Nominate Your Mentor

Do you have an undergraduate research mentor who has made a big difference in your life? Ever wish there was a way you could thank them and have them recognized for their efforts?

The University of Alberta Award for Outstanding Mentorship in Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities is a student-nominated award that recognizes those mentors that go above and beyond to help empower students to accomplish their goals, and to foster the next generation of researchers.

The award is offered in four categories:

  • Early career faculty: faculty members who have held a faculty position at the U of A for 5 years or less
  • Established faculty: faculty members who have held a faculty position at the U of A for more than 5 years
  • Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows
  • Research/technical staff (including non-academic staff)

Recipients in each category will be recognized with a certificate and a letter to their Dean, Chair, or immediate supervisor (as applicable), highlighting their commitment to high-quality undergraduate research mentorship.

Nominations for this year’s award cycle have now closed. Check back in fall 2018 for next year’s Call for Nominations. 

This year's award recipients were celebrated at the awards reception at the Festival of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

Congratulations to this year's Mentor Award recipients:

Connie Varnhagen Award for Outstanding Mentorship in Undergraduate Research  (Early Career Category)

This award is named in honour of URI’s founding Academic Director, Dr. Connie Varnhagen, who, among her countless contributions to undergraduate research at the University of Alberta, championed the development of early career faculty as undergraduate research mentors. The Early Career Award goes to a faculty member with less than 5 years in an academic appointment at the University of Alberta. 

  • 2018 Recipient:  Dr. Anna Lund, Faculty of Law

Established Faculty Category (>5 years in an academic appointment)

  • 2018 Recipient: Dr. Gina Rayat, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

Graduate Students & Post-Doctoral Fellows Category

  • 2018 Recipient: Mackenzie Kuhn, PhD candidate, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences

Research/Technical Staff Category

  • 2018 Recipient: Dr. Joanna Jung, Research Associate, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry


Nomination Process

Mentors must be nominated by a current or previous student who has worked with them as an undergraduate researcher within the past six years.

Nominations are judged by an interdisciplinary committee of undergraduate students and graduate students, based on the following criteria:

  • Accessibility of the mentor to the students
  • The quality of the research environment
  • Awareness and recognition of the student's capabilities and contributions to the research
  • Understanding of the individual circumstances of the student
  • Opportunities provided for the student's professional growth

Nomination Deadline

Nominations for this year's award cycle have now closed. Check back in fall 2018 for next year's Call for Nominations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I nominate multiple people?
Yes! You can nominate more than one person. If you were co-supervised and wish to nominate both of your supervisors for a single mentorship experience, then you can submit one nomination with two nominees listed. If you are nominating mentors individually (i.e. not as co-supervisors), then you must submit one form for each mentor.

Can a group of students nominate a single mentor?
Multiple students can nominate the same mentor, but each student must submit their own, original nomination. Duplicate nominations will not be sent for adjudication. 

Should I use personal examples or keep it general?
Students are encouraged to provide detailed specific examples that demonstrate how their mentor has supported them, and to provide sufficient context for the adjudicators to evaluate your nomination.