Arizona State University is committed to fostering innovative solutions that yield real-world change. ASU values our employees’ innovative contributions through creative and inspiring projects and programs. The President’s Awards formally recognizes successful solutions in innovation, social embeddedness, sustainability and transdisciplinary collaboration.
These awards are opportunities to recognize and celebrate the commitment and contributions of ASU employees.
“Through the efforts of ASU employees, we are creating one of the greatest learning environments ever established anywhere. I appreciate the commitment and significant contributions demonstrated by our university employees, and I support the opportunities we have to acknowledge and celebrate the individual and collective accomplishments of our colleagues.”
— Michael M. Crow, ASU President
ASU faculty and staff may apply. Teams can develop ideas and can take many forms. Applicants must develop, complete, implement and show measurable results from their project or program. Interested applicants must be prequalified for final applications.
Prequalification proposal submissions are open from Dec. 27, 2023, through Feb. 26, 2024.
Submit prequalification proposal
A committee will review each submission and determine if the proposed project or program aligns with the selected award. Those who align will receive an official invitation to apply in early 2024.
Contact Patty Rosciano for inquiries about submitted proposals.
Invited projects or programs selected will receive an awards packet detailing the second part of the application process:
- Adhering to the application submission deadline.
- Attending an informational and writers’ workshop to assist you in your submission.
- Ensuring the project meets the full award criteria.
- Include detailed information on your application, such as contact information, abstract, and document requirements.
Please email the program coordinator for additional resources.
Submit final applications by 5 p.m., April 29, 2024. The committee will provide further information in the awards packet. A committee will review all completed submissions and select the final President’s Awards recipients. The program coordinator will notify award recipients and provide award ceremony details.
Project Award category descriptions
President’s Award for Innovation
This award recognizes ASU personnel who demonstrate the university’s commitment to higher education through the development and execution of innovative projects, programs, initiatives, services and techniques. Solutions may be motivated by social, economic, artistic or intellectual challenges and should reflect a clear commitment to positive change while creating value for the university and the broader community. Ideas might include these elements:
- Collaborative initiatives involving departments, external communities or institutions that yield mutually beneficial outcomes.
- Revolutionary processes that serve as exemplars in any field and are scaled or used within ASU and beyond.
- Modern methods that drive the success of ASU’s academic community of students and scholars — e.g., recruitment, programming, research and learning.
- Imaginative solutions to social, economic, political, environmental or other global challenges that meet present and future needs.
President’s Award for Sustainability
This award recognizes sustainability principles, solutions, programs or services that may serve as a catalyst or an example for adoption by other ASU units. Sustainability projects and programs must model one or more of the following:
- Collaborative action among scientists, scholars, business leaders, students and community leaders that enhances our collective capacity to address sustainability challenges.
- Campus operations, including the development of campus events, business practices or policies that promote and enhance ASU’s goals of climate positivity, a circular resource system and optimized water use.
- Teaching and learning involving faculty, staff and students promoting sustainability practices and solving sustainability problems locally, nationally or globally.
- Use-inspired research that is a collaboration between university researchers and their internal and external partners to develop solutions addressing sustainability’s environmental, economic and social challenges.
President’s Award for Transdisciplinary Collaboration
The Arizona State University President’s Award for Transdisciplinary Collaboration seeks to recognize multidisciplinary project teams that have undertaken exemplary trans-sectoral collaboration addressing a complex societally relevant issue. These research teams work collaboratively with actively engaged participants from different sectors — academia, business and industry, government laboratories, agencies and organizations in civil society.
The approach to transdisciplinary collaboration exemplified in this award aligns with ASU’s design aspirations of transdisciplinary intellectual fusion and use-inspired research. Successful projects will feature signature characteristics of Highly Integrative Basic and Responsive research projects. HIBAR projects pursue fundamental knowledge while addressing urgent societal challenges and integrate theories, concepts and methodologies across disciplines and beyond university walls.
The President’s Award for Transdisciplinary Collaboration will be awarded to a research team whose leadership includes at least one researcher who is a member of the ASU academic community and at least one affiliated with a societal partner organization. A societal partner organization can be a government agency or laboratory, a for-profit company or a non-profit organization. Researchers in all fields are eligible to apply.
Exemplary transdisciplinary and cross-sectoral projects integrate the following characteristics:
- Dual motivations or integrated purposes that seek new knowledge and address a critical societal challenge. These purposes lead project teams to draw from a more comprehensive set of knowledge and skills.
- Shared leadership by academic and non-academic researchers representing wider society, working in a collaborative and equitable partnership. Participants from different sectors make more informed decisions when working together, including decisions regarding project goals, direction, theories, concepts and methods.
