Overview of Major Internal and External Awards Processes

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The following information provides an overview of three centrally coordinated teaching awards – the President’s Teaching Award, The University of Toronto Teaching Fellowship and the Early Career Teaching Award – as well as four external teaching awards, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Teaching Award, the 3M National Teaching Fellowship, the Alan Blizzard Award, and the Brightspace Innovation in Teaching and Learning Award. We describe key criteria, deadlines and timelines. When considering putting forward a nomination for one of these awards, departments and divisions should be aware of the approvals needed for successful nominations.

Note that to prepare the best possible nomination package for any award, effective administrative support and nominee engagement in the process are both required. Candidates should not be preparing their own nomination files (outside of drafting any required personal statements of teaching philosophy or educational leadership). Also, sufficient time should be allocated to identify and contact letter writers, draft candidate statements, summarize course evaluation data, choose appropriate sample instructional materials, and prepare the written narrative that describes and highlights the candidate’s key accomplishments.

Please contact Megan Burnett, Associate Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation with any questions (416-946-8585; megan.burnett@utoronto.ca).

This information is organized to highlight the ideal progression from one award to the next (internal – provincial – national).

PRESIDENT’S TEACHING AWARD
Approval for Nomination: Dean or Division Head
Timeline for Preparation:

  • Mid-fall: select nominee and seek decanal approval (contact Dean’s Office to identify process and deadline)
  • November: begin compiling file
  • December-February: finalize file

Deadline: Late March
Application Information: http://www.provost.utoronto.ca/Awards/presidentaward.htm

More information on the PTA nomination process

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO TEACHING FELLOWSHIP
Approval for Nomination: Head of academic unit or Dean (dependent on stream – see link for details)

Timeline for Preparation:

  • Early-fall: select nominee
  • October: begin  compiling file
  • December – January: finalize file

*Note: nomination package is sent from the office of the Dean
or head of academic unit

Deadline: January

Application Information:  http://www.provost.utoronto.ca/awards/TeachingFellowships.htm 

EARLY CAREER TEACHING AWARD
Approval for Nominations: Academic Administrator (Dean, Division Head, Chair, Principal, or Director)
Timeline for Preparation:

  • September-October: nominators select candidate and seek approval from Academic Administrator
  • November: begin compiling file
  • December-January: finalize file

Deadline: Mid-January
Application Information: http://www.provost.utoronto.ca/awards/University_of_Toronto_Early_Career_Teaching_Award.htm

More information on the ECTA nomination process

OCUFA TEACHING AWARD
Approval for Nominations: Head of Department or Division (NB: faculty member must be a member of UTFA and UTFA must be notified of nomination)
Timeline for Preparation:

  • December: identify nominees and seek approval; notify University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA)
  • January: begin compiling file
  • February-May: finalize file

Deadline: Late May
Application Information: http://ocufa.on.ca/ocufa-awards/teaching-and-academic-librarianship-awards

More information on the OCUFA nomination process

3M NATIONAL TEACHING FELLOWSHIP
Approval for Nominations: Provost, vetted first by Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education
Timeline for Preparation:

  • January-April: select candidates and seek departmental and divisional approval; prepare rationale for submission to CTSI
  • May 1: submit rationale to CTSI to be forwarded to VP-IUE
  • June 15: Provostial approval will be granted for nominees going forward; if CTSI is preparing file, submit list of letter writers, candidate’s personal statements and course evaluation data to CTSI
  • June-September: preparation of file – candidate must be available through this period

Deadline: September 30
Application Information: https://www.stlhe.ca/awards/3m-national-teaching-fellowships/

More information on the 3M nomination process

ALAN BLIZZARD AWARD
Approval for Nominations: No specific institutional approval required, however best practice is to vet the team’s nomination through the Department or Division Head, and then inform CTSI who can in turn inform the Provost’s Office.
Timeline for Preparation:

  • September: nominators select candidate teams and seek approval from Department/Division
  • October-February: prepare and finalize nomination package

Deadline: Late February
Application Information: https://www.stlhe.ca/awards/alan-blizzard-award/

More information on the Blizzard nomination process

BRIGHTSPACE INNOVATION AWARD IN TEACHING AND LEARNING
Approval for Nomination: No specific institutional approval required, however best practice is to vet the team’s nomination through the Department or Division Head, and then inform CTSI who can in turn inform the Provost’s Office.
Timeline for Preparation:

  • September: nominators select candidate teams and seek approval from Department/Division
  • October – February: prepare and finalize nomination package

Deadline: February
Application Information: https://www.stlhe.ca/awards/brightspace-innovation-award/

More information on the Brightspace Innovation Award nomination process

INSTITUTIONAL AWARDS – CENTRALLY COORDINATED

PRESIDENT’S TEACHING AWARD
Description of Key Criteria:
The university-wide President’s Teaching Award recognizes sustained excellence and leadership over time in teaching, research in teaching, and the integration of teaching and research. We encourage nominations of colleagues whose achievements are truly outstanding for this very special recognition by the University of Toronto.

