The University of Tartu gives out annual awards to recognise its members’ outstanding achievements in giving higher education, doing research and serving society to value their visibility at the university and in society. In giving out the annual awards, the university proceeds from its strategic plan and good practices.
Members of the Rector’s Office and the councils of institutes, colleges and non-faculty institutions may propose the nominees for the contribution to society award, research award and language award to the committees formed by the rector. Students can submit nominations for the teaching staff of the year award on the website of the Student Union.
The deadline of submitting the nominees for all annual awards is 20 December.
Contribution to society award
The University of Tartu contribution to society award is given to recognise a university member or working group who has had a significant impact on the development of society in the previous year. The award has been given since 2021.
The rector presents the contribution to society award in February at the ceremony marking the anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. The recipient is given a certificate and a bonus.
The University of Tartu contribution to society award is granted for introducing the nationwide wastewater monitoring method.
The method has been used since autumn 2020 for detecting the spread of the coronavirus. In the future, wastewater monitoring can be applied for various goals, for example for the detection of illegal drugs and drug residues. The award recipient is Professor Tanel Tenson and his research team including Associate Professor Veljo Kisand, Research Fellow Helen Tammert, Research Fellow Peeter Laas and Specialist Kristel Panksep.
The University of Tartu research award is given to recognise a university’s academic staff member or working group who has stood out by an extraordinary achievement in basic or applied research in the previous year. The award has been given since 2021.
The rector presents the research award in February at the ceremony marking the anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. The recipient is given a certificate and a bonus.
The University of Tartu research award is granted for developing tumour-penetrating peptides for drug delivery.
This will allow to use smaller drug doses in cancer treatment in the future, significantly reducing the side effects of drugs. The recipient of the award is Professor Tambet Teesalu.
The University of Tartu language award is given to recognise a university member or working group who has stood out in the previous year by valuing the Estonian language in fulfilling the university’s goals either in giving higher education, doing research or serving society. The award has been given since 2021.
The rector presents the language award in March at the event organised to celebrate the Mother Tongue Day. The recipient is given a certificate and a bonus.
The University of Tartu language award is granted for research and development combining language and technology in the field of machine translation and neural speech synthesis.
The decisive factor in choosing the language deed was that digitisation enables to ensure the development and preservation of the Estonian language. The award recipient is Professor Mark Fišel and his research team including Head of Applied Natural Language Processing Liisa Rätsep, Junior Research Fellow Andre Tättar, Scientific Programmer Taido Purason, Scientific Programmer Maali Tars, Programmer Agnes Luhtaru, Junior Research Fellow Hele-Andra Kuulmets, Scientific Programmer Annika Laumets-Tättar and Scientific Programmer Rasmus Lellep.
Teaching staff of the year award
The University of Tartu teaching staff of the year award is given to recognise one academic staff member in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Science and Technology who has stood out by excellent teaching skills in the previous year. The award has been given since 2006.
The rector presents the teaching staff of the year awards in February at the ceremony marking the anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. The recipient is given a certificate and a bonus.
Best teaching staff award of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
According to students, Antonina Kostina, Teacher of Norwegian Language of the College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, consciously creates a supportive and open learning atmosphere, where students are not afraid to experiment or make mistakes. In addition to language skills and in-depth knowledge of Scandinavian literature and history, her students acquire public speaking skills, analytical and critical thinking, teamwork skills and the necessary digital competencies for research in the humanities.
Best teaching staff award of the Faculty of Social Sciences
Professor Triin Vihalemm
Students say that Triin Vihalemm, Professor of Communication Studies of the Institute of Social Studies, is excellent in her work. She gives students the opportunity to contribute to the development of Estonia already at the university. Her lectures foster exciting discussions, are up-to-date and student-friendly. Vihalemm’s feedback to students is always constructive, inspiring and explicit, making the students feel and know that they are seen and understood, that their ideas are important and accepted.
Best teaching staff award of the Faculty of Medicine
Professor Külli Kingo
Students describe Külli Kingo, Professor in Dermatology and Venereology of the Institute of Clinical Medicine, as very thorough, intelligent and student-friendly. She uses a variety of teaching and assessment methods that support learning. Professor Kingo is also an excellent communicator who helps to solve problems and explains the material in an inspiring and comprehensive manner. Students have said they learn more in her courses than ever before.
Best teaching staff award of the Faculty of Science and Technology
According to students, Ene Kook, Lecturer of Botany of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, stands out for her exceptional wealth of knowledge, helpfulness and a clear mission to spark interest in every student. All her courses are excellently organised, and the way she shows links between different topics, courses and everyday life increases the value of teaching. Kook is professional, adequately strict and demanding, and the way she loves her field from all her heart and enjoys teaching fascinates her students.