The Paul A. Funk Recognition

The Paul A. Funk Recognition Award is presented to faculty and academic professionals for outstanding achievement and major contributions to the betterment of agriculture, natural resources, and human systems. Funds for the awards program, which was established in June 1970, are provided by the Paul A. Funk Foundation of Bloomington, Illinois, as a memorial to the late Paul A. Funk, who attended the college as a member of the class of 1929 and devoted his life to agriculture.

The Award

Each year the college presents one Paul A. Funk Recognition Award to individuals; each award includes a $5,000 unrestricted personal award, $1,000 to the appropriate department or other administrative units to support the recipient’s program, a recurring salary increment of $1,000, and a recognition plaque.


Nominees must be a member of the faculty, academic professional, or civil service professional who holds a full-time appointment with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; has a paid appointment in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences for the academic year in which the award will be presented; and has ten years of consecutive service in the College of ACES prior to the nomination.

Individuals on disability, sabbatical leave, and leave without pay are not eligible during leave; however, these leaves are not considered interruptions of service time for subsequent years. Members of the faculty who are full-time administrators are not eligible for the award. 

A faculty member may receive the Paul A. Funk Recognition Award only once and thereafter is ineligible to win any college award other than the Spitze Land-Grant Professorial Career Excellence Award and the Team Award. If an issue arises concerning the eligibility for an award, the issue will be decided by the appropriate associate dean and policy committee chair, depending upon the award for which the nomination has been made.


The nominee must be declared eligible by the unit head. Each department may only nominate one nominee per award. The nomination must be submitted electronically by the department contact before the nomination deadline.

Nomination packets must include all materials described below in a single PDF and should be formatted in at least 11-point Calibri or equivalent font; single-spaced; and 1-inch margins. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination: 

1. Nomination cover sheet: (you must download the form from Box to complete it). The coversheet includes biographical and statistical information including education, employment record, and relevant affiliations. 

2. Letter of nomination: The letter of nomination must be co-signed by the nominator and the unit head. The letter should include major contributions, (significant extension projects initiated, key research findings, outstanding teaching, etc.) and briefly describe their significance and career contributions. Give an overall evaluation of what the career contributions of the nominee have meant to producers, students, agribusiness, and consumers in Illinois, the nation, and the world. Contributions to unit and college goals of diversity, equity and inclusion should be noted (six page maximum).

3.  Curriculum vitae

4. Letters of support: No more than four letters of support from individuals other than the nominator, such as past or present colleagues or collaborators. One letter must be from a current ACES faculty/staff member (two page maximum).


Nominees will be evaluated on achievement and total performance through excellence in teaching, research, or extension. The award recipient will be selected by a selection committee from the college faculty. The chair of the selection committee, in consultation with its members, shall develop guidelines for the committee’s operation.

The selection committee may decide against granting an award if no meritorious candidate has been nominated. The selection committee shall submit its recommendations for a recipient to the dean. The dean shall notify the recipient, the appropriate associate dean, and unit head.