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Nomination Package Tips

Preparing a nomination can seem intimidating - but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve highlighted some key tips to help walk you through each stage of the process.

In order for your nomination to stand out against the many others that are submitted, it is important to explain and include evidence and clear examples of what makes your nominee the best choice for the award.

The nomination package should describe what is outstanding about your nominee’s achievements and show how and where they made a difference. Ensure not to just demonstrate that the nominee is “simply doing their job”.

  • Review the award eligibility and criteria to select the best award for the nominee.
  • Obtain the nominee’s permission.
  • Start preparing the nomination well in advance. After you submit the nomination, the nominee still needs to provide their online consent before the deadline.
  • Identify and connect with individuals who may be able to provide letters of support. This should be done sooner than later to ensure there is ample time for them to provide a strong letter.

Use specific and concrete examples to demonstrate how your nominee has met the award criteria. Be sure to indicate how the nominee has contributed above and beyond their regular responsibilities.

A compelling nomination should also describe as vividly and precisely as possible the difference your nominee’s contribution has made and show why it has been important.

Describe the project or activity

  • Detail what contributions were made for the nominee to be nominated.
  • What was the scenario or what were they solving? Be as specific as you can.
  • What challenges, issues or limitations did the nominee face? E.g. resources, time, changes, etc.


“Sage created and implemented a powerful model that bridges the gap between curriculum and industry needs. This unique approach provides part-time employment opportunities for students who share their expertise with their peers. Sage recognized that employers pursued candidates with advanced Microsoft Excel skills. The demand reached beyond students enrolled in the finance program and included other disciplines such as human resources, marketing and supply chain management. Students in these programs often lacked access to Microsoft Excel training.” 

“In 2016 Akuna had a vision. She wanted to create an opportunity for the next generation of business people to get involved with the TMU community through the creation of an initiative that would bring together donors to create an ongoing research prize. That idea has become an association of  a group of donors who represent the next wave of business and thought leaders dedicated to making a positive impact in their communities, and who are actively engaged in strengthening research and encouraging discovery.”.

Describe the nominee’s efforts

  • Provide specific examples of how the nominee demonstrated the award criteria. E.g. initiative, leadership, teamwork, creativity or innovation, etc.
  • For team nominations, briefly describe the role and contribution of each team member toward the project or service.
  • What makes the nominee’s efforts outstanding? How have they gone above and beyond what is required as part of their day-to-day job?
  • What makes your nominee different from others doing the same thing?


"Kai’s contributions to developing students’ technical and interpersonal skills has elevated the university and helped to engage top employers who look to TMU for their talent. Kai embodies the TMU culture to challenge the status quo and find new ways to change her community. Her contributions are worthy of recognition and Kai is an outstanding nominee for the President’s Blue and Gold Award of Excellence" 

“Riley is far more than the architect of the Skill Enhancement Program, they are a role model and leader. Riley shares their personal experiences with employees and spends hours in one on one conversations, encouraging individuals to explore opportunities and professional growth. Riley is a strong advocate of lifelong learning and the growth mindset and motivates anyone they work with to adopt the same principles.”

  • What was the impact or outcome that resulted from the nominee’s contribution? 
  • Provide specifics and detailed examples along with any data or statistics that support the outcome.
  • How have the nominee’s achievements and contributions benefited the university and/or community?
  • Who was impacted by the nominee’s efforts?
  • Is the project or activity completed or is it ongoing?


“The response from students was tremendous. Each of the sessions filled to capacity with students lining up outside hoping to participate. In the first year, 700 students participated in 15 Microsoft Excel training sessions.”

“In the first year of operation, the program surpassed all stated targets. More than 5,000 students attended the training sessions with an additional 175 alumni and 74 graduate students taking advantage of the programs.”

The letter(s) of support are an integral part of the nomination process, since they help to paint a complete picture of your nominee and what they have accomplished. Some awards allow for multiple letters, so be sure that each letter gives a different perspective and not repeat the same story over and over. 

The letter(s) must be written by someone other than the nominator or members of the Executive and Selection Committee.

Remember to focus on the quality, not the quantity of letters. It is also important to share the award criteria with the letter writers so they can focus on the content of their letter.

The letter(s) of support should:

  • be written by individuals who know the nominee well enough to be able to talk about the impact of their achievement(s) from first-hand experience;
  • be current and written specifically for the award you are nominating for;
  • should provide examples of the nominee’s contributions.

Some awards allow for additional supporting materials to be added to the nomination. The supporting materials provide you with the opportunity to add any additional information or examples of the nominees work or results which help to back up the rest of the nomination package. 

You may want to include:

  • Any statistics or numeric results;
  • Anecdotal examples;
  • Quotations from end users;
  • Pamphlets or handouts.

Remember that longer doesn’t necessarily mean better. When presenting your nominee, keep your explanations clear and to-the-point while ensuring there is enough information for the selection panel to make their decision.

Keep it simple

Don’t worry about using complicated language or fancy writing. The goal is to make sure the selection committee understands the project/activity and achievement using simple language. Try not to get too caught up in elaborate writing, jargon or acronyms.

Don’t just say your nominee is outstanding – prove it! 

It is important to tell the nominee’s story as you would to a stranger. Ensure to provide a complete overview of the nominee or team’s accomplishments. Support the nomination with your own observations, as well as qualitative and quantitative facts, statistics, metrics, etc.

How do I find the right words to present my nominee?

Strong nominations will often include persuasive nouns such as:

Strong nominations will often include persuasive nouns such as:

Commitment Performance
Creativity Recognition
Determination Respect
Drive Role model
Hidden hero Selflessness
Innovation Sustainability
Impact Teamwork
Leadership Visionary

Strong nominations will often include adjectives such as:

Admired Passionate
Conscientious Persevering
Dedicated Persuasive
Diligent Positive
Enthusiastic Resourceful
Exemplary Supportive
Fair Sympathetic
Generous Trusted
Incomparable Unflustered
Inspirational Vibrant

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Contact the award administrator if you need clarification on the guidelines or nomination process.