Graduate Student Spirit Awards

The purpose of this award is to recognize graduate students who go above and beyond to create a positive graduate experience for their peers. 

Two awards valued at $750 may be conferred annually.

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.

Nominees must be nominated by a fellow graduate student. Self-nominations are not accepted; group nominations are not accepted.

All current graduate students at the University of Alberta are eligible to be nominated.

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 Spirit Award Nomination Information Form.
  2. Three letters of support that address how the nominee meets the criteria stated under Adjudication: Criteria.
    • Two letters must be written by fellow graduate students.
    • One letter can be written by any individual affiliated with the University of Alberta.
    • Letters must be submitted as part of the complete nomination package; letters sent separately will not be accepted.
  3. A condensed CV that includes activities undertaken relevant to the award. Maximum four pages.
  4. 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 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.


The GSA Graduate Student Spirit Award will be adjudicated on the basis of three (3)

  1. commitment to a collegial atmosphere through peer connection;
  2. leadership in creating a positive experience or environment for others; and
  3. evidence of meaningful support for their peers. 

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 nominators and nominees via email.