WVU Innovation Awards

Innovation Award Guidelines

Deadline for submissions: 5:00 PM, Friday, February 12, 2016

The West Virginia University Innovation Awards recognize new and established West Virginia University faculty, administrators or staff members, and students for their contribution to innovation, and their implementation of ideas that positively impact the public’s well-being. For these awards, innovation includes all forms of discovery, creation, and production of progressive ideas that break into a foothold in a market. These awards support a 21st century land grant mission and demonstrate West Virginia University’s commitment to create a “State of Innovation.”

These awards are not meant to recognize the traditional outputs of research and scholarship (e.g., papers, presentations), but rather to recognize the application of such research to a broad range of commercial products and methods that create value and benefit society. The sole judging criterion is recognition of excellence in applied innovation.

Award Categories

  • Early Career Innovator Award honors a West Virginia University faculty member who has been employed with the University for 6 years or less and whose work exemplifies the spirit of innovation, commercialization, and/or entrepreneurship.
  • Established Innovator Award  honors a West Virginia University faculty member who has been employed for more than 6 years at the University and whose recent work has actively contributed to innovation, commercialization, and/or entrepreneurship.
  • Presidential Innovation Service Award honors an administrator, faculty or staff member, who has shared expertise, provided services, and/or mentored individuals to help grow and expand innovation, commercialization, or entrepreneurship on campus.
  • Student Innovator Award honors a current undergraduate or graduate student, or team of students, who have been innovative or entrepreneurial during their West Virginia University career.

Required Documents

There is no formal application form to submit. Each submission must include the following:

  • The nominee’s CV
  • A head shot
  • A 100 word (or less) summary of the nominee’s innovative efforts (for publicity purposes)
  • A 2-3 page description explaining how the nominee has demonstrated a contribution to the innovation, commercialization and/or entrepreneurial-ism of ideas that have furthered society. Please provide specific examples of the steps that were taken to implement a discovery or innovation in to a market, and its subsequent impact.

*Note: For the Early Career Innovator Award ONLY, if an innovation is in its early stages, nominees should address the innovation’s potential impact.

The applicant must clearly identify the award category. If an individual is applying for two awards, submissions must be made separately.

Applicants from past years are allowed to update their previously submitted material, though they must submit the updated material as a “new” submission each year.

**Any applications that were submitted in the fall, may be updated.


Nominations for the Early Career Innovator, Established Innovator, and Presidential Innovation Service Awards are open to current administrators, tenure and non-tenure track faculty, and staff employed by West Virginia University and its affiliates. The Student Innovator Award is open to current undergraduate and graduate students (May 2016 graduates are not eligible). All awards are based on innovative pursuits or accomplishments that have occurred within the past five years. For team projects, a single individual may choose to apply on behalf of a team. Self-nominations are also permitted.

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee consists of three internal members and four external members. The West Virginia University Research Office will provide support to the Committee.

Awards Ceremony

Award recipients will be recognized at the Third Annual West Virginia University Innovation Awards Ceremony. Each winner will receive $5,000 in support of their award-winning work. The 2016 Awards Ceremony will be held March 31, 2016. Please RSVP here.


Completed submissions are due by close of business, 5:00 PM, on Friday, February 12, 2016. Submit all documentation to the West Virginia University Research Office, in care of Felicia Smith at felicia.smith@mail.wvu.edu, with the subject line: West Virginia University Innovation Awards Submission.