Centre for Teaching and Learning

Centre for Teaching and Learning
Centre for Teaching and Learning

Nominating Someone for an External Teaching Award

Queen’s has a large number of internal teaching awards, but we are often reluctant to nominate colleagues for some of the prestigious external awards. There are two major Canadian awards that you might wish to consider.

The first is the provincial OCUFA Award made by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association. Ten awards are given each year for outstanding teachers and academic librarians from Ontario universities. A total of 10 Queen’s faculty members have won OCUFA awards.

The 3M National Teaching Fellowships are national awards for teaching excellence and educational development and sponsored by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Ten awards are made each year and there have been four winners from Queen’s.

Full details about these awards, including full criteria, deadlines, and procedures for making the nomination are available from Sandra Murray in the Centre for Teaching and Learning. If you are planning on making an award, you might want to bear in mind these pointers.

Check whether self-nominations are allowed.

In most cases self-nominations are discouraged. For both the Canadian awards you will need to find a colleague (or colleagues) who will submit the nomination on your behalf and provide help in assembling and organizing the appropriate documentation.

Check the criteria for the award very carefully.

Many good nominations because they do not reflect the criteria spelled out in the award terms of reference. For example in the case of the OCUFA awards teaching is defined broadly to include not only classroom instruction but course design, curriculum development, organization of teaching programs, educational materials development, and student advising. Just being an excellent lecturer may not be enough. In the case of the 3M awards, it is essential to demonstrate involvement not just good teaching but work with colleagues (preferably outside the home department) to enhance teaching quality.

Contact a previous winner to get their advice and possible inspect their successful nomination file.

The CTL can put you in touch with previous external award winners. We also have a limited number of nomination files you can inspect.

Have some knowledgeable individual read over your nomination file before it is submitted.

This might be a previous award winner, a colleague in your department who has been involved in a successful nomination, or a member of the CTL staff.

Think seriously about preparing a teaching dossier, since nearly all the major awards require one.

Both Canadian awards require a teaching dossier. For example, OCUFA nominations require a dossier with a broad range of supporting evidence, if possible from different constituencies – for example, students, former students, and colleagues. And if you have never heard of a teaching dossier you might wish to get more information about assembling one by contacting us at ctl@queensu.ca.