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University of Wisconsin–Madison

H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowships


ELIGIBILITY: Faculty that are up to 6 years past tenure (eligible if tenured after June 30, 2018)

AWARD AMOUNT: A $60,000 research award (may be spent over five years)


This program, funded by WARF in recognition of the leadership of the late WARF Trustee President H. I. Romnes, is designed to bridge the gap between the Research Committee’s initial research support for new faculty and the Mid-Career Award for Faculty Research. This award is intended to recognize and support faculty up to SIX years past their first promotion to a tenured position. This award cannot be awarded more than one time to any faculty member.

The H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship awards are made possible by the impressive research efforts of UW–Madison faculty and staff. Technology arising from these research efforts is licensed by our patent management organization, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), to industry. Income from successful licenses is returned to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research to fund a variety of research activities throughout the divisions on campus, including these awards.

A department, a Ph.D. major program unit, or a formally constituted interdepartmental group of six or more faculty members may nominate one faculty member for a Romnes Fellowship. Please feel free to contact your division’s Associate Vice Chancellor (262-1044) with any questions about eligibility or the content of a nomination.


The department chair (the nominator) must open the application online by going to the application portal and logging in with their UW-Madison NET ID.  Once an application is started, the nominator may add collaborators (UW-Madison faculty or administrative staff) to help in preparing and assembling the application materials.  However, the department chair/nominator must be the person to submit the final application.

Nomination materials must be submitted electronically online. Re-nominations must be updated and submitted as new nominations. Each nomination should include:

  1. A completed nomination form. The brief online form asks for the candidate’s/nominee’s name and the nominator’s name. A second nominator is optional.
  1. A department or program letter of nomination (one PDF document no more than 10,000 characters).
    1. A nomination should include a cover letter (no more than 10,000 characters) written in layman’s terms from the nominator which explains the departmental process for selecting the nominee and highlights the major features of his/her work at UW-Madison. The primary criteria are the quality, significance, and productivity of the nominee’s research, but the Committee also values indications of the quality and programmatic value of the nominee’s teaching and service.
      1. The letter should address how the nominee’s number and placement of publications fit in the field.
    2. A brief separate document listing sample publications and recommenders (PDF document).
      1. On a separate document, list the sample publications of scholarship at UW-Madison that will be uploaded in the application packet.
      2. On this document also name each recommender and why they were chosen.  In addition, you may include a sample quote from each reference.
  1. The candidate’s current CV/bibliography (uploaded as one PDF document).
  2. Up to five letters of recommendation (uploaded as separate PDF documents). The letters should indicate how the author knows the candidate and should be from someone at “arm’s length.”  For example, do not include a dissertation advisor, any former students, anyone in the same department or university as the nominee, or any collaborators for the last five years.
  3. Up to three sample publications by the nominee.  Publications must be of scholarship performed at UW-Madison.  PDFs of sample publications must be uploaded separately.


Who begins, prepares and submits the application online? 

The department chair (nominator) must begin the application by going to the application portal and logging in with their UW-Madison NET ID.  The nominator can add collaborators (faculty or administrative staff) to an application to help in preparing and assembling the materials. However, the department chair/nominator must open and submit the application.

If you experience technical issues in adding collaborators, please send an email to:

When will applicants be notified?  When will awards begin?

The evaluation will be completed in May 2024.  Awards will begin July 1, 2024.

Does receiving a Romnes award affect a Vilas Associates award?

No. You can receive both – they are separate programs.

How is the tenure date pinpointed in determining eligibility for this award?

It is when the faculty member’s tenured status becomes effective, such as with a change reflected on their payroll account.  (It is not the date of the tenure committee’s vote.)

Is there a length limit for the nominator’s cover letter?

Yes, please limit it to no longer than 10,000 characters (a space is a character).  This is roughly equivalent to four to five double-spaced pages with a 12-point Times font size.

If you experience any technical problems or have general questions concerning your submission, please email (