GSA Graduate Student Rising Star Awards

  • Sponsor/Purpose and Eligibility Criteria

    The purpose of these awards is to recognize graduate students who show exceptional promise at the outset of their program. These graduate students will have the ability to serve as role models to fellow graduate students through their vision, determination, and academic contributions. Nominees must be graduate students in the first year or year and a half of their graduate program at the University of Alberta. Three (3) awards valued at $500 each may be conferred annually. These awards are funded by the Graduate Student Support Fund (GSSF).

  • Nomination Information

    1. Click here to download the Nomination Information Form.
    2. Nominators must submit one (1) copy of the completed nomination package to the GSA office.
    3. A completed nomination package must include ONLY the following components:
      1. Completed Nomination Information Form.
      2. Two letters of support that address how the nominee meets the criteria stated under Section 3.
        • One of the letters must be written by the nominee's program supervisor.
        • One of the letters must be written by a fellow graduate student and must describe the nominee's abilities and qualities as a graduate student role model.
        • Letters must be signed; electronic signatures are acceptable.
      3. A condensed CV that includes academic achievements within the first year or year and a half of the nominee's graduate program.
        • Maximum four pages.
      4. Enrollment Verification Document.
      • This can be printed from Bear Tracks. (See the GSA Awards Q&A for instructions.)
    4. Submit ONLY the documentation listed. Do not include additional documents other than those listed. They will not be considered.
    5. Nomination Deadline: Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at 4 PM MST.
      • 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 hard copy to the GSA office (1-49 Triffo Hall), or as a PDF via e-mail to
      • Incomplete packages will not be accepted or adjudicated.
      • Nomination packages delivered to the GSA office or received time-stamped via e-mail after the nomination deadline will be date stamped as arriving the next business day. Late nomination packages will not be accepted.
      • Letters must arrive with the rest of the nomination package. Nomination packages will NOT be accepted without letters, and letters will NOT be accepted separately via e-mail.
      • Letter writers should be advised that letters submitted after the nomination deadline will NOT be accepted. Based on our past experiences with late letters of support, we encourage nominators to obtain letters of support well in advance of the deadline to ensure the nomination package is complete. We also strongly advise that nominators inform letter writers of the deadline information.
  • Adjudication Criteria

    The Graduate Student Rising Star Awards will be adjudicated on the basis of four (4) criteria:

    1. Excellence in teaching and scholarly or creative activities;
    2. Leadership in teaching and research;
    3. Overall contribution to the University community; and
    4. Quality as a graduate student role model.

    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.

  • Adjudication Policy and Procedures

    1. Applications 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.