2020-2021 Call for Applications

Application Closed

New Call to be announced in September/October 2021

Call for Applications


European Award for Excellence in Teaching
in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Central European University is pleased to announce the tenth annual European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities. This pioneering award, first announced in 2011 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Central European University, honors academics in the social sciences and humanities who teach at higher education institutions in the European Higher Education Area.

The Diener Prize of 5,000 euros, which accompanies the award, is made possible by a generous gift from Steven and Linda Diener in memory of Ilona Diener.

Selection Criteria for the European Award for Excellence in Teaching

All candidates must have an outstanding overall teaching record. In addition, candidates must show exemplary experience in one or more of these practices:

  • applying innovative teaching methods;
  • combining theory and practice, relevance and scholarly excellence;
  • using research elements to achieve excellence in teaching;
  • applying problem-based/problem-oriented teaching;
  • achievements in encouragement of critical thinking;
  • sustained commitment to teaching excellence, rather than one-off achievements.

Applications from candidates working with students from less affluent or disadvantaged social backgrounds are particularly welcome.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, a candidate must be:

  • an academic instructor of any rank in the Social Sciences and/or Humanities;
  • currently teaching at a higher education institution in a member country of the European Higher Education Area

Candidates considered in previous years are welcome to apply for this year's Award.
Current and former faculty members of Central European University are not eligible.

How to Apply

Recommend a Candidate
Students, Alumni, Faculty Colleagues, and Institutional Leaders are invited to submit a brief Recommendation Form. Please consider recommending your best professor or a colleague whose teaching you believe is outstanding.
Recommendations must be submitted using the online  Recommendation Form . We will contact your candidate and invite them to submit a full application. No further action is required on your part.
Deadline to submit a Recommendation Form: December 15, 2020.

Faculty Members Please Apply:
Individual faculty members are strongly encouraged to apply directly to CEU for consideration for the European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities.
Deadline to submit full Applications: January 31, 2021.

Application and Selection Process

All evidence in support of the applications should be submitted to Central European University, Center for Teaching and Learning, TeachingAward@ceu.edu, and will be collected in two stages:

First stage
In the first stage, faculty members wishing to apply must submit the following documents no later than January 31, 2021. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. All submitted documents must be in English.

  • A detailed personal statement written by the candidate about their teaching, including concrete examples of what they have accomplished or learned in their teaching, their approaches to teaching or philosophy of teaching, and a discussion of what their goals are for their teaching in the future (1500 - 2000 words);
  • the candidate's curriculum vitae (or resume) and candidate's contact information;
  • two letters of support: one from a colleague who is familiar with the candidate's teaching record; and one from a former student (letters from former students should describe the teacher's influence on them);
  • contact information for the higher education institution, including the relevant person in the institution's press office.

Second stage
In the second stage of the selection process, the CEU Center for Teaching and Learning will contact selected candidates and the higher education institution where they teach to obtain additional information in support of the application (expected in the second half of March, 2021).
Additional supporting evidence requested in the second stage may include:

  • Course syllabi and a brief discussion of concrete examples of your teaching approaches, including specific teaching lessons, student assignments, and other teaching and learning activities;
  • formal teaching performance documents such as internal evaluation reports (in the case of candidates whose institutions conduct such evaluations);
  • a written or electronic teaching portfolio demonstrating your teaching and its corresponding impact on student learning;
  • additional testimonials from former and/or current students, colleagues, university administrators, or others who have first-hand knowledge of the candidate's teaching achievements.

PLEASE NOTE: These or other additional materials should NOT be submitted during the first stage of the application process. Candidates will receive a written request for any additional materials, if required.

The selection process is coordinated by the CEU Center for Teaching and Learning. The selection committee is comprised of distinguished international faculty and higher education leaders.


  • Applications for the European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities will be accepted until January 31, 2021. Applications should be sent electronically to: TeachingAward@ceu.edu . The selection process will be completed by the end of June, 2021. The award competition is intended to be conducted annually.
  • The CEU Center for Teaching and Learning will send an email to acknowledge receipt of the application within two weeks of the submission.
  • In the second stage of the selection process ( second half of March 2021), the CEU Center for Teaching and Learning will contact selected candidates and the higher education institution to obtain additional information in support of the application.
  • All candidates will be notified of their status no later than June, 2021.
  • The winner is expected to participate in the public recognition of the award (September 2021).

Conferring the Award and the Prize

The award and the Diener Prize will be presented at CEU's academic year opening ceremony in September, 2021. The award winner will also be invited to participate in award-related events at Central European University, subject to their availability.