The Research & Innovation Office (RIO) Champion Award annually recognizes RIO staff contributing exceptionally, significantly and valuably to RIO. The RIO Champion Award is reserved for RIO staff who excel in job performance and team or unit service, and who exude a spirit of cooperation and collaboration.


All full-time RIO staff (including faculty with RIO staff appointments) who have been employed for more than two years by the nomination deadline are eligible for this award. Employees can only receive this award once every six years during their RIO career.


  • Outstanding Job Performance
    • Demonstrates excellent performance in all areas of the job on a consistent basis
    • Identifies and addresses challenges with consideration and thoroughness
  • Extraordinary Service to Team or Unit
    • Supports team members or overall unit in unique ways that go above and beyond the expectations for the job
    • Provides outstanding service to unit stakeholders (internal and external)
  • Strong Spirit of Collaboration and Positivity
    • Fosters relationships and partnerships to maximize job performance and unit morale
    • Exudes a positive attitude and "can do" approach


Nominations may be submitted by any RIO staff member who has firsthand knowledge of or experience with the nominee. Nominations will be reviewed by RIO and/or Academic Affairs leadership. 

Nominations should consist of a letter (two-page maximum) from up to three co-nominator(s) attesting to the criteria above. The nominators should endorse one letter.

 Applications for the 2022 award will open in Fall 2022.

Award Recognition

The award consists of $1,500 (net pay) and a plaque provided by RIO. The award will be presented at the end-of-year RIO All Staff meeting.