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Stephen D. Davis Award for Scholarly Achievement

It is through the communication of novel research advancements and similar creative activities that institutions of higher learning transform our understanding of the world. The Stephen D. Davis Award for Scholarly Achievement has been established to honor Pepperdine faculty displaying outstanding leadership and achievement in the generation of original scholarly and creative work.

This award will honor the contributions of Pepperdine faculty members who are strengthening our scholarly contributions, and elevating our research reputation. Examples of such accomplishment include research publications of high impact, scholarly books, major musical and artistic products/exhibitions, mentoring of Pepperdine students resulting in scholarly accomplishment, receiving national or international award or recognition for work directly related to their scholarship, and leadership in securing major research grants from external agencies.

The university will honor recipients at the annual Pepperdine Faculty Conference.

Award Description and Selection Criteria

The award will recognize selected faculty's outstanding scholarly accomplishments. Up to two awards will be presented annually at the Faculty Conference. One award will be designated for faculty of Seaver College, and a second award for our graduate schools. Each award will come with a medallion to be worn with formal regalia, and a framed award. In addition, this honor will include an $8,000 total prize; $5,000 provided as a stipend payment, and $3,000 provided in support of research and/or conference travel. As this award is designed to honor a culmination of productivity and influence during a faculty member's time at Pepperdine, recipients may not win the prize a second time.  

The Stephen D. Davis Award for Scholarly Achievement has been developed to honor truly exceptional scholarly impact and leadership displayed by faculty during their tenure as full-time members of the Pepperdine community. Nomination and consideration of nominees will recognize the unique contributions of the individual, as evidenced by;

  • a minimum of 10 years of full-time faculty status and good standing at Pepperdine University;
  • a sustained pattern of research, scholarship, creative activity that is particularly noteworthy with regard to quality and external reputation;
  • the tangible influence of the research, scholarship, or creative activity in a particular area of specialization;
  • the influential publication, review, or performance of scholarly work to learned communities and societies; 
    recognition of the scholarly work by external awards;
  • a pattern of mentoring Pepperdine students as new scholars and facilitating their publication or presentation of their work;
  • building a collaborative network with both Pepperdine colleagues and external scholars;
  • a pattern of seeking and securing external funding for research efforts;
  • and a displayed record and established reputation of institutional dedication through teaching, university, and community service, and support for the University mission. 

Nomination and Award Process

The nomination process for the academic year 2024-2025 is now open.

Faculty may be nominated by their peers or may submit their own file for consideration. Tenure/tenure-track faculty members are eligible to receive the award for scholarly contributions made while a faculty member at Pepperdine University. Note: Faculty are eligible to receive this award only once.

Forward your nomination by submitting this information in your email by March 29, 2024:

  • Nominee School Affiliation(s)
  • Nominee Name
  • Submittee Name
  • Submittee Email
  • Submittee School Affiliation(s)

Having Issues? Email rgfrinfo@pepperdine.edu directly.

Nominees will be contacted and asked to provide the following materials.  Deadline to submit the materials by May 15, 2024:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Candidate’s summary of research accomplishments during time as a full-time faculty member at Pepperdine University
  • Support Letter from a Pepperdine faculty colleague 
  • Support Letter from the Dean or an Associate Dean at Candidate’s school
  • External Support Letter from Scholar in Candidate’s Discipline (two maximum)
  • Publications or Other Appropriate Examples of Scholarship (five maximum)

Selection Process

A committee of University peers representing at least 3 of the five schools at Pepperdine and who have previously been recognized for outstanding scholarship will review application materials. These colleagues will typically hold one of the following titles: Endowed Chair, Named Professor, Distinguished Professor, or University Professor. The committee will forward their recommendations to the Provost and President who will make the final award decision.

Stephen D. Davis Award Recipients

2023 Awardees

  • David B. Green, Natural Science Division, Seaver College

  • Edward J. Larson, Caruso School of Law and Seaver College

2022 Awardees

  • Eric Hamilton, Graduate School of Education and Psychology
  • Nataria T.  Joseph, Social Science Division, Seaver College


Questions may be directed to Sevana Hanneyan.