Annual Award for Excellence In Mentoring


Mentoring is the foundation for development of the next generation of scientists and health researchers. The Annual Award for Excellence in Mentoring has been designed to recognize outstanding performance in the mentoring of research trainees in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta.

Mentoring of research trainees is distinct and separable from the usual measures of research productivity and classroom or workplace teaching. Mentoring is more than simply sharing knowledge and being a role model, as it includes provision of support and encouragement. Mentors challenge trainees to reach their full potential through goal-setting and self-evaluation. Furthermore, mentors respect and support all trainees under their supervision.


Up to four awards are available, including:

  • Tier I Basic Science Mentoring Award.
  • Tier II Basic Science Mentoring Award.
  • Tier I Clinical Mentoring Award.
  • Tier II Clinical Mentoring Award.

A commemorative certificate and $500 will be presented to the faculty member(s) who have made outstanding contributions to the mentoring of trainees. There may not be awardees in each category every year.


All academic and clinical staff in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta are eligible nominees. Candidates may not hold the award more than once.

It is expected that basic science nominees have a strong track record in graduate student training, and clinical nominees have mentorship activities related to research and/or quality improvement. Both categories focus on the mentorship of research-intensive trainees (e.g. graduate students, fellows, and summer students), rather than as preceptors or course instructors. The two categories are meant to distinguish between research areas - 'basic science' relating more to biomedical research (CIHR pillar I), and 'clinical' research denoting areas such as clinical, health services and population health (pillars II, III and IV).

  • Tier I Basic Science Mentoring Award: 15 years or more since first academic/clinical appointment.
  • Tier II Basic Science Mentoring Award: less than 15 years since first academic/clinical appointment.
  • Tier I Clinical Mentoring Award: 15 years or more since first academic/clinical appointment.
  • Tier II Clinical Mentoring Award: less than 15 years since first academic/clinical appointment.

Nomination Process

Deadline: Friday, April 12, 2024
Please submit a complete nomination package electronically as ONE PDF FILE, in the order shown below, to by the deadline.

Faculty members are to be nominated by current or former students or fellows mentored by the nominee. However, any faculty member can assist trainees with the nomination process and provide the one-page statement on the qualifications of the nominee. An nomination package will contain the following elements:

  • The first step is for the nominator to obtain a statement of endorsement from the nominee's department. Use the form here. This completed form should come from the Department Chair after consultation with the Associate Chair Graduate Studies, Graduate Coordinator or the department's graduate committee. 
  • A brief statement describing the procedures followed in making the nomination, including clarification that the nomination was initiated by trainees (past or present).
  • A statement (two pages maximum) identifying the category of award that (a) addresses why the nominee is deserving of recognition for exceptional mentoring, (b) situates the nominee's mentoring approach and success within the context of the discipline and other faculty members at a similar stage of career, and (c) provides any other information about the nominee's other activities or responsibilities that may be helpful to assessing the exceptional quality of mentoring abilities and success.
  • A list of trainees trained by the nominee and, as much as possible, details on their numbers of peer-reviewed publications, their significant awards and recognitions, and their career paths. Note that some of this information can be drawn from the CIHR common CV.
  • A current abbreviated CV for the nominee (Maximum 10 pages)
  • A collection of named statements from representative trainees regarding the mentorship they received. This should not exceed two pages.
  • Two letters of support from individuals previously or currently mentored by the nominee.

Please do not include any additional material in this package.

Award Adjudication

Adjudication will be conducted by a committee chaired by the Associate Dean Research, Graduate Programs. The committee is made up of previous winners of the awards and current or former graduate coordinators.

Criteria for Assessment of Nominees:

  • Extent of mentoring in terms of time commitment
  • Apparent quality of mentoring as judged by:
    • The impact statements from individuals mentored (current/former)
    • The achievements of those mentored, including publications, awards/recognition, community contributions, teaching responsibilities and evaluations, and the career paths achieved
    • Letters of support from individuals mentored (current/former), and positive endorsement by the Graduate Coordinator or Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.
    • The collegiality of the mentoring experience and the desirable characteristics of the mentoring environment (assessed from statements of support)

If you require further information, please contact:

Graduate Program Advisor
Office of Research
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
2-13 Heritage Medical Research Centre
Tel: 780-492-9721