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Excellence in Innovation

About the Award

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi established its Excellence in Innovation Award in 2014 to recognize colleges and universities for their achievements in finding powerful answers to important local, regional, national, or global challenges, as well as to raise awareness of the importance of encouraging innovation in higher education.

The biennial award, valued at $100,000, is awarded to an institution that:

  • demonstrates best practice in implementing and assessing innovative programs or services, irrespective of resources needed;
  • uses innovative and substantive solutions to achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes to improve the lives of others and create systemic large-scale change; and
  • has a sustained model program or service that both demonstrates transformative results and reflects the values of Phi Kappa Phi.

2022 Timeline

Sept. 15, 2021: Application portal opens

Dec. 15, 2021: Deadline for submission

March 2022: Semifinalists invited to submit portfolios

April 2022: Finalists announced

May 2022: Recipient Announced

Want a reminder when applications open again? Click here.


All regionally accredited baccalaureate or higher degree-granting four-year colleges or universities in the United States are eligible to apply.

Only one submission per institution will be accepted. To see sample portfolios, click here.

Application Process

The recipient of the award will be determined through a two-step online process:

Screening – An institution will submit:
  1. An abstract or brief narrative describing how their project demonstrates innovation and has led to large-scale transformative change.
  2. A summary of the types of evidence documenting project impact that will be included if the institution is selected as a semifinalist and invited to submit a project portfolio.

Selection – Semifinalist institutions will submit a full project portfolio.


For FAQ's, finalists' portfolios and additional applicant resources, click here.