University of Illinois System

DELTA Project Team Award



Nominations for 2023 closed February 20, 2023.


  • A project team consists of a minimum of four individuals working on a project sponsored by one or more units within the System Offices. For the purposes of the DELTA program, the size of teams would typically range from four to fifteen qualified members.
  • The individual team members must meet the qualifications for individual eligibility or they will be individually disqualified from the team.
  • Project teams may consist of a combination of civil service and academic professional employees (permanent and visiting).
  • Project teams may be comprised of individuals from one unit, or it may be a cross-functional team.
  • Seventy-five percent (75%) of the project team members must be employed by a System Office unit. If a project team has a university employee(s) from UIUC, UIC (including UI Health) or UIS, the university team members are not eligible for the award.
  • Project teams must have completed their work on the specific project for which they are nominated during the award cycle (January - December 2022). Project completion is defined as one or more of the following:
    1. The system or process for one campus or unit is in production for a multi-year project. This means development, testing and piloting are finished and the project has been implemented.
    2. The project team has entered the “clean up”, decommissioning, or continuous improvement phase in one or more unit(s), campus or location.
  • The results of the project must be identified in the nomination process.
  • The project for which the team is being nominated should have a finite beginning and ending.
  • A team that is working on a project, which spans multiple years, is only eligible to receive the DELTA award once that project is completed. For a multi-year project, it may occur after the completion of the entire project or a portion of the project is completed. See the definition of project completion listed above.
  • If an entire unit is nominated as a team, the unit must be nominated for work on a specific project, which is above and beyond the normal duties of the unit.
  • Employees who have previously received either the project team or individual award and are currently on a team selected for the project team award are not eligible for the monetary award until five years from the date of receiving their previous individual or team award.  However, he/she may be recognized as part of the awarded team and will receive a certificate and invitation to the award ceremony.  

Award Criteria

Awards will be given based on the degree to which the project team meets the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates and models attributes of successful high performing project teams.
  • Provides value added results.
  • Communicates and manages expectations around project timing and expected results.
  • Engages stakeholders in their sponsorship role to provide the resources (talent, tools, and facilities) to complete the project team engagement.
  • Delivers results that at minimum meet and potentially exceed expectations.

These five areas are qualities that are valued by the System. Please see the Project Team Criteria for assistance in determining where specific examples or qualities should fall.

Nomination Process

Nominations may be made by any member of the university system community (civil service, academic professional, faculty or student). The nomination of teams for this award is a three-step process:

Step One - Nomination

First, the nominator must submit the online nomination by the deadline Monday, February 20, 2023

The online nomination form requires the following:

  1. Nomination Form
  2. Nomination Statement (View Sample) - The nomination statement includes the following:
    • A brief description (approximately one paragraph) of the project team's objectives.
    • Descriptions of how the project team meets the award criteria. Nominators must provide specific supporting examples for each of the criteria, in addition to a general description of the project team's collective characteristics on these criteria. Please see the Project Team Criteria for assistance.
    • Nomination statements should be no more than two pages, single-spaced with at least a 10-point font.

In the event multiple nominations are submitted for a project team, the selection committee will select the one nomination for that team that most closely exemplifies the objectives of the Distinguished Employee Leadership and Team Award.

Step Two - Selection

The selection process is based on an independent review of the nominations and the award criteria. The decision to make a team an award recipient is based on the award criteria ratings and group discussion of the selection committee. In the event the selection committee cannot determine award recipients, finalists will be chosen and nominators notified if their team nomination is a finalist. At that time, nominators will be asked to provide two letters of recommendation. Nomination letters for project teams should represent the units that make up the project team. The nominator is responsible for selecting the appropriate individuals to provide letters of recommendation.  

Step Three - Notification

The program coordinator contacts the nominator to inform them their nominee has been selected as an award recipient. Nominators are given the option of informing the nominee themselves or having the program coordinator inform the award recipient. A letter of congratulations will be sent via email to the project team award recipients (copying the nominators and their respective managers and/or department heads) officially informing them of the award. All project team award recipients will be notified of their nominator.  

The nominators whose nominees did not receive the award will be notified with a letter via email.     

Selection/Evaluation Process

Project teams will be judged in comparison to their peers in the award category. Examples and achievements will only be considered if they are related to work in the department and/or at the University.


At a minimum, one project team will receive the award each year. Individuals on the award winning project team will equally share in $5,000 (after taxes) allocated to the team, not to exceed $1,500 (after taxes) per person, and a commemorative trophy. Recipients will be honored at an annual award ceremony.