You are now in the main content area

YSGS Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Awards

The Yeates School of Graduate Studies (YSGS) Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award recognizes faculty excellence in the complex process of mentoring graduate students to prepare them for productive careers. There are a total of seven awards: one to be allocated to a faculty member in each of TMU’s Faculties and one for a faculty member associated with an interdisciplinary program. Note: a faculty member that works with an interdisciplinary program or another graduate program outside of their Faculty may be considered for both their home Faculty YSGS award and any other appropriate award within the YSGS Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Awards.

Award recipient(s) will receive a certificate of recognition and a monetary award of $2,000 as a one-time payment (subject to applicable deductions).

Key criteria: Graduate student mentorship

Nomination guidelines

  • Full and Associate members of the Yeates School of Graduate Studies and who are actively supervising graduate studies are eligible to be nominated for a YSGS Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award. This includes Graduate Program Directors, and supervisors that are in administrative leadership roles including Associate Deans, Deans and Senior Administrators. Participation in the competition is by nomination only. Self-nomination is allowed.
  • The nomination is valid only for the year in which it is made.
  • Faculty who receive this award may not receive the same award for the following two years (e.g. 2018-2019 recipients receiving the award in Winter 2019 would not be eligible to apply for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 awards).
  • Any member of the TMU Community (faculty, student or staff) can nominate someone for the YSGS Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award. YSGS particularly encourages nominations from Graduate Program Directors, Chairs and Directors.
  • Self-nominations are allowed.

Graduate education, done well, is a complex process that demands exceptional commitment and skilled attention to developing the talents, graduate students need to excel in today's world. The award honours individuals who have distinguished themselves in this regard and, as such, nominations must clearly demonstrate the magnitude of the contribution.

While there are many different factors and outcomes that may signify outstanding contributions to graduate education, the following are areas to consider highlighting:

  • Effective mentoring of graduate students in their roles as scholars, teachers and academic professionals.
    • The nominee displays effective mentoring practices, is willing to share their knowledge and experience, and act as a source of information. The nominee encourages participation in professional meetings with other scholars, conferences and collaborations. The nominee encourages students to appropriately disseminate results of research or creative activities and share their knowledge and experience. The nominee encourages the student to stay up-to-date with scholarly literature and with technical and theoretical advances within their field of study.
  • Providing a supportive environment for graduate research and scholarship, and encouraging responsible professional conduct.
    • The nominee creates a comfortable working environment, where students are encouraged to exchange and pursue their ideas. The nominee seeks to understand the culture of their students and promotes respect and inclusion. The nominee encourages a professional work environment in which individuals conduct themselves with dignity and in consideration of others. The nominee gives students access to the resources they require to complete their research, if these are within the nominee’s control.
  • Advocating on behalf of graduate students.
    • The nominee makes themselves aware of a student’s individual needs and takes an active role in ensuring that those needs are accommodated. The nominee recognizes their obligations to students and ensures that those obligations, both financial and supervisory are met and often exceeded. The nominee advocates for student rights among their colleagues, encouraging professional, respectful relationships. The nominee is able to guide the student to the relevant support services where necessary.
  • Superior teaching, careful advising and guiding students in administrative, organizational and professional matters.
    • The nominee demonstrates an enthusiasm for teaching, follows best practice and develops innovative teaching methods. The nominee provides training in rigorous methodologies, theoretical and technical aspects of research, advises students on developing project/research plans, and provides regular feedback and critical evaluations of the strengths and weaknesses of the student’s research. The nominee provides advice on institutional policy and administrative requirements.
  • Helping students secure suitable employment and achieve professional success.
    • The nominee provides career guidance and support, including advising students on preparing CVs, career options and appropriate ways of seeking employment. The nominee assists with applications for research funding, fellowship applications, internships and other opportunities as appropriate. The nominee promotes networking opportunities and advocates for their students within their professional communities.
  1. Obtain the nominee's permission.
  2. Complete the nomination package as described below.
  3. Submit the nomination package via the Online Nomination Portal on the Recognition website.
  4. Nominee receives a confirmation email with a link to provide online consent before the deadline.

A completed nomination includes:

  • Citation (100 word maximum) – highlight why the nominee deserves this award and any notable achievements. This citation will be included in related university communications should the nominee or team be selected.
  • Supporting Statement (two page maximum) – describe the nominee’s achievements and impact keeping in mind that outstanding contributions to graduate education can be demonstrated through sustained positive behaviour, advancement of graduate opportunities and success of graduate students.
  • Two letters of support (one page maximum each) – one letter written by faculty, staff member(s) and one letter written by a graduate student. Provide examples related to the criteria of why the nominee should receive the award. Those writing letters should disclose their relationship to the nominee (e.g. individual who has team-taught with the nominee, current student, research assistant, working under nominee’s supervision, etc.).

The YSGS Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award recipient is selected by the FAC. The FAC has an overarching goal to help advance teaching and learning at TMU through the university-wide Faculty Awards Program by ensuring that high-quality candidates, whose achievements meet or exceed the award criteria, are selected to receive available awards.

A faculty member that works with an interdisciplinary program or another graduate program outside of their Faculty may be considered for both their home Faculty YSGS award and any other appropriate award within the YSGS Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Awards.

The FAC will recommend the awardee for approval by the faculty dean in consultation with the vice-provost and dean, YSGS.

The vice-provost and dean, YSGS will write congratulatory letters to all recipients.

An award will not be given if there is no suitable candidate that demonstrates the criteria in the opinion of the committee.

Nomination deadline: November 7 at noon
Recipient notified by: December 21, 2023
Award presentation: Toronto Met Awards Gala

Yeates School of Graduate Studies
Natasha Mills
Coordinator, Graduate Scholarships and Awards

Celebration details

This award is celebrated at the Toronto Met Awards Gala.