Prepare a nomination package
Nominations for the University of Calgary Teaching Awards should be prepared collaboratively, with nominators and nominees working together to ensure the teaching philosophy and dossier are evidence-based and well-aligned.
There are 13 categories for the University of Calgary Teaching Awards and the criteria for each award are different. All sections of the nomination process below may not apply to every award. Please refer to the call for nominations for your award's specific criteria and nomination package components.
The Taylor Institute has prepared resources on creating teaching dossiers and teaching philosophy statements.
The nomination package consists of:
- Letter(s) of nomination
- A nomination dossier
- A cover page confirming that the nominee meets all eligibility requirements, and that all components of the dossier are present.
The dossier should not exceed the maximum page count specified in the call for nominations. The nomination letter is not included in the page count.
The elements of the nomination package should be presented in the order they appear in the call for nominations:
- Cover page
- Nomination letter
- Evidence provided by the nominee
- Evidence based on students’ perspectives, if required (such as course evaluation data and student comments)
- Evidence provided by colleagues/others, if required (such as letters of support)
Please fill out and include this cover page in your nomination package.
The nomination letter provides the first impression of the nominee to the adjudication committee. As such, it should describe the nominee’s strengths and accomplishments in relation to the award criteria.
The nomination letter should provide an integrated summary of the entire nomination dossier and make reference to evidence provided throughout.
Each nomination letter should be limited to five pages. Nomination letters are not included in the dossier page count.
The Taylor Institute has created a handout on preparing a nomination letter (download below).
Single vs. multiple nomination letters
Nomination letters can be written by individual nominators or co-written by multiple nominators.
A single, co-signed nomination letter should include a comprehensive case, addressing multiple letter writers' perspectives. The advantage of a single nomination letter is that the group can fill gaps in evidence and show how the different aspects of practice result in a coherent whole.
Multiple letters present different voices, and can also be effective if they provide concrete illustrations of claims. In the case of multiple letters, it is a good strategy for writers to collaborate to ensure all key criteria are addressed across letters and that each letter adds its own value.
The teaching philosophy or educational leadership statement is where nominees can reflect on and express their teaching and educational leadership beliefs, why they hold these beliefs, and how they put them into practice.
The statement is an important opportunity for the adjudicators to hear the nominee’s own voice. Philosophy statements should be written in first-person and genuinely reflect nominees' beliefs. Claims made in the philosophy statement should be substantiated in other parts of the dossier and aligned with evidence throughout.
The resources section offers a collection of sample teaching philosophy statements which can be accessed below.
For small classes, the dossier must include full sets of student comments. For larger class sizes, you can:
- submit a randomly selected sample of student comments, prepared and signed by a third party; or
- submit full comments for one or two questions from student evaluations, prepared and signed by a third party. You should specify which question/questions your comments address.
Please explain briefly how the comments were prepared. You can highlight selected comments that support key claims within the dossier.
When providing USRI data, it is helpful to provide the nominee's faculty or department. This helps award adjudicators contextualize the data.
Dossiers that include USRI data and student comments should also include nominees' brief reflections and analyses to further contextualize the data and highlight how it connects to their teaching philosophies and practices.
If you have more than one letter of support, ensure that each highlights a distinct strength or accomplishment related to the award criteria; each letter should add its own value to the nomination file. Nominators should provide direction to other letter writers about the length and nature of information in their letters of support.
Only former students (not currently taught or supervised by the nominee) should provide nomination letters or letters of support. Current students (even when they are keen to contribute) are in a vulnerable position.
This adheres to the guidelines for the 3M National Teaching Fellowship, which state, "Please do not ask for letters from current students. They are vulnerable by definition, even when they express a strong, unprompted desire to play an active role in supporting the nomination."