- Sustained urgency is a hallmark of a HIBAR project. Team members are intensely focused on addressing a societal program while recognizing that fundamental understanding requires sustained effort and must be guided by responsible research and innovation principles.
President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness
This award recognizes recipients for designing and facilitating new models for positive university-community collaborations. Social embeddedness is one of ASU’s eight design aspirations, encompassing new ways of thinking about how ASU and communities can partner in mutually beneficial ways. Socially embedded projects or programs may be related to one or more of the following actions:
Capacity building: Enable ASU and community organizations and institutions to become strong and effective by providing opportunities for mutual support, training and access to resources and information.
Civic engagement: Cultivate an environment that encourages faculty, staff, students and the community to actively and responsibly engage in issues of public importance throughout their lifetime.
Community-based teaching and learning: Involve faculty, staff, students and the community in discovery, solving problems or maximizing learning and growing opportunities.
Knowledge exchange: Build bridges between the university and community by translating groundbreaking research into accessible and meaningful information that the public can use and working with partners to leverage knowledge and expertise as we work together to tackle complex issues.
Use-inspired research: Advance relevant inquiry by leveraging community input, knowledge and needs.
President's Award for Global Engagement
This award is by nomination. Please reach out to the Office of the President for more information.
President's Award for Innovation
ASU's Clean Indoor Air Project is a public health initiative to bring cleaner air into Arizona classrooms. The project aims to increase awareness about the importance of indoor air quality and help every classroom access a portable air cleaner to remove airborne viruses, wildfire smoke, allergens and air pollution.
The Map and Geospatial Hub 3D Explorer is a customized web application built on a dynamic, interactive 3D map scene. The scene models the interior space of ASU’s Map and Geospatial Hub, the library unit centered on cartographic and geospatial resources. The application allows users to virtually tour library spaces while digitally discovering and accessing library resources.
NatureMaker is an applied-learning library that offers artifacts, research equipment and books on biomimicry and biomechanics. These hands-on learning resources help to solve design, business, engineering and sustainability challenges.
Study Hall provides entertaining learning concepts on YouTube that prepare learners for college success.
ASU Law and Behavioral Science Initiative brings together scholars and students from across ASU whose research interests are at the intersection of law and psychology, an area that has broad appeal and exciting potential for real-world impact.
President's Award for Sustainability
The Garden Commons is a community hub at the Polytechnic campus that supports student connection, interdisciplinary learning and ASU’s Food reconnection initiative. Through experiential learning opportunities, the Garden Commons’ goal is to educate and empower students to rethink how we access, cultivate and value food.
Produce Rescue at ASU is a partnership program between ASU and the nonprofit Borderlands Produce Rescue. The program helps reduce fresh produce waste by distributing it to students and families across Arizona.
Banner Bag Program turns discarded vinyl banners into stylish, upcycled tote bags. ASU’s goal is to divert 100% of its banners from going to landfills.
President's Medal for Social embeddedness
Bridging Success is a campus-based support program for students with a background in foster care, also known as Foster Care Alumni.
Libraries as Community Hubs for Citizen Science provides open-source physical and digital resources to libraries to support patron engagement in citizen science, enabling people of all ages and skills to engage in real scientific research by collecting or analyzing data used by professional scientists.
Project Cities connects higher education with local communities, creating a powerful combination of knowledge and know-how. ASU students in designated courses work directly with a local community partner on predetermined sustainability-related projects and challenges.
STEM and Social Capital: Advancing Families through Learning and Doing brings together seven ASU colleges and schools, ASU Outreach, and four local ethnic community-based organizations. This program focuses on developing STEM career aspirations of students in grades 7-12 with refugee backgrounds.
ASU Inside-Out Prison Exchange is a community-based learning program through a partnership between the ASU Center for Correctional Solutions and the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry. Inside-Out combines 10 ASU ‘Outside’ students with 10 incarcerated ‘Inside’ students to learn together over a semester in a prison setting.
Guadalupe COVID-19 Community Response Team detected elevated levels of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples near the town of Guadalupe in May 2020. The team provides culturally tailored health education and prevention to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
School Participatory Budgeting is an innovative civic learning program implemented in 47 Arizona K-12 schools. The program empowers students to curate ideas, develop proposals and participate in a school-wide election to vote on a proposal to execute on their campus.
Thrive in the 05 is an initiative that develops innovative community solutions to solve complex social problems through community partnerships and research. These efforts provided critical resources and services to vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Survivor Link is an ASU partnership with AmeriCorps that increases access to evidence-based interventions for domestic violence survivors. Students are trained as domestic violence victim advocates and research is accessible to professionals in the community.
President's Award for Global Engagement