Nominations: Graduate Leadership

Simon Fraser University presents the Dean of Graduate Studies Award for Excellence in Leadership annually to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to leadership in graduate student development and the graduate student enterprise at SFU.

Nominate a faculty member for:

Supervision Award →
Leadership Award →

Nominate a staff member for:

Service Award →


Continuing tenured or tenure-track faculty members who have been active in graduate student supervision/affairs in various capacities for a minimum of two years, and who have contributed significantly in areas such as graduate student development and/or advancement of the graduate studies enterprise, shall be eligible for this Award.

Up to three awards may be made each year. Minimally, one award will be in the two categories defined by the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies:

  • Fine Arts/Humanities/ Social Sciences
  • Engineering/Medical Sciences/Natural Sciences

Individuals from the SFU community whose contributions are in accord with the criteria for this award may be considered.


  • Stimulates graduate students to think creatively and critically
  • Participates in workshops aimed to enhance the graduate student experience
  • Creates mechanisms for students to develop as scholars and as members of the greater community
  • Develops innovative strategies/policies/procedures to address substantive graduate student issues
  • Demonstrates commitment to the graduate student learning experience
  • Develops mechanisms to foster research/performance and/or practice-based skill development
  • Demonstrates enthusiasm for and innovation in graduate student instruction/teaching
  • Provides exceptional guidance to students, in areas including, but not limited to, applying for internal/external financial support, and, career planning.


Nominations should include a completed online nomination form and nomination letter from the Graduate Program Chair and graduate students. The nomination form includes the following questions:

  • What are the exceptional aspects of the leadership in graduate studies provided by the nominee? (200 words max.)
  • What are the ways in which the nominee fosters the education and scholarly development of graduate students? (200 words max.)
  • What is the impact of the nominee's leadership on students? (200 words max.)

The nominator is encouraged to answer each question using specific examples where possible.

Required documents:

  • One-page letters of support from the Graduate Program Chair and Department Chair (Department Chair letter is needed only in cases where the Graduate program Chair provided the nomination)
  • Up to three (3) letters of support from current or former graduate students. Letters may be written and signed by more than one student.
  • Abbreviated CV outlining nominee's record related to leadership in graduate studies

Email correspondence may be sent to to nominee's graduate caucus requesting an evaluation of the nominee's history of leadership.

The committee adjudicates the awards based on the above criteria.


Nominations from the previous year will be considered only if they meet all of the conditions of the initial nomination and an updated nomination package.

The package must include:

  • a current re-nomination form (the nomination button below will indicate if it's a nomination or a re-nomination) submitted by the nominator; new letters of support from the Graduate Program Chair and either the Department Chair or Dean
  • up to one new letter or document of support from graduate students
  • an updated CV provided by the nominaee. This can serve as approval by the nominee for this nomination.


Each award consists of:

  • $1000 graduate student travel award to be disbursed in the following year to a graduate student of their choice to attend a conference and present a paper
  • an inscription of the recipient's name on a permanent plaque housed in the Thesis Defence Room
  • a trophy inscribed with the recipient's name and award

Recipients will be presented with their award at a graduate awards ceremony.

Nominate a faculty member

For 2024: Nominations are due May 17, 2024

Submit the online nomination form along with all of the other required documents as pdf's.  

Nominations for this award may come from current or former students, staff, colleagues, or administrators.

About submitting:

  • You, as the primary nominator, can save the survey at anytime and come back later to complete it before the survey closes on May 17, 2024 (11:59 pm) using the same computer you used to start the nomination.

    Use the "EXIT" link at the top right of your browser to save your progressIt will give you a link to save and come back to complete the form.
  • Please note, you will need to request the nominee's abbreviated CV outlining their record related to graduate student supervision from the nominee prior to submitting the completed nomination.
  • You will also need to upload the one-page supporting letters from the supporting nominators to complete the nomination or re-nomination form. You might want to request these prior to starting the nomination.