Teaching Excellence Awards for Faculty

**Please note: Award deadline shifting to late summer in 2022 onwards; exact date and criteria guidelines coming soon!**

The Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Teaching includes lecturing, involvement in seminars and tutorials, individual and group discussions, laboratory teaching and other means by which students derive educational benefits. Teaching effectiveness is demonstrated by the degree to which the faculty member is able to stimulate and challenge the intellectual ability of students, to communicate academic material effectively and to maintain a mastery of his/her subject areas. It also involves maintaining accessibility to students and the ability to influence the intellectual and scholarly development of students.

The award recipients will receive $3000 for teaching-related initiatives/research.

UTM Teaching Excellence Award for Junior Faculty 2020-21:
Dr. Vivienne Luk from the Forensic Science Program was selected as the recipient of the UTM Teaching Excellence Award for outstanding teaching by a junior faculty member.

Cleo Leland Boyd Teaching Excellence Award for Sessional Faculty 2020-21:
Dr. William Huggon from the Department of Psychology was selected as the recipient of the UTM Teaching Excellence Award for outstanding teaching by a sessional instructor.

E.A. Robinson Teaching Excellence Award for Senior Faculty 2020-21:
Dr. Nicole Lalibert
é  from the Department of Geography, Geomatics, and Environment was selected as the recipient of the UTM Teaching Excellence Award for outstanding teaching by a senior faculty.

Click here for a list of past award recipients.


Award Criteria

The Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards are made on the basis of excellence in teaching in its broadest sense. Excellent teachers typically demonstrate the following qualities: display a mastery of and enthusiasm for the subject area, and have effective communication skills; have been exemplary in one or more areas of teaching; are judged to be "outstanding," rather than merely "very good"; stimulate and challenge students' minds, and encourage their intellectual development; and are interested in and reasonably accessible to students.

Beginning in 2018, the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award competition will have three divisions, Sessional, Junior, and Senior, each functioning as a seperate award. The Teaching Excellence Award for Sessionals is targeted at Sessional Lecturers and Course Instructors, the Teaching Excellence Award for Junior Faculty is targeted at Assistant Professors and early Associate Professors, and the E.A. Robinson Teaching Excellence Award for Senior Faculty is targeted at senior Associate Professors and full Professors respectively.

Names for these two new awards (Junior Division, Sessional Division) honouring past UTM members are under discussion, and suggestions would be welcomed. Please send suggestions to Heather Miller at vdteachlearn.utm@utoronto.ca.

Principal Nominators

Any individual or group at the University of Toronto Mississauga may submit nominations as the principal nominator. Nominations from students are encouraged. Nominators are encouraged to read the following guidelines carefully prior to submitting a nomination.

Deadline for Submission of the Nomination Package

Nomination packages are due TBD

Nominee Eligibility

The awards are open to individuals whose major appointment is at the University of Toronto Mississauga and who hold the academic rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor, in either the Tenure or Teaching Stream, as well as to individuals who have served as a Sessional Lecturer or Course Instructor for a course taught at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Individuals may be nominated for the award any number of times, but may receive the award only once. Receipt of more than one category of award (e.g., both Junior and Senior) is expected to be highly unusual, and would require the second nomination to focus almost entirely on achievements after the period of the first award.


Nominees to the Teaching Excellence Awards will be considered according to the following Divisions:

  • E.A. Robinson Teaching Excellence Award for Senior Faculty Division has been established to recognize excellence in teaching from senior Associate Professors or full Professors whose major appointment is to the University of Toronto Mississauga campus.
  • UTM Teaching Excellence Award for Junior Faculty Divison has been established to recognize excellence in teaching from Assistant Professors and early Associate Professors (within 1-2 years of receiving tenure or continuing status) whose major appointment is to the University of Toronto Mississauga campus.
  • UTM Cleo Leland Boyd Teaching Excellence Award for Sessional Faculty Division has been established to recognize excellence in teaching from Course Instructors and Sessional Lectures at any level. Nominees will only be considered for their work as a course instructor on the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. Individuals must have two (2) or more terms (H or Y) of experience working as a course instructor to be eligible for this award.

Please clearly indicate the Division to which you are nominating the individual in your application. Please note that the Teaching Awards Adjudication Committee reserves the right to redirect a nominee to specific Division that they feel best represents the individual in question. Nominators for LTL or CLTA faculty should consult with the Vice-Dean Teaching and Learning for direction on the division most appropriate for the specific case. 

