The UMAC Award of Excellence honours excellence and innovation in university museums and collections and, most importantly, celebrates the impact of university museums and collections on their host universities (here understood as higher education institutions), their communities and contemporary society.

Through the Award, UMAC commends outstanding recent contributions to all areas of museum and collections theory and practice, particularly those with an interdisciplinary approach and the potential for worldwide application.

1. Eligibility

1.1 All university museums and collections are eligible for the UMAC Award of Excellence regardless of their location, type or size.

1.2 Projects and initiatives may cover all areas of museums and collections theory and practice, including exhibition, education, conservation, teaching, research, management and business models, design and architecture, ethics, service to the university and the public, strategic planning, and advances in museology.

1.3 Projects or initiatives must be less than 3 years old at the time of the nomination.

2. Nominations

2.1 Nominations must be made by two UMAC members (individual or institutional), in good standing as verified by the UMAC secretary. The two memberships used in nominations must be clearly distinct (i.e. an institutional membership cannot be used by different people). Nominations must be made using the 2024 award application form available in UMAC website.

2.2 UMAC members can nominate themselves, i.e. they can nominate projects or initiatives from their own university museums or collections.

2.3 UMAC Board Members (elected and ex officio) and UMAC Award Committee Members are excluded from submitting nominations during their terms of service.

2.4 Projects or initiatives can be resubmitted if they have not previously received the Award and meet the eligibility criteria.

3. Criteria

Projects or initiatives nominated must demonstrate:
i) innovation/creativity;
ii) excellence;
iii) transferability of ideas that can be adopted by other university museums and collections regardless of geography, size or location; and
iv) impact on the host university, the community or society at large.

4. Evaluation

4.1 Evaluation is made by an ad-hoc panel proposed by the UMAC Award Committee.

4.2 The panel is composed of 2 members of the UMAC Board, 2 external ICOM members (non-UMAC) and 1 external member from the higher education sector. The chair of the Committee presides in a non-voting capacity.

4.3 The composition of the panel is made available each year on the UMAC website.

4.4 In case of questions or concerns, the panel may request additional information about the nominations.

4.5 The panel reserves the right not to give the UMAC Award if, in their opinion, the criteria are not met.

4.6 The panel’s decision is final; no explanations will be given in discussions or correspondence.

5. Results

5.1 Results of the nominations will be announced by UMAC  each year.

5.2 The UMAC Award will be presented at a ceremony during the Annual General Conference.

5.3 The UMAC Award consists of a certificate and support for resource developments as determined by the UMAC Board.

5.4 UMAC will publicize the winners through all available means and media.

Approved by UMAC Board, 10 October 2016

Revised 3 July 2017, 8 June 2020, 1 April 2024