Guidelines for Creating a New Teaching Award

Queen’s University is proud of its history of recognizing excellence in teaching by individual faculty members through the presentation of teaching awards. In most cases, it is usually up to individual Faculties, Schools, Associations, or Departments to determine the processes for nominating and choosing the recipient of a teaching award. The following information is a compilation of the requirements and processes that are currently in place at Queen’s University. Readers are invited to use and/or adapt the following information in their teaching award processes.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning maintains a comprehensive directory of teaching awards at Queen’s. It is recommended that university teaching award information be submitted to the Centre for Teaching and Learning to appear on the Centre’s webpage for easy access by students, staff, and faculty. The online directory is the primary source for campus‐wide teaching awards.

The invitation to nominate a candidate for a teaching award typically appears as a formal document that conveys information regarding

  • Nomination Criteria
  • Eligibility
  • Nomination Process
  • Selection Process
  • Presentation of the Award
  • Publication of the Award
  • Requirements of Award Winner

1. Nomination Criteria

A call for teaching award nominations typically lists some or all of the following desired qualities of the award recipient:

  • Motivates students to learn and facilitates in‐depth learning
  • Develops meaningful and innovative curricula
  • Uses novel or innovative teaching methods
  • Uses meaningful methods for evaluating student learning
  • Demonstrates depth of knowledge in and commitment to his/her field
  • Displays outstanding commitment to Department/Faculty/School and to the university, inside and outside the classroom
  • Demonstrates the realization that teachers and students are partners in the learning environment
  • Demonstrates a receptivity to students’ questions
  • Displays commitment to students over and above the norm Is available outside of class time for consultations with students
  • Displays a genuine interest in students’ personal development and well‐being
  • Displays personal qualities such as friendliness and approachability
  • Is capable of conveying information clearly and in an organized fashion

2. Eligibility:

Individual Departments, Schools, Associations, or Faculties decide who will be eligible for their teaching awards. The following are some of the criteria that have been used at Queen’s:

  • The candidate must teach at least a half course
  • The candidate may be hold an adjunct position
  • The candidate must be a full‐time faculty member
  • The candidate must have taught graduating class in any of three/four years

3. Nomination Process:

The processes of nomination for a teaching award vary greatly across Queen’s. Nominations are typically made by one or a combination of the following:

  • A stipulated number of students
  • Any individual student
  • A peer faculty member
  • A selected year of students
  • A selected class of students
  • Upper year students
  • All years of students
  • An awards committee composed of representative students and teaching faculty

Several means of gathering nominations may be used, including:

  • Filling out a nomination form in hard‐copy or on‐line
  • Collecting a designated number of signatures
  • Holding a class vote
  • Submission of a formal letter of nomination by an individual or group
  • Committee recommendation

Supporting materials are often required from nominees. The following are examples:

  • A teaching dossier from short‐listed applicants
  • A list of courses taught
  • A list of course created
  • Examples of positive student statements indicating teaching success

4. Selection Process

Nominations are typically reviewed and the award recipient chosen by one of the following:

  • Existing Awards Committee of department/school/faculty
  • Panel of judges struck with specific purpose of choosing award recipient. The panel may be composed entirely of students or faculty members, or by a combination of the two.
  • Student Society of the department/school/faculty

On occasion, a short list of award candidates is created and circulated among students for vote. Nominees are excluded from the selection committee.

5. Presentation of Award

Where and when a teaching award is presented is determined by the department or school. Some venues currently used are as follow:

  • Convocation ceremony
  • Society/School/Department/Faculty banquet or dinner
  • Annual general meeting
  • Awards meeting
  • Year‐end Formal

6. Publication of the Award:

Schools and departments at Queen’s have used the following mechanisms to acknowledge a teaching ward:

  • The name of the ward recipient is placed on a plaque in the school/department/faculty library
  • The name of the award recipient is engraved on a plaque or a framed certificate that is presented to the individual.
  • The individual is acknowledged as the award recipient in a newsletter and/or university newspapers.
  • An email message is sent to all students and faculty in the school/department/faculty/university indicating that the individual has received the award.
  • The award recipient receives a monetary award or gift certificate.
  • A donation is made to the recipient’s charity of choice in the name of the recipient

7. Requirements of Recipient

The recipients of teaching awards are often asked to present a talk on a topic of their choice or on a stipulated subject. These presentations may take place in a variety of venues and may be open to the public or to select audiences as determined. There are several venues currently used at Queen’s:

  • A meeting at the Department, School, Association, or Faculty where the award originated
  • At the Centre for Teaching and Learning
  • In other auditoriums, lecture halls, stages, classrooms, foyers, etc. that may be reserved throughout the university

If you have questions about any of the above guidelines, please contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning at