Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

To recognize publicly the achievement of teaching excellence by continuing academic staff (Categories A1 (Academic Faculty Member, APO, FSO, Librarian); A2.1 (ATS (Career, Term 12, Term Recurring)) as outlined in Appendix A of the Recruitment Policy (UAPPOL)) to publicize such excellence to the University and the wider community, to encourage the pursuit of achievement of such inclusive excellence among academic staff, and to promote informed discussion of teaching and its improvement at the University of Alberta.

Normally, applicants will have been granted tenure (or equivalent). 

NOTE: Applications now closed.


Award recipients will be selected based on their demonstration of sustained commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching during their career. The adjudication committee will consider the following criteria when reviewing the application: 

  1. Impact of teaching (not all sub-criteria may apply)
    1. Commitment to undergraduate teaching excellence at the University of Alberta
    2. Course development efforts: examples of 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?)
    3. 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)
    4. Creativity in undergraduate teaching that enhances learning and engages students. 
    5. Broad range of teaching at undergraduate levels in various settings (such as labs, studios, clinics, traditional classrooms, non-traditional classrooms, supervision, mentorship, land-based learning, experiential learning etc.)
    6. Engagement with a variety of assessment tasks for determining student learning.
    7. Intersections among applicant’s research program, community engagement, and teaching.
  2. Engagement with the Indigenous Strategic Plan
    1. How do you incorporate or engage with Incorporating or engaging with Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, teaching, learning, and being (Braiding Past, Present and Future: University of Alberta’s Indigenous Strategic Plan) or the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action (2016) in your teaching?.
  3. Engagement with equity, diversity and inclusion
    1. How do you incorporate or engage with the institutional commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion?


NOTE: Applications closed January 15, 2024.

Phase 1
The multi-modal submission for consideration for the Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching shall include: 

  1. Narrative CV (maximum 5 pages)
  2. Names of 3 references (including, but not limited to: students, supervisors, colleagues, community-at-large members, etc.)

NOTE: The adjudication committee will contact the references of the long-listed applicants

TEMPLATE Narrative CV & References 

Modality Formatting Guidelines
Using a chosen submission modality* (e.g. video, text, multimedia, etc) and language** please follow the guidelines below when completing your application: 

Text: adherence to the following guidelines ensures reader accessibility: 

  • Typed, single space
  • Calibri, 11 point font
  • Standard letter size (8x11)
  • 1-inch margins 
  • Accessible PDF document

Video: there is no minimum requirement (maximum 3 minutes)

NOTE: The Digital Scholarship Centre offers support for the creation and production of multimedia resources, including access to a new media studio, assistance with video production, and free consultations with knowledgeable staff.  

* If we haven’t yet thought of the way in which you would like to submit your Phase 1 application, please let us know at

** Translation services are available upon request at no cost.

Phase 2

All applicants will be contacted following the GFC University Teaching Awards Committee (UTAC) adjudication meeting. Additional materials supporting the application will be solicited from the long listed candidates. Examples of requested materials may include, but are not limited to: student feedback, syllabus, assignments, lecture notes or recorded lectures, student presentations (with permission) etc.

The University communities are encouraged to support applications for these awards as part of our commitment to inclusive teaching excellence.

Please contact should you have any difficulties with your submission.


University Teaching Awards Committee will adjudicate the award. Committee proceedings are to be confidential.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Training 

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

Announcement of the Award

The award recipients will be recognized at the annual Celebrate! Teaching. Learning. Research event.