The Distinguished Contribution to Research and Scholarship Award recognizes outstanding contribution to research and scholarship in higher education, particularly as those areas further the understanding of the experiences of, issues within, and needs of the Asian/Pacific Islander/Desi Americans community. Nominees have contributed scholarship and work that support the advancement of Asian/Pacific Islander/Desi Americans in higher education.
- 2014: Dina Maramba, State University of New York, Binghamton
- 2015: Robert Teranishi, University of California, Los Angeles
- 2017: Sam Museus, Indiana University
- 2018: Tracy Poon Tambascia, University of Southern California
- 2019: OiYan Poon, Colorado State University
- 2020: Dian Squire, Northern Arizona University