Integrity Awards Guidelines

Integrity is a core principle of UC San Diego – without it, there can be no excellence. Each year, on the third Wednesday of the Spring quarter, UC San Diego recognizes campus community members who have made substantial contributions to academic, research or professional integrity over the preceding calendar year. 

We use the International Center for Academic Integrity’s definition of integrity - the courage to uphold honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility, even when it is difficult to do so.

About the Award

This award is intended to recognize the actions or activities of UC San Diego community members that are dedicated to the core principles of integrity or ethics.

This award is not intended to recognize those whose positions are focused primarily on integrity and ethics (e.g., Director of the AI Office; Compliance, Ethics & Audit officer), but to recognize those who go above and beyond the integrity/ethics actions or activities normally expected based on the individual's role within the University. Per the University’s statement of values, we are all expected to have integrity and ethics guide our activities, but there are individuals, departments and teams that take that expectation to a higher level.

Who is Eligible?

Any member of the UCSD community (student, employee, academic, retiree, volunteer, visiting graduate or scholar), or department/unit, who has demonstrated exemplary support for academic, research or professional integrity during the preceding calendar year is eligible to be nominated for an Integrity Award. 

Criteria for Nominations & Awardees

We welcome nominations about individuals, teams, and units who go above and beyond the integrity/ethics actions or activities normally expected based on the individual's role or unit’s function within the University in one or more of the following areas:

  • Conducting research to inform practice on matters of integrity or ethics (e.g., academic integrity, professional ethics, business ethics, engineering ethics, character education, research ethics, or responsible conduct of research) when that research is not an expected responsibility within the individual’s role. 
    • For example, the microbiology professor who decides to study how they can enhance academic integrity in lower division biology classes.
  • Promoting integrity and ethics in the classroom, department, or research-group in unique or extensive ways that go beyond what is normally expected of the person’s role.
    • For example, the MSO who instituted an integrity-awareness campaign intended to raise awareness of the importance of the six fundamental values of integrity for all faculty, staff and students in the department
  • Mentoring  and/or role modeling integrity and ethics, whether academic, research or professional, that is noticeable and impactful on others.
    • For example, the PI who doesn’t simply implement the standard ethical protocols required when working under an NSF grant, but establishes regular 1:1 and small group meetings to discuss and coach their lab students and employees in identifying and resolving ethical dilemmas that come up in the lab but may also come up as a result of their research/innovation
  • Volunteering in an exemplary or unexpected manner in service to integrity or ethics. The service could be on an official University committee, a governing board, or to run events or programs.
    • For example, the student who volunteers their time to not only serve on the AI Review Board, but also to run a research-in-ethics program in their department to enhance undergraduate and graduate student conversations and awareness of ethical issues in research
  • Institutionalizing integrity or ethics by implementing infrastructures or procedures to support integrity/ethics or addressing systemic factors that lead to academic, research or professional integrity/ethical violations.
    • For example, the unit that institutes a department-wide integrity committee to address factors that lead to student, staff and faculty misconduct, leading to the first-ever code of ethics for the department to which all members can turn for ethical decision-making and guidance.
  • Exhibiting courage in defending integrity by, for example, speaking up against academic, research or professional misconduct or stopping peers, colleagues or superiors from engaging in integrity violations
    • For example, the student who noticed that other students in the class had created a discord server to enable cheating during the exam and reported the incident to their professor

NOTE: Many on our campus might be worthy of being recognized as doing the right thing (e.g., enhancing diversity on campus; establishing procedures to create a more robust recycling program). We applaud those folks and their efforts, however this award recognizes those for whom the action or activity was primarily focused on enhancing integrity or ethics on our campus. 

Important Notes

  1. Each nomination must be accompanied by two endorsements (who must be different than the nominator).
  2. A self-nomination must be accompanied by three endorsements and the self-nomination must be written in first person (e.g., using “I” language).
  3. The nomination must outline specifically how the nominee’s primary focus of their actions/activities was integrity/ethics  - that is, incorporating integrity/ethics where it would otherwise not be or wouldn’t be as much of a focus as it should or otherwise would be.
  4. The University intends the nomination process to be confidential to the extent possible under the law.
  5. We recommend that the nominator and endorsers pay particular attention to how the nominee’s actions uphold honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility, even when it is difficult to do so or when no one else is doing it. Specifically commenting on what others in that same position “normally do” can help the Committee ascertain if the person went above & beyond
  6. Need Inspiration? Click here to see past awardees!


Ready to Go? Click here for Nomination Instructions