Grawemeyer Award in Education

grawemeyer medal

The Grawemeyer Award in Education is intended to stimulate the dissemination, public scrutiny and implementation of ideas that have potential to bring about significant improvement in educational practice and advances in educational attainment. The award was created not only to reward the individuals responsible, but also to draw attention to their ideas, proposals or achievements. The award is designed to recognize a specific recent idea/study rather than a lifetime of accomplishment. View list of previous winners and learn more about the award.


Video lectures from past winners

2020 Grawemeyer Award in Education

Sara Goldrick-Rab

Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine

Study of how to better U.S. high schools wins education award

How can American high schools move away from rote learning and testing and help students become critical thinkers ready to take on the challenges of modern life?

Educators Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine, who spent six years researching the issue at 30 U.S. high schools, have co-won the 2020 Grawemeyer Award in Education for ideas set forth in their book, “In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the . . .

Read more on the Grawemeyer Award site...

The Prize

The Grawemeyer Award in Education is accompanied by a cash prize of $100,000.


Ideas eligible for nomination may have an individual author or authors. The competition does not limit the format in which the idea or achievement appears. Consideration will be given to printed books, articles appearing in scholarly journals, technological advances, software, research reports, conference presentations, or other widely and publicly disseminated forms. Consistent with the intent of H. Charles Grawemeyer, the award is not given posthumously. Persons who received the Grawemeyer Award in a previous year are not eligible to receive the award a second time.

Please note that edited volumes as well as textbooks are not eligible for this award.

Criteria for Judging

Nominations will be judged on the basis of originality, creativity, feasibility, accessibility, and scope of potential applicability.

The Nomination Process

The University invites nominations from throughout the world by professional educators, educational institutions and organizations, and editors and publishers of journals, books and software. Self-nominations will not be considered.

2021 Grawemeyer Award Nomination Form [PDF]

To nominate a work, the following must be submitted:

  • A one-page letter of nomination identifying the specific work, idea or achievement being nominated and delineating the reasons why the entry merits the award. Please provide a complete bibliographic reference if possible.
  • A completed nomination form [PDF].

Upon receipt of a letter of nomination, the nominee(s) will be notified of nomination and sent a nominee form, which explains the award conditions. Nominator must include current information for each author/contributor so nominee(s) may be notified. All materials submitted will become property of the University of Louisville. Each nominee then must submit the following supporting materials:

  • A signed copy of the nominee form
  • Eight copies of the work (if the work is in a language other than English, provide eight copies of the English translation of the work)
  • One copy of the nominee's curriculum vita or resume


To be considered for the 2021 award, the nomination form and letter must be received by April 15, 2020, and all supporting materials for the nomination (including the signed nominee form, eight copies of the work and one copy of the nominee's curriculum vita or resume) must reach the University of Louisville by May 15, 2020.

The Review Process

Initial screening is conducted by a committee of College of Education and Human Development faculty who select three finalists for the Grawemeyer Award in Education. External reviewers then evaluate the finalists.

The final selection committee is comprised of the President of the University of Louisville or designee, the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development, and three members of the community with some involvement in the educational enterprise. The committee recommends the award winner to the President who forwards the recommendation to the Board of Trustees of the University. The University of Louisville Board of Trustees approves the final recommendation.

Award Requirements

    1. The winner of the award will be announced after December 1. The winner will be expected to come to Louisville during the second week of April to make a formal presentation based on the winning idea, participate in informal meetings with faculty and students as requested, and to receive the award. The trip to Louisville is mandatory and failure to fulfill this requirement will result in forfeiture of the award and the associated cash prize. Any exception to this requirement must be approved by the Grawemeyer Executive Committee.
    2. Entrant agrees and accepts that, consistent with the intent of H. Charles Grawemeyer, the award will not be given posthumously. The Entrant must be living in order to receive the award and must participate in the award festivities referenced above in order to receive the award and the associated cash prize. If the nominated Work was written by multiple authors, one or more of whom is deceased, only the living authors are eligible to receive the award and their prorata portion of the associated cash prize. The cash prize will be presented at the award festivities.
    3. Winning the award does not create any property rights in the cash prize for the recipient's heirs or estate. Any payment which has not been made at the time of the entrant's death will not be made to the heirs or estate. In the event that the award is given to multiple recipients (such as co-authors), there is only one cash prize associated with the award and said cash prize will be divided evenly among the co-author(s). If a co-author dies, payment to that co-author will cease.
    4. Entrant shall participate, as appropriate, and cooperate in the production of any documentary film or other public relations or publicity matters related to the competition, including the execution of any necessary releases and/or authorizations.
    5. Entrant hereby grants permanent permission for the University of Louisville to use the award for library and archival purposes, and for the purpose of promoting the Grawemeyer Awards and their affiliation with the University of Louisville. The term "media" is understood to include, but not limited to, audio and visual images and/or recordings of any format which depict the Entrant's visit to the campus(es) of the University of Louisville, the awards presentation itself and any comments made by the Entrant as part of the campus visit(s) and the awards festivities.
    6. All physical materials submitted become the property of the University of Louisville.

Send letters of nomination and all supporting materials to:

Grawemeyer Award in Education
123 Porter Building
College of Education and Human Development
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

For packages sent by UPS, FedEx, etc.:
Jeff Valentine
Director of the Grawemeyer Award in Education
Grawemeyer Award in Education
University of Louisville
1905 South 1st Street
Louisville, KY 40208


Jeff Valentine
Director of the Grawemeyer Award in Education
Grawemeyer Award in Education
Phone: 502.852.3830
E-mail: Jeff.valentine @

University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award website