The nomination dossier should include strong evidence of excellence in teaching practice, teaching recognition (local, national and/or international), significant contributions in educational leadership, and letters of reference attesting to the nominee’s outstanding qualities as an educator, including their impact on students and leadership in teaching.

http://www.provost.utoronto.ca/Awards/presidentaward.htm

Timeline for Preparation:
September – October: Select nominees and contact Dean’s office for approval
October – March: Nomination package preparation

President’s Teaching Award nominations are due in March of each year.

Approvals Needed:
The President’s Teaching Award requires Decanal approval. All nominators should contact their Dean’s Office prior to preparing a full nomination package.

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO TEACHING FELLOWSHIP
Description of Key Criteria:
The University of Toronto Teaching Fellowships provide funds for up to five recipients in the Teaching Stream which will allow them to engage in a pedagogical project of direct benefit to students in a defined area of institutional priority. Through its focus on supporting pedagogical innovation and research, the program is intended to promote the emergence of leaders within the Teaching Stream. The Fellowships will provide the opportunity for Teaching Stream faculty members to undertake a two-year teaching and learning project, working closely with the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education and the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI). All Teaching Stream faculty members are eligible to apply for Teaching Fellowships.

The University of Toronto Teaching Fellowship is open to all faculty members in the Teaching Stream, and provides Fellows with access to a cohort and network aimed at supporting and enhancing the work being undertaken, fostering the culture of teaching at the University of Toronto, and promoting effective teaching practices. Each Fellow will have access to a graduate student Research Assistant, who will provide 280 hours of support over the course of the two-year fellowship. Fellows will also receive up to two course releases over the period of their Fellowship, and an additional $5,000 for professional development and further project support. A maximum of 5 Fellowships will be awarded every two years.
http://www.provost.utoronto.ca/awards/ TeachingFellowships.htm

Timeline for Preparation:
October: Select nominee
October – January: Nomination package preparation

Teaching Fellowship nominations are due in January of each year.

Approvals Needed:
The Teaching Fellowship requires approval and supporting documentation from the head of academic unit (e.g., Chair or Dean in single-department faculties) or Dean, depending on the stream selected (see link for details).

EARLY CAREER TEACHING AWARD
Description of Key Criteria:
The University of Toronto Early Career Teaching Award recognizes faculty members who are effective teachers and demonstrate an exceptional commitment to student learning, pedagogical engagement and teaching innovation. Up to four awards of $3,000 each will be offered annually. Award recipients will be honoured at the annual Excellence in Teaching Reception to be held in the Fall.
Assistant Professors, Tenure Stream, full-time clinical faculty, and Assistant Professors, Teaching Stream in continuing appointments as of June 30, 2018 who are within the first six years of their academic appointment and have completed two years of teaching at the University of Toronto.
http://www.provost.utoronto.ca/awards/University_of_Toronto_Early_Career_Teaching_Award.htm

Timeline for Preparation:
October: Select nominees and contact office of the relevant Academic Administrator for approval
October – January: Nomination package preparation

Early Career Teaching Award nominations are due in January of each year.

Approvals Needed:
The Early Career Teaching Award requires approval of an Academic Administrator. All nominators should contact the office of their relevant Academic Administrator prior to preparing a full nomination package.

PROVINCIAL AWARD

OCUFA TEACHING AWARD
Description of Key Criteria:
Candidates for the OCUFA Teaching Award must be members of an OCUFA-affiliated faculty association. They must show evidence of teaching excellence in multiple areas, including instruction, student advising/support, thesis supervision, course development, curriculum development and leadership, educational leadership, educational material development, service in teaching/educational leadership, and research and dissemination of research on university teaching.

Ideally, candidates for the OCUFA will have received a major internal teaching award prior to being nominated.

http://ocufa.on.ca/ocufa-awards/teaching-and-academic-librarianship-awards/

Timeline for Preparation:
December: Select nominees and contact head of Department/Division for approval
January – May: Nomination package preparation

OCUFA Teaching Award nominations are due in May of each year.

Approvals Needed:
The OCUFA Teaching Award requires a nomination letter from the head of Department (Chair or equivalent) or Division.

Nominators are welcome to contact the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation for assistance in preparing nomination packages. Please contact Erin Macnab, Programs Coordinator for more information at 416-946-0464 or erin.macnab@utoronto.ca.

