Several years ago, the late Dr. Norman Stearns and Irma Mann Stearns '67 established a distinguished faculty award in their name to honor a full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty member in recognition of outstanding scholarly or creative achievement. A $3,000 award is presented annually to at least one applicant. This funding may be used to enhance an ongoing project or for the development of a new scholarly or creative endeavor. In accordance with the family’s wishes, travel is strongly encouraged to be a part of the project activity.

Key Due Dates

  • Pre-Application Notification Due: March 18, 2024
  • Final Applications due to ORCS: April 8, 2024
  • FDRC Review of Applications: April 8 – 18, 2024
  • Final Selection by Provost: By May 10, 2024
  • Applicants Notified of Funding Decision: By May 17, 2024

Current Mann Stearns awardees must utilize their funds between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024


Full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members are eligible to apply for the Mann Stearns Distinguished Faculty Award.


In evaluating proposals, the Faculty Development and Research Council (FDRC) will consider:

  • The applicant’s scholarly or creative achievement(s);
  • The quality, merits, feasibility, of the project for which the award funds will be used;
  • The inclusion of travel as a necessary component of the project; and
  • Publications, audio/video samples, or other supporting material.

Pre-Application Notification

If you intend to apply for a Mann Stearns Award, you must first submit a Pre-Application Notification email to ORCS by March 18, 2024. The body of the email should include a summary (1-2 paragraphs) of your proposed project, and a brief description of how you would use the $3,000 award. After you have submitted your notification, you will be sent the link for the Mann Stearns application form (see “Application Instructions” below).

Review Process

All applications will be reviewed by the Faculty Development and Research Council (FDRC), with input from department Chairs, school Deans, and Academic Affairs. The FDRC will make the final recommendations to the Provost for funding. The Provost’s selections are final.

AY24–25 Calendar

Date Event
February 23, 2024 Norman & Irma Mann Stearns Distinguished Faculty Award is announced.
March 11, 2024 eric_asetta [at] (Pre-Application Notification Email due to ORCS.)
April 11, 2024 Applications due via Google Forms.
By April 22, 2024 The FDRC will evaluate all proposals and make recommendations to the Provost for funding.
By May 3, 2024 The Provost, in consideration of the recommendations provided by the FDRC, along with feedback from Department Chairs and School Deans, will make final selections
By May 17, 2024 Recipient(s) are notified that they are receiving the award.
July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2025 Grant Period
June 15, 2025 Receipts for expenditures needing reimbursement must be submitted via Workday by this date.

Application Instructions

After you have submitted your pre-approval, you will be sent the link for the Mann Stearns application form.  After you submit your proposal, you will receive a copy of your responses via email, and will have until April 8, 2024, to make any changes. 

Applicants may include supplemental materials (publications, PDFs, media) that support their proposals with their submissions.

In addition to the application form and supplemental materials, a two-page curriculum vita should be included with each submission.

Final Outcome Expectation

A final written report is not required, but the successful applicant is expected to meet with members of the Mann Stearns family and other members of Emerson College to discuss the final outcome and deliverables.