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Scholarship in Education Award

The Penn State College of Medicine Scholarship in Education Award is designed to recognize scholarly contributions to education during the preceding two years.

Scholarly education is characterized by:

  • Purposeful planning (clearly written objectives and advance preparation)
  • Systematic implementation (detailed methods and measurable outcomes)
  • Effective presentation of results (clear, organized and impactful articulation of activities and outcomes)
  • Reflective critique (continuous, iterative and critical evaluation aimed at ongoing improvement)

Interested faculty members are invited to submit an Education Activity Summary that includes a description of an educational contribution during the preceding two years that fulfills Glassick’s criteria for scholarship.

Work that is under review for publication is eligible, but should not have been published or accepted for publication at the time of submission for this award.

For questions about the Scholarship in Education Award, contact the Woodward Center at or 717-531-0003, ext. 280809.

A link to apply will be posted when applications are being accepted.

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About the Scholarship in Education Award

Why should I apply for this award? Expand answer

Between clinical, administrative and other duties, educators’ time is at a premium. What makes this award unique is that it is the first externally peer-reviewed, criterion-based education award at Penn State College of Medicine. It is our hope that this award will be used as a benchmark for determining quality in educational scholarship, and we will be working to ensure that it is known as such.

Who is eligible to apply for the award? Expand answer

For this year, only faculty members are eligible to apply for the award. If you have a faculty appointment at Penn State College of Medicine, you are eligible.

Are joint or group projects eligible for consideration? Expand answer

In addition to applications from individuals, joint or group projects are eligible for consideration as long as the following criteria are satisfied:

Awards will be limited to three individuals per project. Additional faculty members can be acknowledged in the announcement program at the presentation ceremony.

Projects with two or three members must include a detailed description of each member’s role in one or more of the following project activities: planning, development, implementation, evaluation. Statements that are too general or unclear regarding member participation will impact the evaluation of the submission as a whole.

Accepted “authorship” guidelines are adhered to: Everyone who is listed as a contributor should have made a substantial, direct, intellectual contribution to the work.

What are Glassick's Criteria? Expand answer

Dr. Charles Glassick, former President of Gettysburg College and co-author of the text “Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate” conducted a study in the mid-1990s to determine what journal editors, directors of scholarly presses, and funding agencies used as guidelines to define whether an endeavor was scholarly. They found six common themes:

  • Clear Goals
  • Adequate Preparation
  • Appropriate Methods
  • Significant Results
  • Effective Communication
  • Reflective Critique

See Glassick’s 2000 article in the Journal of Academic Medicine here.

What is the selection process? Expand answer

The selection process will consist of three steps:

  • Screening by an internal committee.
  • Peer review by two to three reviewers external to Penn State.
  • Finally, the Education Activity Summary, external peer reviewer scores, and all other available information will be reviewed by an internal awards committee that will make final award recommendations to the Dean.
Is the award for my sum total of educational accomplishments, or just for one thing? Expand answer

The Award is aimed at one scholarly educational activity that you have pursued in the previous one or two years. The idea is to reward educators for taking a scholarly approach to their educational activities (e.g., teaching, mentoring, educational research, development of educational materials, educational design, etc.). As such, applicants should pick the single best thing that they have taken a scholarly approach to in the past year, and build an application around that one thing.

Can I apply for this award next year if I receive it this year? Expand answer

Yes; there are no exclusions for prior recognition. Past recipients are encouraged to submit new activities to be considered for the award.

It is conceivable that a faculty member could win this award multiple years, if they are doing unique scholarly work in education each year. Our hope is that faculty members will take a scholarly approach to all their educational activities, and will be eligible to apply each year.

Am I competing with others who apply for the award? Expand answer

No. The Woodward Center must stress that this is a criterion-based award. In theory, if everyone who applied met the criteria, then all would receive the award. That being said, applications will undergo peer review by experts in education outside of Penn State College of Medicine, who will apply the six Glassick criteria in their review, meaning that applications need to rigorously demonstrate that they meet the criteria for high-quality scholarly work.

How does this differ from other awards at Penn State College of Medicine? Expand answer

This award differs in three subtle but important ways.

First, it is criterion-based, rather than competition-based.

Second, all applications will undergo peer review by reviewers outside of our institution, lending an additional layer of external validity.

Finally, the award is based on the nature of a specific scholarly activity over the past year or two, rather than an assessment of the overall quality of the individual as an educator.

In other words, most other education awards are focused on the individual (e.g., are they a good teacher, etc.), whereas this award is focused on the quality of an individual’s educational effort, as viewed through the lens of specific scholarship criteria.


Past recipients of the award are listed here.