The purpose of the award is to celebrate scholars who are engaged in exemplary applied research in higher education and in broad dissemination of results and policy implications. This award is designed to highlight applied education finance and/or policy research with substantial implications for public policy and practice in higher education.


Scholars with research focused on higher education policy or finance.  Senior scholars (Associate or Full Professors or non-university-based researchers with similar experience) will generally be most competitive for the award.


  • A $1,000 award.
  • Plaque presented at the AEFP Annual Conference.

Award recipients will be expected to attend the 2022 AEFP Conference to receive the award and to present their work in an Award Winners session.

Submission Process and Nominations

We encourage nominations, including self-nominations, for the Center for University Excellence award.  Please submit nomination materials before the deadline.

AEFP members and others may nominate higher education researchers for the Center for University Excellence award by clicking this link. Nominators should briefly highlight a specific research study, a research paper, a manuscript, or a more comprehensive body of work that should be considered for the award, and should describe the nominee’s impact on higher education policy or practice. To the extent possible, nominators will remain anonymous to the nominee.


The Awards Committee will reach out to nominated scholars for three papers or other research products (briefs, reports, etc.) that they feel best exemplify their contributions to date to higher education research. We recommend a blend of research papers and policy- or practitioner-oriented materials. Nominations will be evaluated on multiple dimensions, including:

  • Rigor of the research designs
  • Demonstrated impact on policy or practice
  • Potential for further inquiry

Application Information

  • Application deadline: December 31, 2021
  • Submit your application electronically via the link below