Honoring our innovative and creative faculty

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive

I am excited to announce the debut of the Chancellor’s Innovation Impact Awards. This new program celebrates our talented faculty, researchers, staff, students, and community partners for their outstanding contributions to innovation and creativity that catalyze transformative change and societal impact. Each year, the awards will provide us the opportunity to recognize transformational work across UC Santa Cruz — in the arts, engineering, humanities, physical and biological sciences, and social sciences.  

Nominations are now open for the Innovator of the Year award. This award will recognize faculty and associated project teams that may include staff and students for innovative work that, during the past 12 months, has resulted in societal impact or has reached a milestone that positions the innovations for near-term societal impact. Nominations are encouraged from all academic disciplines and areas of study. Up to two awardees will be recognized, and the lead faculty member’s project will receive a $10,000 research award to further advance their efforts. 

All faculty, staff and students are invited to submit nominations; no self-nominations will be accepted. The nomination deadline is Nov. 10. The awardees will be announced Thursday, Feb. 23. 

The Innovation Impact Awards Program also recognizes work in two additional categories:

The Lifetime Achievement in Innovation honors a faculty member whose career accomplishments include innovations that have led to significant, long-term societal impact and who is an inspiration and positive influence for students and colleagues.  

The Community Changemaker will be awarded to a leader or organization in the Santa Cruz region who has contributed significantly to regional economic prosperity through innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, or support for growing the innovation ecosystem in close collaboration with the university.  

More information is available on the Innovation Impact Awards website

I’m truly in awe of our faculty, students and staff, and of the scholarship, research, innovation and creativity that unfolds at our university every day. Please join me in celebrating their remarkable contributions to our campus, the state, and the world by submitting a nomination for Innovator of the Year.