University Research Excellence Awards

Research Excellence Awards highlight research achievements of recently tenured faculty members, to raise the profile of individuals who would be considered for future external recognition.


To be eligible, a faculty member should have been awarded tenure within the last two Tenure and Promotion cycles.

The date of tenure is considered the date on the decision letter. Faculty are eligible from this date onwards. For example, if the tenure letter is received in January 2021, the nomination can be submitted in April 2021 or April 2022.   


Research Excellence Awards recognize research achievements of recently tenured faculty members. Research excellence is recognised as scholarly output that is demonstrably internationally impactful within the nominee’s discipline. This will include published works, but may also comprise other forms of scholarly output, research-related knowledge mobilization, research-derived innovation, and training of highly qualified personnel. The candidate should be on track to gain, or have already received, national and/or international recognition. 


Each college will receive one Research Excellence Award per year (from date of Notice of Decision), for a total of 7 awarded across the university.

Recipients of Research Excellence Awards hold the award for one year. During that year, each Research Excellence Award recipient will receive a $5,000 research prize, deposited in the awardee's general purpose research account. Colleges may wish to augment this award (e.g., with additional research funds or course release).

Recipients will be recognized at the annual Research Excellence Gala.


Each recipient will participate in one public event in the year they hold the award.

Each recipient may be required to participate in one video produced by the Office of Research Communications.

To apply

Nominations for University Research Awards are submitted by colleges. When selecting a candidate to nominate for an REA, the College is expected to consider equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) best practices. This includes conducting an open and transparent nomination process that encourages a diverse applicant pool and does not disadvantage candidates from underrepresented groups, including, but not limited to, members of the four designated groups as defined by the Employment Equity Act (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and racialized minorities). Colleges are also expected to identify and develop methods to address known systemic barriers faced by individuals from groups underrepresented in the College’s research disciplines.

The College’s nomination will describe concrete measures taken to ensure fairness and transparency, and to address systemic barriers at each stage of nomination (i.e., at department and/or college levels), for example:

  • Promote the opportunity widely
  • Encourage self-nomination and nomination by colleague
  • Use a peer-review process for evaluation of research productivity and excellence (e.g. such as Tenure and Promotion process) and ensure peer reviewers have completed the SSHRC Bias in Peer Review module
  • Consider the value and impact of all research outputs (including datasets and software), in addition to research publications, and consider a broad range of impact measures including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice. (Source: San Francisco Declaration of Research Assessment)
  • Rank selection criteria prior to screening the applications, to ensure an unbiased, consistent and transparent selection process, e.g., use of an evaluation matrix (Source: Canada Research Chairs Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: A Best Practices Guide for Recruitment, Hiring and Retention)
  • Accept a full CV, ensuring that career interruptions due to parental leave, family care, extended illness, or community responsibilities do not negatively impact the assessment of a candidate’s research productivity. (CRC EDI Best Practices Guide)

NOTE: How an individual self-identifies is considered personal and confidential information. Colleges will not disclose self-identification data of nominee or pool of applicants without explicit consent.

Colleges can submit nomination packages to  A nomination package will comprise:

  • a covering letter from the College Dean in support of the nomination (detailing the selection process) 
  • the nomination case letter from the department chair / school director
  • the nominee’s CV


The deadline is April 30th of every year.

Review and Selection Process

The Provost and VPR will review the nominations for approval.