NATIONAL AWARDS

3M NATIONAL TEACHING FELLOWSHIP
Description of Key Criteria:
The 3M National Teaching Fellowship is open to any individual currently teaching at a Canadian university, regardless of discipline, level, or term of appointment. However, the 3M is intended for faculty who have a history of excellence in teaching and educational leadership, and a strong record in undergraduate teaching. Most successful candidates will have received major internal teaching awards, and another significant external teaching award.

Nominations must include significant and documented evidence of educational leadership in and outside of the candidate’s discipline and department/division, effective teaching strategies, teaching excellence (through both student evaluations and recognition) and course and curriculum development efforts.

http://www.stlhe.ca/awards/3m-national-teaching-fellowships/

Timeline for Preparation:
January – April: Departments/divisions internally vet and select candidates
May 1: Deadline for submitting nomination rationale to the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation
May 1 – June 15: VP-IUE will vet candidates to be brought to Provost for approval
June 15: Provostial approval will be granted to nominees going forward; first drafts of candidate statements, course evaluation data and list of letter writers should be supplied to the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation
June – September: Nomination package preparation
September 30: Nomination packages must be submitted online to the 3M Selection Committee

Candidates must be available over the summer months to provide statements, names of supporters, etc.

Nominations for the 3M National Teaching Fellowship are due September 30th of each year.

Approvals Needed:
Nominations for the 3M National Teaching Fellowship require Provostial approval.

Process for Candidate Selection:
Before preparing a nomination package, nominators must submit a two-paragraph rationale to the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation. Nominators must also identify the administrative support available to prepare the nomination as well as the contact person if the candidate is selected to move forward. CTSI will follow up with next steps.

This rationale should be sent to Erin Macnab, Programs Coordinator, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (erin.macnab@utoronto.ca) no later than May 1 of the year of nomination.

The Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education will make the final determination if candidates are to move forward with a full nomination. Nominators will be informed by CTSI as soon as possible whether or not their file can move forward, at the latest by June 15.

ALAN BLIZZARD AWARD

Description of Key Criteria:
The purpose of the Alan Blizzard Award is to recognize Canadian university collaborative teaching and learning as designed, implemented, and assessed by a faculty group—a course team, a department, an instructional development centre, a committee of colleagues from different departments, faculties, or universities, working together on a common teaching project.

Submissions should demonstrate increased student engagement resulting from this collaborative approach, through systematic assessment of learning outcomes, and should have the potential for application and influence beyond the originating departments/divisions/institution. Submissions are adjudicated on their goals, their implementation of active learning concepts, and on the evidence of impact on student learning.

The Award is open to groups of two or more individuals, at least one of whom must be currently teaching at a Canadian university, regardless of discipline or level of appointment. Nominations of individuals from more than one institution who are working together on a collaborative teaching project are eligible and welcome.

The collaborative project must have sufficient duration to allow systematic assessment of its effectiveness and to give assurance of its sustainability. Three years from inception would seem to be a minimum length of time necessary to provide sufficient evidence and for informed judgment.

http://www.stlhe.ca/awards/alan-blizzard-award/

Timeline for Preparation:
September: Nominators select candidate teams
November – February: Nomination package preparation

Nominations for the Alan Blizzard Award are due in late February of each year.

Nominators are welcome to contact the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation for assistance in preparing nomination packages. Please contact Erin Macnab, Programs Coordinator for more information at 416-946-0464 or erin.macnab@utoronto.ca

BRIGHTSPACE INNOVATION AWARD IN TEACHING AND LEARNING

Description of Key Criteria
The Brightspace Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning celebrates and recognizes up to five post-secondary educators each year for their innovative approaches that promote student-centred teaching and learning.

The Brightspace Innovation Award is open to all instructors currently teaching at a post-secondary institution, regardless of discipline, level, or term of appointment. Unique among the STLHE awards is that the Brightspace award is international and open to applicants from all countries; however, applications will only be accepted in French or English. Candidates do not need to be members of STLHE to apply.

Please note that the Brightspace Innovation Award is for individual achievement. Teams of instructors will not be considered. STLHE encourages team-based teaching and learning approaches and initiatives through the Alan Blizzard Award.

Applications are invited from individuals with a demonstrable record of innovation(s) in areas including pedagogical approaches, teaching methods, course design, curriculum development, assessment methods, and various tools or technologies that enhance learning and have had a significant impact on post-secondary education.

https://www.stlhe.ca/awards/brightspace-innovation-award/

Timeline for Preparation:
September: Nominators select candidate teams
November – February: Nomination package preparation

Nominations for the Brightspace Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning are due in February of each year.

Nominators are welcome to contact the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation for assistance in preparing nomination packages. Please contact Erin Macnab, Programs Coordinator for more information at 416-946-0464 or erin.macnab@utoronto.ca