See frequently asked questions and answers about the MIT Excellence Award + Collier Medal nomination process.

What are the chances of my nominee receiving an award?

On average we receive over 100 nominations for individuals and teams each year. Typically, there are 15-20 Excellence Award recipients and one recipient for Collier Medal.  See previous award recipients.

Can someone get an Excellence Award or a Collier Medal if they have already received an Infinite Mile Award?

Yes. This has happened several times. Infinite Mile Award nominations should be revised to fit an Excellence Award category or the Collier Medal criteria and submitted via the online nomination form.

Can more than one person nominate the same individual or team for an award and will this increase their chances?

Yes, more than one person can submit an online nomination for the same individual or team. It does strengthen a nomination to have more than one nominator, particularly if the nominators can provide a different perspective on the nominee's work (i.e., a supervisor and a customer or client). We’ll accept a maximum of three nominations per nominee OR one nomination with two statements of support. Statements of support should be no longer than one page (4-5 paragraphs).

How should my colleagues submit statements of support for my nomination?

When you create your nomination, Submittable will ask you to name the colleagues who will be submitting statements of support, and the program will send a request to those colleagues. The committee will accept a maximum of two statements of support per nomination. Statements of support should be no more than one page long.

What do I do if I can't use the online nomination form?

If you are unable to use the online nomination form, either because you can not get a certificate or you do not have access to a computer, please contact us at excellence@mit.edu. You will be provided with a Microsoft Word version of the form.

How long is the average Excellence Award or Collier Medal nomination?

Most successful nominations are around two pages long. It seems to take about that much space to address the questions on the nomination form and demonstrate how the nominee has met most of the criteria for the category.

Nominations and statements of support (combined) should not exceed 10 pages in length. Each nomination can include up to three components of documentation: three nominations submitted for the same nominee; two nominations and one statement of support submitted for the same nominee; or one nomination and two statements of support submitted for the same nominee.

When can I submit a nomination?

The nomination period is typically open from early to late fall each year. The deadline will be noted in the nomination form.

Can I nominate myself?  Can I nominate a family member?

No. Individuals may not nominate themselves for an individual award. If you are nominating a team that you worked on, please acknowledge your involvement, but do not include yourself on the list of team members eligible to receive an award.

It is not appropriate to nominate a family member, spouse, or partner. It is recommended to suggest that a colleague or team member write a nomination instead.

Who can submit a nomination?

Any member of the MIT community can submit a nomination. Faculty and supervisors can nominate their staff, employees can nominate their supervisors, and co-workers can nominate one another. Nominations can also be submitted by alumni, students, and people outside the MIT community who would like to recognize an MIT employee's work.

Who is eligible to receive an MIT Excellence Award or the Collier Medal?

These awards are intended primarily to acknowledge the work of benefits eligible service, support, administrative, and sponsored research staff. Staff must be employed by MIT at the time of Excellence Awards to be recipients. They are also for faculty and other academic staff where their work meets the specific guidelines described within the six award categories. These awards are not intended to recognize research or teaching accomplishments. Both teams and individuals are eligible to be nominated for any of the award categories. Subcontractors, consultants, outsourced, and temporary employees are not eligible for the cash award. 

The Collier Medal is open to all MIT students, staff, faculty, and the extended MIT community who have not received the award previously. In honor of Sean’s model citizenship that far transcended his work, the Collier Medal will be given to an individual or group that demonstrates one or all of the award criteria specifically for this award.

Do I have to choose a category for my nomination?

Yes. The online nomination form will not accept a nomination without a category. If you can't decide which category is best, you can select more than one. The committee will decide which of the selected categories is most appropriate.

Does my nominee have to meet every criteria in a category?

A nominee doesn't have to meet every criteria but they should meet most of the criteria (e.g., four out of five).

When will the decisions be made?

The selection committee meets for a full day each January to make the final selections.Notifications are sent to all nominators by early February.

How are the award recipients selected?

The committee reviews all the nominations by category and scores them based on how well they demonstrate the specific criteria. It is very helpful to the committee if the nominator responds to the example questions in each of the three sections of the nomination. The committee also considers the diversity of the pool of recipients. Effort is made to include as broadly representative a group of people as possible, however excellence is the primary standard.

How is the selection committee put together?

Each year the Recognition Program puts together as diverse and broadly representative a committee as possible. All job categories, including faculty, and a wide array of departments, labs, and centers are represented. The Recognition Key Contacts, Assistant Deans, and department managers are consulted for suggestions of candidates who will be thorough and thoughtful contributors.

How will I know if my nominee has been selected?

All nominators will be informed of the results, by email by early February, or earlier.

Who is invited to the awards ceremony?

The entire MIT community is invited to the ceremony. Award recipients may invite family and friends as well.

What do the recipients get?

Excellence Award individual recipients receive $2,000. Teams share up to $10,000 with a cap of $2,000 per individual. They also receive a unique gift of an elegant cast of Building Ten in a glass snow globe.

Collier Medal recipients receive comparable cash awards and an engraved granite award. The stone used in the award is the same stone used in the Collier Memorial. 

Who has received an award in the past?

See previous award recipients and brief excerpts of their nominations.

Still Have Questions?

Reach Cori Champagne, MIT Recognition Program Administrator, at excellence@mit.edu or (617) 253-5986.