Apereo Dolphin Awards

Apereo Dolphin Award Categories

Teaching and Learning

These awards recognize innovation in teaching and learning using open source software, promoting excellent pedagogy, sharing new practices in teaching, and encouraging more faculty involvement in software evolution.

Enterprise Solutions

This award seeks to recognize academic institutions, project teams, or others in developing, deploying, and/or implementing open source software that supports the operation of higher education.

Innovation, Advocacy, and Networking, i.e., "The IAN"

This special honor recognizes an individual champion or leader, although this award can also go to an organization. The recipient of this award promotes, propels, and transforms open source initiatives to meet the diverse and evolving needs of higher education.


Recognition through a Dolphin Award is based on the contributions to the Apereo community, projects, and initiatives.

The nomination form asks for detailed examples highlighting the candidates experience, expertise, and initiative. The complete nomination form must be completed in order to be considered.

Anyone may nominate candidates (including themselves) for any or all of the Dolphin Awards.

Candidates for the Enterprise Solutions and Teaching and Learning awards must have experience working with at least one Apereo project (active or in incubation) or special interest community related to the activity(ies) supporting their nomination.

Recipients are not required to work at or be associated with an Apereo Foundation member organization (e.g., university, commercial affiliate, etc.).

Those who have received an Apereo/Sakai Fellowship within the past three years are not eligible to apply.

Apereo Board members and Apereo staff are also not eligible to apply.


The Apereo Board of Directors shall review and award the four Apereo Dolphin Fellowships annually. The Board decision is final.


Recipients of a Dolphin Award shall receive:

  • A certificate of recognition presented during the program ceremony at Open Apereo.
  • A special "swag bag" related to the award.
  • A cash award of US $599.00 (Non-US based recipients will be subject to Federal US tax withholding of 30% unless all requirements are met, according to our Vendor Policies page. Contact accounting@apereo.org with any questions.)
  • Registration to the following year’s Open Apereo conference.
  • Up to US $1,500 toward Apereo-related conferences and event travel expenses, such as:
    • Travel and accommodation for the following year's Open Apereo Conference (airfare/baggage, taxi/bus/train/mileage, hotel, per diems for meals, visa fees).
    • Registration fees, travel, and accommodations to other, pre-approved, Apereo events (airfare/baggage, taxi/bus/train/mileage, hotel, per diems for meals, visa fees).


If an award recipient has not accepted their award within 6 months of written notification, the award expires. All funds must be used within eighteen months from the date of the award.

Additional Recognition

Dolphin Award winners will be asked to speak at Apereo conferences, and will have their work featured on the Apereo website and through other channels of Apereo outreach and education. Award recipients who wish to publish or offer white papers on their activities are encouraged to do so. Such whitepapers will be prominently displayed.

The activities of the award recipients will be largely self-directed, although the Foundation Executive Director and/or Foundation staff will help coordinate  activities and help with twice-yearly report-outs of their activities.

Commercial and/or foundation support for this program will be considered. Initial support will come from the Apereo Foundation.