Teaching Award nominations

Nominations for the University of Calgary Teaching Awards should be prepared collaboratively, with nominators and nominees working together to ensure the nomination dossier (teaching philosophy, evidence from others and letters of support) are evidence-based and well-aligned.

Calls for nomination

Please review the call for nomination for your award category of interest carefully before developing your nomination package. If you have questions regarding awards categories and the calls for nomination, contact teachingawards@ucalgary.ca or attend one of several drop-in consultations and workshops scheduled throughout the fall semester. 

We seek to recognize excellence in diverse forms. The University of Calgary has developed a Research and Teaching Awards Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Pilot Plan. Learn more

Preparing your nomination package

Click here to download an overview PDF containing a checklist of tasks to consider while preparing your nomination package.

How should I structure my nomination package?

The elements of the nomination package should be presented in the order they appear in the call for nominations:

  • Cover page
  • Nomination letter
  • Statement
  • Evidence as indicated in your category
  • Letters of support

The statement, evidence as indicated in your category and letters of support together comprise what is referred to as the nomination dossier. Find more resources for preparing a nomination dossier (adapt or modify for your category) here.

Where do I find the cover page template?

Please fill out and include this cover page in your nomination package. 

Download the cover page template

Who can nominate?

Colleagues, department heads, leaders, and former students can nominate someone. Nominators should be able to describe the nominee's strengths and accomplishments in relation to the award criteria. 

Nomination letters can be written by an individual nominator or co-written by multiple nominators. A co-written letter needs to be signed by all nominators. 

Note that only former students (not currently taught or supervised by the nominee) may nominate instructors for a Teaching Award. Current students (even when they are keen to contribute) are in a vulnerable position and so may not provide nomination letters or letters of support for a nomination.

How long is the nomination letter?

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.

The nomination letter should be limited to two pages. Nomination letters are separate from the nomination dossier and so are not included in the dossier page count.

The Taylor Institute has created a handout on preparing a nomination letter.

How to prepare a nomination letter

What is in a philosophy statement?

A philosophy statement is a one-page document 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 nomination dossier and aligned with evidence throughout.

The resources section offers a collection of sample teaching philosophy statements which can be accessed below.

Sample teaching philosophy statements

How should letters of support be written?

Each letter of support should highlight a distinct strength or accomplishment related to the award criteria and  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."

How should I provide student comments and data?

For more award categories, you will need to provide student comments and/or data. For small classes, the nomination 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.

See our comprehensive resources on preparing a nomination dossier and philosophy statement. Teaching philosophies and dossier resources