Search Search


Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Criteria for the Prize

The Richard P. Feynman Prize in teaching is to be awarded annually to a professor who demonstrates, in the broadest sense, unusual ability, creativity, and innovation in undergraduate and graduate classroom or laboratory teaching.

Origin of the Prize

Established in 1993, the annual prize is made possible by a gift of endowment by Ione and Robert E. Paradise, with additional contributions from an anonymous local couple, in appreciation of Richard Feynman's contributions to excellent teaching.

Terms of the Prize

The prize consists of a cash award of $3,500, matched by an equivalent raise in the annual salary of the awardee.


All professorial faculty of the Institute are eligible.

Nominations for the Prize

Announcements inviting nominations for the prize are made at the beginning of the fall term. Nomination packages are due by December 15. Nominations for the Feynman Prize may be made by any member of the Caltech community, including faculty, students, postdoctoral scholars, alumni, and staff. A letter of nomination and detailed supporting material (including, but not limited to, a curriculum vitae, course syllabus or description, and supporting recommendation letters) should be directed to:

Feynman Prize Selection Committee
California Institute of Technology
Office of the Provost 
1200 East California Boulevard
Mail Code 206-31 
Pasadena, CA 91125

Nomination packages may also be submitted by email to


Nominees not selected in a given year will be considered part of the nomination pool for each of the following two years. New material is not required for renomination, but will be accepted. Consideration of a nominee after three years will require renomination.


Selection of the recipient will be made by a committee appointed by the Provost. The committee chair and members will be rotated frequently  in order to ensure broad representation across the Institute. The committee will consist of at least three professorial faculty, and one representative each from the undergraduate student body and the graduate student body. The vice provost will serve as an ex-officio member of the committee unless a designee is appointed.

Presentation of the Prize

The Feynman Prize will be presented at a regular meeting of the Caltech faculty in the second term. In addition, the awardee will be honored at a small celebratory dinner or other suitable event with a few colleagues and members of the administration, and the donors of the prize.