Programs

Outstanding Teacher Award 

The College Outstanding Teacher Award (COTA) program was instituted as a complement to the Distinguished Teaching Award and is administered by the Provost's Office and the individual colleges. The purpose of the award is to honor faculty members for their teaching accomplishments at the college level. The awards are given during the spring semester, and recipients are recognized at Undergraduate Commencement. For more information about COTA, please refer to the TEFD guidelines.

The Awards Committee solicits nominations from all CICS undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. The nominations can be emailed to awards@cics.umass.edu and should include a statement of why the faculty member is deserving of the award keeping in mind the following criteria: (1) teaching effectiveness and creativity, (2) impact on students, and (3) subject mastery and scholarship, and (4) contributions to the teaching mission. Nominations by students are mainly expected to comment on the first three criteria. For more elaboration on the four criteria, please refer to the TEFD guidelines.

The nominations are due by February 10th every year. 

The Awards Committee will determine the awardee based on the submitted nominations and other material it considers appropriate. The Awards Committee will include at least one undergraduate and one graduate student in its discussions to determine the awardee. The committee may also confer with the Personnel Committee in its determination.

A CICS faculty member will not be considered eligible to receive this award more than once in any five-year period. 

Outstanding Graduate Research Award 

The CICS Outstanding Graduate Research Award (COGRA) recognizes the outstanding research accomplishments of a graduate student in the College of Information and Computer Sciences.

All current CICS Ph.D. or M.S. students who have not previously received this award are eligible.

Any CICS graduate faculty member can nominate a graduate student for the award. The nomination must include the nominee's current CV and a brief statement (limited to two pages) on why the nominee deserves the award based on their research accomplishments as a CICS graduate student in the recent past and a list of up to three additional references in a position to comment on the nominee's work.

Nominations should be sent to awards@cics.umass.edu by February 17th.

The CICS Awards Committee will determine the awardee based on the submitted nominations. The committee may solicit additional feedback as necessary from the nominator or additional references listed in the nomination statement or the Graduate Program Committee. The committee may opt to not select any awardee or select multiple awardees in the same year. Nomination statements and letters should highlight intellectual merit criteria including but not limited to recognition by high-quality peer-reviewed venues or other science or technology forums and broader impacts to other researchers, industry practitioners, or society.