Overview of Major Award Processes

Teaching Awards

The following information provides an overview of centrally coordinated teaching awards:

  • President’s Teaching Award
  • Global Educator Award
  • University of Toronto Teaching Fellowship
  • Early Career Teaching Award
  • School of Graduate Studies Awards
  • Northrop Frye Award of Excellence (Faculty)

As well as 4 external teaching awards:

  • Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award
  • 3M National Teaching Fellowship
  • Alan Blizzard Award
  • Brightspace Innovation in Teaching and Learning Award
woman writing on flip chart

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)
  • sufficient time should be allocated to:
    • identify and contact letter writers
    • draft candidate statements
    • summarize course evaluation data
    • choose appropriate sample instructional materials
    • 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 (PTA)

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: March

Visit the Provost’s website for application information.

To be considered for the PTA, nominees must demonstrate excellence in three equally weighted categories:

  • Educational Leadership
  • Teaching Excellence
  • Educational Innovation

It is understood that these categories do not exist in a vacuum, but continually animate and inform one another. The Selection Committee is committed to a holistic review of nomination packages and is looking for applicants whose packages tell a story and provide a rich narrative context for their approach to educational excellence.

Across all three categories a commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility should be both salient and explicit in the nomination package. Promoting the integration of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility-related considerations in post-secondary education and practices such as the goals identified in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the University’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism is foundational across the PTA criteria.

Global Educator Award

The University of Toronto Global Educator Award recognizes faculty members who embody the University’s global mission and profile. They are effective teachers who demonstrate intercultural/global fluency—the ability to successfully operate and communicate within different cultural contexts—through pedagogies that reflect a diversity of perspectives and invite engagement from all students. One award of $3,000 will be offered annually. Award recipients will be honoured at the annual Excellence in Teaching Reception to be held each fall.

Deadline: January

Visit the Provost’s website for more information.

 

University of Toronto Teaching Fellowship (UTF)

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

Visit the Provost’s site for application information

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.

The School of Graduate Studies (SGS)

The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) recognizes outstanding performance in the multiple roles associated with graduate student supervision through the JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Awards and the SGS Early Career Supervision Awards. Learn more about Supervision Award for Faculty Members on the SGS website 

Northrop Frye Award of Excellence (Faculty)

The Northrop Frye Award (Faculty) recognizes those individuals or team of individuals who have enhanced the undergraduate student experience through innovative curriculum, co-curricular learning, and pedagogical contributions inside and outside the classroom with a special focus on the integration of research and teaching. For example, fostering opportunities for undergraduates to participate in cutting-edge research activities.

Visit the University of Toronto’s Alumni Association’s Awards of Excellence for more information.

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

Visit the Provost’s site for information on the nomination process.

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.

External Awards

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (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

Nominators are welcome to contact the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation for assistance in preparing nomination packages. Please contact Kelly Gordon, Coordinator, Programs and Special Initiatives, for more information at kelly.gordon@utoronto.ca.

Information on the nomination process on the OCUFA site.

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.

3M National Teaching Fellowship

Approval for Nominations: Provost, vetted first by Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education

Timeline for Preparation:

  • May – September: Departments/divisions internally vet and select candidates
  • Notify the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education if intending to put forward a 3M candidate
  • September – November: Nomination package preparation, including soliciting letters of support, compiling supporting documentation and writing award file narrative (NOTE: CTSI actually recommends beginning the file preparation sooner than this – for example, letters and teaching materials can be compiled and the nominee’s personal statements can be written over the summer before classes start in the Fall)
  • December : Review of complete draft by relevant parties in the department/division and the candidate
  • January: Final review and revisions of completed nomination file
  • February 1: 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 February 1, 2022.

Learn more about the 3M National Teaching Fellowship nomination process and deadlines.

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.

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 Kelly Gordon, Programs Coordinator, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (kelly.gordon@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

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

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 Kelly Gordon, Coordinator, Programs and Special Initiatives, for more information at kelly.gordon@utoronto.ca.

Information on the nomination process and deadlines.

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.

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

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

Information on application process and deadlines.

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.

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