University Prize Instructorships, sponsored by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, awards a $7,671 stipend (an approximate amount which will align with the 2023-2024 per course adjunct rate) to advanced doctoral students to design and teach upper-division courses in their field of research. UPI instructors will also participate in a professional development cohort that meets monthly. Up to five instructorships will be awarded to candidates who propose courses that contribute substantially to the undergraduate curriculum and who have demonstrated excellence and commitment to teaching. Instructors may elect to co-teach and split the stipend equally. In this case, each applicant must fulfill the eligibility criteria and complete all parts of the application.

The 2023 winners of the University Prize Instructorship are:

  • Kanaya Malakar (Physics): Algorithmic Art
  • Emma McGuirk (Neuroscience) and Anne Silveira (Molecular and Cell Biology): Seeing Inside Cells: Using Microscopy to Visualize Cellular Dynamics
  • Nathanial Walker (Politics): Sovereignty: Continuity and Change
Previous winners include:


  • Jared Berkowitz (History): Corporate Power and American Capitalism
  • Juliet Bottorff and Jasmine Quynh Le (Neuroscience): Central Nervous System Regeneration
  • Sarah Beth Gable and Miranda Peery (History and English): Violent Resistance: American Political Violence and Its Rhetorics
  • Samantha Leonard (Sociology): Violence & Intimacy 
  • Ray Maresca (Mathematics): Quiver Representations

2021 (Department Prize Instructorships):

  • Hannah Jung (History): The Personal is Political in American History
  • Gess Kelly (Physics): Science and Science Fiction
  • Xin Yao Lin (Psychology): Technology Use and Well-Being: Multidisciplinary Perspectives


  • Alyssa Fassett-Carman (Neuroscience): Reactivity and Resilience: Links Between Stress and Internalizing Disorders
  • Mika Hackner (Politics): How Democracies Break Down
  • Jennifer LaFleur (Sociology and Social Policy): Geographies of Inequality: Exploring Power and Space in the United States
  • Raul Ramos and Emmanuel J. Rivera (Neuroscience): The Neurobiology of Somatosensation: How We Feel the World
  • Joyce Rigal (Molecular and Cell Biology): Molecular Diagnostics: Developing Molecular Tools to Detect Disease
  • Ann Ward (Sociology): From Environmental Justice to Climate Justice: Power, Inequality and the Natural World


  • Maham Ayaz (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies): The State and the Individual
  • Douglas Bafford (Anthropology): African Epistemologies
  • Alycia Bisson (Pyschology): Exploring Sleep: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
  • Sari Fein (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies): Gender, Sex, and the Family in the Ancient Near East and Beyond
  • Katherine Kimbrell and Alejandro Torrado Pacheco (Neuroscience): The Neurobiology of Reward and Addiction
  • Duncan Levear and Rose Morris-Wright (Mathematics): Puzzles, Games, and Graphs
  • Jeremy Rappoport-Stein (Music Composition and Theory): Audio Culture and Digital Sound Production


  • Sean Beebe (History): Decolonization: The End of Empire
  • Paige Eggebrecht (English): Smoke and Brick: Working Class Fiction in the Industrial Age
  • Matthew Heck (Musicology): Between East and West: Russian Music and National Identity
  • Laura Laranjo (Molecular and Cell Biology): The Pipeline of Drug Development: From Basic Research to Your Medicine Cabinet
  • Jeremy Simon (Psychology): The Psychology of Prejudice

Several prior awardees have given their permission to view their successful applications. If you have any questions about the UPI application process, please contact the GSAS Department Administrator, Abigail Arnold.

Information for Departments and Divisions

February 2021, updated January 2022

In consultation with university counsel, we have created the following definitions and processes, to ensure that all prize instructorships are in compliance with the CBA. If a department would like to deviate from these structures, then the instructorship must follow the hiring protocol and pay rates of the Teaching Fellow or the Adjunct faculty union, whichever applies. If a division or department would like to alter the competition and selection process or criteria, please send the request to the GSAS Dean and Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs (currently, Wendy Cadge and Alyssa Canelli).

Any questions regarding this policy can be sent to Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, Alyssa Stalsberg Canelli (, and the Director of Employee and Labor Relations, Liz Tierney (

1. UPI: Sponsored and funded by GSAS, competition open to all PhD students in all disciplines
DVPI: Sponsored and funded by a Division, competition open to all PhD students in that division
DPI: Sponsored and funded by a single department, competition only open to PhD students in that department.

2. Awards a $7595 stipend (stipend will be equal to the adjunct faculty pay rate in that academic year) to doctoral students to design and teach upper-division courses in their field of research. PhD candidates can elect to submit a co-taught course and split the stipend equally.

3. This process is not used to find an instructor for a particular course; the courses themselves are competing cross-disciplinarily against one another on their merits (pedagogy and course design, curricular appeal and need).

4. Enrollment is limited to 20 undergraduate students, but instructors may increase the enrollment with approval from GSAS and the Registrar. Courses with an enrollment of fewer than 5 may be canceled.

5. Competition process guidelines

  • The Division or Department must communicate eligibility requirements to the students.
  • The Division or Department must establish a formal application process, which should include most of the elements in the GSAS-administered UPI process.
  • The Division or Department must establish a formal application review and award process. Division or Department must establish a review committee of no fewer than three members which identifies awardees and alternate

6. Selection criteria and awardee commitment details can be found in the accordions higher up on this page.    

Hiring Process

Once final awardees are selected, the following must be sent to Chris Nayler ( to process the academic appointment and payment. This info should also be sent to Heather Felton ( for DivSci awardees.

  • Student Name and Student ID 
  • Source of Funds (i.e. ChartString/Workday FDM) 
  • Semester of award