Graduate Student Research Assistant Awards

The purpose of these awards is to recognize graduate students who have demonstrated innovation, versatility, and value as Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) at the University of Alberta. Only GRA appointments held during a GSA member’s current academic program will be considered.

Seven awards valued at $500 each may be conferred annually. These awards are funded by the Graduate Student Support Fund (GSSF).

The nomination period for the 2024 GSA Recognition Awards will open soon!

Submit your nominations from December 1, 2023 to January 15, 2024.

Winners will be notified in mid-February and asked to attend the GSA Awards Ceremony in March.


All current graduate students, who have held a Graduate Research Assistant appointment at any point during their current degree program, are eligible (eg. a PhD student currently in their 4th year, who held a GRA appointment during their 2nd year, can apply in the current year for their previous work).

Graduate Research Assistant Fellowship (GRAF) are not eligible for this award.

Nomination Packages

Nominees must submit 1 copy of the completed nomination package for each Recognition Award for which they are submitting a nonination. All components of the nomination package must be received together by the GSA office in order for a nomination package to be considered complete. All materials must be submitted as a completed nomination package in the form of one PDF via e-mail to

A completed nomination package must include ONLY the following components and no others:

  1. Completed Nomination Information Form.
  2. One letter of support that addresses how the nominee meets the criteria stated under Adjudication: Criteria.
    • The letter MUST be written by the nominee's research supervisor.
    • Letters must be signed; electronic signatures are acceptable.
    • Letters must be submitted by the nominee as part of the complete nomination package; letters sent separately will not be accepted.
  3. A copy of the nominee's Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) contract/appointment letter.
  4. A condensed CV that includes research assistant activities undertaken during the nominee's current degree program. Maximum four (4) pages.
  5. Enrollment Verification Document. This can be printed from Bear Tracks. (See the Frequently Asked Questions for instructions.)
Late or Incomplete Nomination Packages
  • Incomplete packages will not be accepted or adjudicated.
  • Nomination packages received that are time-stamped after the nomination deadline will be considered late and will not be accepted or adjudicated.
  • Nomination packages will be considered incomplete without any of the components listed above and will not be accepted or adjudicated. Letters will not be accepted separately.
    • Advise your letter writers that letters submitted after the nomination deadline will not be accepted. Based on our past experiences with late letters of support, we encourage nominees to obtain letters of support well in advance of the deadline to ensure the nomination package is complete. We also strongly advise that nominees inform letter writers of the deadline information.

The Graduate Student Research Assistant Awards are adjudicated on the basis of three (3) criteria:

  1. excellence of contribution to the conducted research;
  2. leadership in innovation and versatility within research; and
  3. overall contribution to the University research community.

Each criterion will be ranked on a scale of 1-5 (5 being high) and then added to determine the total rank for the nominee.

Policy and Procedure
  1. Nominations will be reviewed by the GSA staff for eligibility and completeness (see Eligibility Criteria and Nomination Information above).
  2. According to its mandate, the GSA Awards Selection Committee (GSA ASC) "is responsible for selecting the recipients of the Council-approved GSA Recognition Awards" and "the GSA ASC may decide not to give out an award in a particular category if a qualified candidate is not identified" (Section O: GSA Recognition Awards, GSA Policy, GSA Standing Committees, GSA Awards and Selection Committee, Sections O.POL.5.1 and O.POL.5.2).
  3. Results of the adjudication will be sent to nominees via email.