At the U21 HS Deans of Medicine in September 2014 in Shanghai, there was a discussion about the need to better recognize and value educational scholarship in an academic university setting particularly amongst research-intensive universities. Deans also noted that U21 carries a reputation of being comprised of leading universities. Most universities accord significance to international recognition of educational contributions, thus there was discussion as to how the U21 HSG could make a unique contribution in this regard, and Deans came up with the idea of a U21 HS Teaching Excellence Award. The award aims to bring faculty who do not know each other together, who are from different disciplines, and ask them to be creative in designing an educational workshop at a U21 HSG meeting.
One of U21’s objectives is to foster international co-operation; the award thus provides an opportunity for faculty from different institutions to work together. The award is designed to support Faculty who are on promotion tracks so it is primarily targeted towards junior faculty. The award provides recipients with an opportunity to develop new collaborations, lend international recognition for previous contributions in this area, and allow them to share their expertise with other U21 HSG faculty.