University of Alberta Distinguished Professor

University of Alberta Distinguished Professors have achieved outstanding distinction and scholarship in each of the areas of teaching, research and/or creative endeavours, and service to the University and the community at large. Their scholarly work must have merited international recognition; their teaching and student supervision ability must be highly esteemed by colleagues and students; and, they must be regarded as exceptional citizens.

University of Alberta Distinguished Professor Application and Selection Procedure (UAPPOL)*
* Note, the UAPPOL procedure and the administrative details below are intended to be used together when compiling a nomination for this award.


Please note that nominations have been paused for the current academic year. 

The procedure and submission requirements have been revised as of April 29, 2020, in order to adapt to the current pandemic restrictions. Please send an electronic original of the nomination package to the attention of the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) via email to by no later than 4:00 p.m. on the submission deadline. A hard copy is not required at this time. The submission shall include these items in the following order:

a. A letter of support/nomination from the Chair/Dean
b. An outline of the project or activities planned for the award period
c. Highlights of a teaching dossier
d. Highlights of a research dossier
e. Highlights of an educational leadership and service dossier
f. An abbreviated curriculum vitae
g. Three letters of assessment
h. Three letters of support from students


Letter of Nomination from the applicant's Department Chair/or Dean if non- departmentalized

Nomination letter (2 pages maximum) should:

  • Include a short list of points at the beginning of the letter highlighting the candidate's key contributions in teaching, research and/or creative activities, supervision of undergraduate and graduate students, professional and community service and how these contributions benefit the Faculty, the University and the community
  • Describe the candidate's international reputation
  • Address the quality of the proposed activities/project
  • Address how the application fits within Departmental/Faculty priorities, and aligns with For the Public Good

The letter needs to provide a context for the award including:

  • The extent of teaching
  • The current research program
  • Key professional and community service activities (that go above and beyond what is usually expected of a professor)

Please note, if the faculty member has cross appointments, they must have written support from all the areas/departments.

Outline of the Activities

A brief proposal (3 pages maximum) for a program of activity during the funded tenure of the University of Alberta Distinguished Professorship:

  • Describing priorities, objectives and expected outcomes for the activities (i.e., teaching, research and/or creative activities, professional and community service)
  • Stating how these activities align with For the Public Good
  • Outlining how the funds will be used (a detailed budget is not required)
Abbreviated Teaching Dossier

Highlights of a teaching dossier (4 pages maximum), including:

  • A statement of the philosophy of teaching, prepared by the nominee. [Nominees may wish to consult with the Centre for Teaching and Learning for further advice on preparing a teaching dossier.]
  • A synthesis of evaluations of courses taught in the last five (5) years with course title, course level, dates and class size
  • Evidence for Teaching Excellence (which may include):
    • A description of effective teaching strategies: examples of effective strategies showing reflection and change over time (why change was needed, what was done, rationale behind the changes, evidence for their effectiveness, a description of the learning outcomes)
    • Teaching awards
    • A description of course development efforts: examples of excellence in the (re)design of new courses (why change was needed, what was done, what is unique about the change and what is the evidence for its effectiveness?)
Abbreviated Research Dossier

Highlights of a research dossier (4 pages maximum), including:

  • A description of the nominee's program of research
  • A list of recent (last 5 years) grant support, specifying agency, amount of award and title of project
  • A list of top 5 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows supervised and a description of their career trajectory. If applicants do not have access to graduate students or postdoctoral fellows, they must describe how they engage in mentoring students in research at the undergraduate level
Abbreviated Educational Leadership and Service Dossier

Highlights of an educational leadership and service dossier (4 pages maximum), including:

  • A description of engagement in leadership and/or service activities
  • A description of how these activities link to the applicant's disciplinary research and/or teaching
  • A description of the benefits of the activities to students, peers, the institution, and/or community-at-large
  • A description of recognition or awards received for leadership or service
Abbreviated CV (10 pages maximum)
Letters of Assessment

3 letters of assessment (each no longer than 2 pages)

  • Letter from prominent colleague (internal or preferably external to University of Alberta) addressing applicant's research
  • Letter from prominent colleague (internal or preferably external to University of Alberta) addressing applicant's teaching and student supervision
  • Letter of support from one appropriate person (external to University of Alberta) confirming applicant's leadership and substantial contributions to community beyond the University and their international reputation

The nominator shall send the requests for the letters of assessment to individuals selected from names forwarded by the candidate. The nomination process is to be confidential.

Student Letters of Support

3 letters of support (each no longer than 2 pages)

  • From previously supervised (graduate or undergraduate) students or postdoctoral fellows, one of which must be from an undergraduate student. The letters should contain documentation on mentorship, supervision, teaching and why the nominee is worthy of this high-level recognition.


a. Advisory Selection Committee

The Advisory Selection Committee is composed of the following members:
1. Vice-Provost (Learning Initiatives), Chair
2. Vice-President (Research) or delegate
3. Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, or delegate
4. An Executive member of the Students' Union or delegate (one year appointment and may be appointed for a second year)
5. An executive member of the Graduate Students' Association or delegate (one year appointment and may be appointed for a second year)
6. Two members from Categories A1.1, A1.6, or their counterparts in A 1.5 and A1.7 elected by GFC for a two-year term of office

Once members have been elected, the Provost may, in consultation with the Chair or Vice-Chair of the GFC Nominating Committee, name one additional full-time faculty member (Categories A1.1 and A1.6) to the Advisory Selection Committee.

b. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Training

The University of Alberta will provide training on equity, diversity and inclusion-including instructions on limiting the impact of unconscious bias-to all individuals involved in the selection process.

c. Selection Process

The quorum for the Advisory Selection Committee shall be that only one member may be absent from any meeting where decisions are made. Its proceedings are to be confidential.
The committee will ensure that the University's commitment, to "Build a diverse, inclusive community of exceptional students, faculty, and staff from Alberta, Canada, and the world" is upheld. (For the Public Good)
The President and Provost will determine which nominees of those forwarded by the Advisory Selection Committee, if any, will be appointed to the position of University of Alberta Distinguished Professor.

d. Announcement of the Award

The appointment will be formally announced at the annual Celebrate! Teaching. Learning. Research event.