JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award & SGS Early Career Supervision Award


The School of Graduate Studies Graduate Supervision Awards aims to recognize outstanding performance in the multiple roles associated with graduate student supervision. Each year, two JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Awards and two SGS Early Career Supervision Awards will be offered to successful nominees: one of each award in the Humanities/Social Sciences and in the Physical/Life Sciences.

Each Award recipient will receive an SGS Supervision Award certificate and an SGS Travel or Conference Grant (up to $5000) for a current student to support their research travel or conference presentation. Award winners have their names inscribed on a plaque housed at the School of Graduate Studies. Read about the SGS Supervision Award Recipients.

UTSC Nomination Process

  1. Indicate your intent to apply by March 1, 2024 (5 PM), via this MS Form.
  2. Complete nomination packages are due to the Vice Dean Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, UTSC at graduate-awards@utsc.utoronto.ca by March 20, 2024 (5 PM).

UTSC may nominate one candidate in each of the four divisions (Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical Science, Life Science) to a maximum of four nominees per award, i.e. up to four nominees for the JJ Berry Smith Award and up to four nominees for the Early Career Supervisor Award.

Eligibility Criteria

Nominees must be:

JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award:

  • Active graduate faculty members at the University of Toronto, having supervised doctoral students (PhD, EdD, DMA, SJD) for a minimum of 15 years

Early Career Supervision Award:

  • Tenure stream or status only graduate faculty members at the University of Toronto within the first six years of acquiring a graduate faculty appointment, having engaged in supervision of graduate students (master’s degree or doctoral degree) in committee member, co-supervisor or sole supervisor roles.

Selection Criteria

Nominations will be evaluated based on how well the candidates have demonstrated excellence in supervision at the University of Toronto by meeting and exceeding each selection criteria below:

  1. Inspiring and guiding students to achieve excellence in scholarship, fostering a strong sense of academic integrity;
  2. Providing an environment that is supportive with particular attention to mental health and work-life balance, while stimulating and tailored to their individual learning styles, needs, and career/future aspirations;
  3. Enabling students to learn the essential methodologies, concepts and cultures of their discipline;
  4. Introducing students to the wider context of the discipline and relevant communities of scholars;
  5. Promoting student participation in professional development and activities that position them for future careers within and outside academia; and
  6. Leading a research environment that is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

In an effort to assist Faculties in reviewing their nominations, an SGS Scoring Sheet is available for Faculties’ internal selection committee to use and may be shared with nominators/nominees.

Nomination Package

The nomination package provides evidence that the nominee has met the above six criteria as demonstrated through the following:

Components 1 through 5 should be submitted as separate PDF files, using the file naming convention “Last name, First name – 2024 SGS Supervision [Item Name]”.

Components 6 and 7 should be submitted as separate excel spreadsheets, using the file naming convention “Last name, First name – 2024 SGS Supervision A (or B)”.

  1. A completed Nomination Form

    Note: The Nomination form does not need to be signed by the Vice-Dean Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the time of submission.

  2. A substantial Faculty letter of recommendation from the Vice-Dean, Graduate (2 pages), which clearly sets out the basis for the nomination. The letter should provide context for the discipline: e.g., clearly address the supervisory norms (including expectations for publishing and presenting with supervised students), types of students (e.g., placement in academia vs. industry), publication norms (especially for early career nominees), and how the nominee stands out among peers in the same discipline; 

    Note: If your nominee is chosen to move forward to the competition at SGS, the Vice-Dean Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will provide this letter of support at that time.

  3. Letters of nomination (letters may be from an individual or group):
    • A letter from the department chair, current or former colleague(s); and
    • Two to five letters from current or former students(s) – group letters are encouraged;
  4. A statement written by the candidate (2-3 pages, suitable for public release):
    • Addressing the candidate’s graduate mentoring/supervision philosophy; and
    • Describing the candidate’s personal approach or strategies for mentoring/supervision;
  5. Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae (max. 8 pages) addressing the following categories, as applicable:
    • Academic Appointment(s)
    • Mentoring or Supervision awards
    • Awards for joint work with graduate students
    • Funded or unfunded grants with graduate students
    • All publications within the last 5 years with notations* to indicate those co-published with graduate students:
      • Additionally, list only co-publications with graduate students beyond the last five years and:
        • Within the last 15 years for JJ Berry Smith Award; or
        • Within last 6 years for Early Career Award
    • Co-presentations with graduate students
      • Within the last 15 years for JJ Berry Smith Award; or
      • Within the last 6 years for Early Career Award
    • UPDATED: Past and current graduate supervision roles (in a non-supervisory capacity, e.g. thesis committee member)
    • External appraisals of doctoral dissertations, which includes:

      A.  Appraisal of a thesis or dissertation completed at a university where the nominee was not a faculty member; and

      B.  Appraisal of a thesis or dissertation completed at the same university as the nominee and supervised by a committee that did not include the nominee. 

    • Service related to graduate student support, supervision or mentoring
    • Other activities or accomplishments relevant to graduate student supervision and mentorship.

6. Completed Table A: List of nominators in Excel format; and

7. A completed Table B: listing all current and former graduate (master's and doctoral) students including their degree information, current positions etc. in Excel format

*Please indicate publications with current or former graduate student co-authors using the following notations: highlighting the publication in yellow; and underlining the names of graduate students within each publication.

Contacts & Resources

For information regarding the nomination process at UTSC, please contact graduate-awards@utsc.utoronto.ca

For questions regarding the selection process at SGS, please contact Stacey Kwan, SGS Graduate Awards Officer: staceym.kwan@utoronto.ca

More resources: