Excellence in Teaching

The Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognize instructors who inspire and facilitate student learning in ways that make a sustained, substantial and positive influence on how students think, engage and act in the world. 

Nomination Process

Help us celebrate the impact of teaching at SFU by nominating an instructor for an SFU Award for Excellence in Teaching.

  • Complete the fillable nomination form and send it to avpltsec@sfu.ca.
  • Nominations for the Awards for Excellence in Teaching can be made by SFU faculty, staff, students and alumni.
  • Optional: Nominators can also submit up two pages of additional information such as excerpts from letters of support.

Types of Awards


The Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes outstanding educators at SFU. Recipients are recognized with $5,000 which they can choose to accept as a monetary award or as a research grant. This award is open to all SFU faculty members. Three winners are selected each year.

The Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching

Open to faculty members who have been in a faculty appointment for six years or less.

For more information on the award categories, see the Procedures for Nominations (PDF).

Nomination Criteria

An excellent teacher inspires and facilitates student learning in ways that make a sustained, substantial, and positive influence on how students think, engage, and act in the world.

Excellent teachers centre the student learning experience, demonstrate expertise in the subject and in related pedagogy, communicate effectively, and are reflective individuals dedicated to continual improvement of their teaching practice. 

This definition is interpreted using the following principles: 

  • Teachers who centre the learning experience transparently engage their students in their own learning, and use diverse and inclusive pedagogies.
  • Teachers who demonstrate expertise are current in disciplinary/subject knowledge and actively developing their pedagogical skills.
  • Effective communicators set clear expectations, use diverse communication channels, and create opportunities for feedback with their students.
  • Teachers clearly demonstrate a dedication to improvement when they are open to learning, challenge their own biases, and solicit and apply feedback from others to their practice.

Key Dates

  • September 15: Call for nominations opens.
  • October 17: Nominations close.
  • October: Nominee eligibility is determined. Nominees asked to provide consent for their nomination to stand, and additional information is requested.
  • Late October: Chairs/Deans are asked for a letter of support. For some awards, additional information is requested from students who have been taught by nominees over the past five years. 
  • November: Excellence in Teaching Awards Committee formed. The committee adjudicates the Awards based on the criteria in Policy A32.01.
  • March: Awards are announced and presented to the winners at the Awards Ceremony.

Additional Information

For more information on the nomination and adjudication of the Awards for Excellence in Teaching contact Kris Magnusson, Acting Vice-Provost, Learning and Teaching, at vpastrat@sfu.ca.