The McMahon/Pleiad Prize

Incentivizing innovation by funding worthy projects that will have lasting and substantial impact at UA System institutions.

2019 Call for Proposals


The Prize will be awarded annually, in the amount of $75,000 to an eligible member or members of the faculty or staff of an institution or affiliate of The University of Alabama System, including The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, and UAB Medicine.

The preferred goals of The McMahon/Pleiad Prize are to fund worthy projects (including salaries and/or sabbatical of employees who will lead or support the project) that will have lasting and substantial impact upon UA System institutions, especially projects that will promote the integrity and excellence of the System; to incentivize innovation, including dreams and ideas that benefit the System.

Selection Procedure

  • The Selection Committee is comprised of the Chancellor, campus Presidents, and CEO of the UAB Health System (or their designees).
  • The Committee will evaluate the applications in accordance with the terms of the Board Resolution.
  • Prize awards may be taxable based on IRS regulations.

Application Process and Timeline

Applications are open for the second annual McMahon/Pleiad Prize. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2019. The application must include the following:

  • Two-page summary including statement of purpose explaining how the project advances the goals of the prize; summary of budget; and names/positions of project members
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae of applicant(s)
  • Additional information that supports the proposed project and its goals

Applications should be emailed to Questions may be sent to

  • June 30, 2019 – Application deadline.
  • Summer 2019 – Committee chooses recipient.
  • September 2019 – McMahon/Pleiad Prize recipient is recognized at the Board of Trustees’ Annual Meeting.

The process may repeat in future years on approximately the same timeline.

John J. McMahon Jr.

The McMahon/Pleiad Prize honors Trustee Emeritus John J. McMahon, Jr. and recognizes his family’s contributions to The University of Alabama System and our state. Additional information about Trustee McMahon and the legacy of leadership of the McMahon family may be found in the resolution.

Previous Winners

2018 – Public Art Trail