Desmond Morton Research Excellence Award

Last updated: August 2023 

The Desmond Morton Research Excellence Award recognizes outstanding career achievement in research and scholarly activity by faculty members of the University of Toronto Mississauga.

The award recipient will receive $5000 towards research activity/professional development.

Award Criteria

Research excellence is demonstrated by a significant and sustained impact, through contributions to her/his field of study, an ability to stimulate and challenge the research of students, to communicate research results effectively, and to maintain a mastery of his/her subject area.

Past Winners




David Wolfe Political Science 2022-2023

Yuhong He
Claudiu Gradinaru

Geography, Geomatics and Environment
Chemical & Physical Sciences

Martin Revermann Historical Studies 2020-2021
Kathi Wilson Geography, Geomatics and Environment 2019-2020
Tina Malti Psychology 2018-2019
Evonne Levy Visual Studies 2017-2018
Ronnie Beiner Political Science 2016-2017

Robert Reisz



Diana Raffman

Robert Gerlai




Konstantin Khanin

Mathematical & Computational Sciences


Ian Orchard



Joel Levine



Patrick Gunning

Chemical & Physical Sciences


Mohan Matthen



Janet Polivy



Scott Prosser

Chemical & Physical Sciences


Angela Lange

Bruce Schneider




Marla Sokolowski




Award Selection

The award winner will be selected by one of the three disciplinary divisions of UTM, namely Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences, in a three-year cycle as per the table below. A discipline-specific selection committee will be chaired by the UTM Vice-Principal, Research, or delegate.

Each department can nominate one faculty member.

2022 Sciences
2023 Social Sciences
2024 Humanities
2025 Sciences
2026 Social Sciences
2027 Humanities


Principal Nominators

The Desmond Morton Research Excellence Award nominations should be submitted by Departmental Chairs at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Nominators are encouraged to read the following guidelines carefully prior to submitting a nomination.

Nominee Eligibility

The award is open to tenured or tenure-stream faculty whose major appointment is at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Individuals may be nominated for the award any number of times, but normally may receive the award only once.

Adjudication Criteria

The Desmond Morton Research Excellence Award is made on the basis of excellence in the broadest sense. Nominees will be considered for the award by the Adjudication Committee on the basis of outstanding performance in more than one of the following areas:

  • Evidence of important research contributions to their field.
  • An outstanding reputation due to their significant contributions to their field.
  • Mastery of, and enthusiasm for, their area of inquiry.
  • Communication and dissemination of their research results widely through traditional academic mechanisms, and where applicable, through non-traditional means such as mass or social media, curatorial and exhibition activities, Internet venues, or other media.
  • Inspiring and stimulating both undergraduate and graduate students to pursue research excellence and encouraging their intellectual development.

The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) is strongly committed to diversity within its community and encourages departments to put forth applications from visible minority group members, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual and gender minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. UTM views these awards as an important tool to ensure diverse groups receive recognition of their scholarly excellence. 

Adjudication Committee Process

Members of the Research Award Adjudication Committee will use their good judgment to weigh different facets of research impact and different sources of evidence, as they see fit. It is anticipated that the broad diversity of researchers and disciplines at the University of Toronto Mississauga will be reflected, in the long term, in the list of Research Award recipients. To this end, the Research Award Committee will reflect the diversity of disciplines at UTM.

Nomination Package Requirements & Format

A complete nomination package will include (1) a detailed covering letter from the principal nominator (3-5 pages maximum), summarizing and explaining the documentation, and drawing attention to the most significant points brought forward in favour of the candidate, (2) miscellaneous requirements outlined below, providing vital summary information to facilitate the adjudication process. The nomination should be clear, comprehensive and well documented. It is not expected that every nomination dossier will include all that is listed below, as departments and disciplines have different expectations of their researchers. Nominators will need to be selective in the type and amount of evidence they collect to support the nomination package.

The dossier will include

  • A title-page which includes the principal nominator’s contact information.
  • The 3-5 page cover letter as noted above. No more than five pages will be considered for this cover letter, so do not exceed this maximum.
  • The nominee’s Curriculum Vitae.
  • Representative support letters as follows: 3 supporting letters from internationally recognized scholars in the nominee's field from outside the University of Toronto (Chair's nomination letter should include an explanation of why these scholars were chosen), and 3 supporting letters from students, explaining why they think the nominee is deserving of the award. No more than six support letters will be considered as part of the dossiers, so please do not exceed this maximum.

All nomination packages submitted to the Research Excellence Award must be submitted electronically as single PDFs in the order as listed above. (No hard copies please.)

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 (

Nomination packages are due Friday, June 16, 2023.

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.
  • Please do not include confidential information in the nomination package.


Please contact Rong Wu ( if you have questions about this year's Research Excellence Award competition. 

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 July or 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.