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University of Wisconsin–Madison

WARF Named Professorships


ELIGIBILITY: Unrestricted; Senior faculty

AWARD AMOUNT: a $100,000 research award (may be spent over five years)


This program provides recognition for distinguished research contributions of the UW–Madison faculty. The awards are intended to honor those faculty who have made major contributions to the advancement of knowledge, primarily through their research endeavors, but also as a result of their teaching and service activities. This award cannot be awarded more than one time to any faculty member.

The WARF Named Professorship 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 Named Professorship award. A period of time between named awards is suggested (e.g., rather than nominating a candidate for a WARF Named Professorship just after they completed a Kellett award). Please feel free to consult 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 is able to 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 WARF Named Professor award affect a Vilas Associates award?

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

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 (