Adjudication Criteria

Nominees will be evaluated for the awards by the Adjudication Committee on the basis of outstanding performance in several of the following areas:

  • Classroom instruction, including lecturing, small group teaching and/or laboratory instruction.
  • Consultation with students outside of class, including individual tutoring and advising.
  • Supervision of individual coursework, including projects and undergraduate theses.
  • Course and/or curriculum design and improvement.
  • Production of educational materials and resources that can be demonstrated to increase the effectiveness of undergraduate teaching.
  • Educational development, planning and research, which results in generally improved teaching in the University, College or Department.

Adjudication Committee Process

There are no fixed criteria or rules for the selection of award winners. Members of the Teaching Awards Adjudication Committee are encouraged to use their good judgment in weighing different categories of teaching, and different sources of evidence, as they see fit.

Nomination Package Requirements & Format

All nomination packages submitted to the Teaching Excellence Award for Faculty must be submitted electronically as single PDFs, and may not exceed 50 pages (excluding CV). No hard copies of any part of the package will be accepted.

A complete nomination package will include (1) a detailed covering letter from the principal nominator (maximum 5 pages), indicating the award category proposed, summarizing and explaining the documentation, and drawing attention to the most significant points brought forward in favour of the candidate, (2) a dossier outlining the nominee's teaching duties and accomplishments in the areas listed under Adjudication Criteria, and (3) miscellaneous requirements outlined below, providing vital summary information to facilitate the adjudication process. The nomination should be clear, comprehensive and well documented. Nominators will need to be selective in the type and amount of evidence they collect to support the nomination package, in order to meet the 50-page limit.

The dossier may include:

  • The nominee's Curriculum Vitae. (Not included in the 50-page limit.)
  • A teaching philosophy statement.
  • Descriptions or reviews of educational materials produced, or accounts of other innovations or contributions to teaching practice.
  • Representative letters from students and others, explaining why they think the nominee is deserving of the award.
  • Formal teaching evaluations, normally provided by the Chair of the appropriate department. (Please summarize the raw data.)
  • A sample and summary of other relevant information, such as teaching materials, which demonstrates the award criteria.

As academic departments have different expectations and faculty can excel in many dimensions, it is not expected that a nomination dossier would include all the above evidence. However, it is very difficult to establish excellence without direct evidence of impact on students, which is normally provided by student letters.

Miscellaneous Nomination Requirements:

  • A title-page that includes the principal nominator’s contact information.
  • A table of contents, and labeled pages dividing distinct package sections.
  • A list of those who have written letters supporting the nomination, including the constituencies represented. (In general, strong nominations include support from several constituencies, such as students, teaching assistants, faculty colleagues, and departmental Chairs.)
  • A summary, potentially included as part of the covering letter, of the important points brought forth in the letters, including pertinent quotations with the surname, in parenthesis, of the person who wrote the letter.

Deadline for Submission of the Nomination Package

The nomination package must be complete and in PDF format. The PDF should be saved in the name of the nominee. That PDF can then be uploaded to the UTSend at the link below, and using that system, sent to Rong Wu (rong.wu@utoronto.ca)


Nomination packages are due TBD

Notes on Privacy & Confidentiality

  • Nomination packages will be disseminated to Adjudication Committee members, and the membership of those Committees will likely not be set until after the nomination deadline.
  • The successful nominee will be provided with a full copy of the complete nomination package (along with a congratulatory letter).
  • The Adjudication Committee administration will NOT notify unsuccessful nominees of their nomination, nor will the administration provide them (or anyone other than the Adjudication Committee) with a copy of the unsuccessful dossier.
  • Please do not include confidential information in the nomination package.

Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQ will be updated throughout the competition. Please refer back here regularly to stay
up-to-date if you are preparing a nomination.

When will I find out the competition results?

  • The Adjudication Committee usually meets in June - August, so you will hear one way or the other shortly thereafter. Only the principal nominators are notified; Nominees themselves are not directly notified.

If the nomination I submitted is unsuccessful, will I be provided feedback?

  • Principal nominators will be provided with the contact information of the Chair of the Adjudication Committee upon request. Requests for feedback should be made directly to the Chair.

Further Questions?

Please contact Rong Wu (rong.wu@utoronto.ca) if you have questions about this year's Faculty Teaching Excellence Award competitions.