University of Toronto Scarborough Principal's Research Award

Download Guidelines *UPDATED*

  1. Purpose:

    The purpose of the Principal’s Research Award is to recognize the outstanding research achievements of faculty at the University of Toronto Scarborough.  The award is the premier UTSC faculty research achievement award and is open to all tenured  faculty members. Nominees are expected to have compiled a distinguished record of nationally and internationally recognized, impactful research and scholarly activity, achieving pre-eminence in their field.

  2. Award and Conditions: The recipient will receive a monetary award of $10,000 to be used for any of the following:
    1. research purposes (i.e. transferred to a research account);
    2. personal purposes (and would therefore be taxed);
    3. as a donation to UTSC either at the Departmental level as funding for a student fellowship/scholarship in their name, or to support one of the UTSC Office of the Vice Principal Research & Innovation  internal funding initiatives.
  3. Award Guidelines and Eligibility:
    1. Nominations are to be submitted by Department Chairs/Centre Directors. Self nominations will not be accepted. Each Chair/Director may submit one nomination.
    2. Chairs/Directors cannot be nominated for the Principal’s Research Award during their tenure in these roles.
    3. Nominees should be researchers with well-established careers, who have demonstrated exceptional research achievement, impact and pre-eminence in a particular field or fields of knowledge.
    4. In addition to a nominees’ achievements and reputation within their fields, the extent to which their research has had a scholarly impact, and an impact beyond academia (e.g., on society and culture, policy, professional practice, the economy, etc.) will be considered.
    5. Nominees will have been a faculty member with a primary appointment at UTSC for at least 5 years.
    6. The Committee may decline to bestow the award in any given competition year, if a suitable candidate has not been nominated.
    7. Recipients of the award cannot be re-nominated for the Principal’s Research Award.
    8. Principal Research Award recipients may be awarded a Research Excellence Faculty Award in exceptional circumstances.
    9. Recipients of the Research Excellence Faculty Scholar Award cannot be nominated for the Principal’s Research Award until at least one year after the completion of their tenure as a Research Excellence Faculty Scholar.
  4. Nominations and Selection Criteria:
    Each nomination dossier submitted by a Chair/Director should include the following components:

    1. A Nomination Letter (not to exceed two pages in length) signed by the Chair/Director, detailing the reasons for the nomination, written in clear non-specialist language for an interdisciplinary review committee. The letter should contextualize the impact of the nominee’s research achievements and funding record to disciplinary norms of excellence nationally and internationally to help enable all members of the Selection Committee to effectively evaluate nominations involving fields outside of their disciplinary expertise.

      Nomination letters should address the following selection criteria:

      1. Research achievements and significance (include impact metrics if applicable).

      2. The extent of the nominee’s involvement in the research contributions included in the CV (i.e. the intellectual and leadership role played by the nominee in the generation of the research contributions).

      3. Research funding record of the nominee.

      4. Research recognition of the nominee (e.g. awards, nominee’s work in advancing his/her research field).

      5. External indicators of the qualifications of the nominee that put their research in a Canadian and International context.

      6. External indicators of the qualifications of the nominee that put their research in a Canadian and International context.

      7. Any identified circumstances that have affected a nominee’s productivity (e.g., maternity/paternity leaves etc.).

        Additionally, nomination letters:

      8. Should provide an explanation of why the referees were chosen.

      9. Should not be verbatim replications of letters of reference for promotion to associate or full professor.

    2. Two Letters of Support from internationally recognized scholars in the nominee’s field from outside the University of Toronto (the Chair’s/Director’s nomination letter will include an explanation of why these scholars were chosen).
      1. The letters of support should address the international stature of the nominee, the specific impact of the nominee’s research, and the broader context of the nominee’s research contributions;
    3. The nominee’s current Curriculum Vitae. It is encouraged that, where applicable, the nominee’s CV should include an explanation of any circumstances that have affected their productivity (e.g., maternity leaves, paternity leaves, other) to allow for a fair assessment of their research career.
  5. COVID-19 Research Impact Statement:
    We recognize that COVID-19 may have adversely affected faculty member research activities, and accordingly invite applicants to provide a brief statement on the impact of the pandemic in this regard (no more than 100 words) if applicable. This information will be shared with the award adjudication committee.
  6. Selection Committee:
    A Selection Committee composed of members of the U of T Scarborough Research Advisory Board and the Vice-Principal Research & Innovation (VPRI) as the Chair of the Committee will meet and, if deemed suitable, recommend the top candidate to the Vice-President & Principal.
  7. Deadline and Questions:

    The deadline for submission of nominations is February 1st or the next business day if the 1st falls on a weekend or holiday. Nominations are to be submitted electronically in a single PDF format to the Office of the Vice-Principal Research & Innovation (OVPRI) to

    Questions about this award should be sent to with the Subject “Principal’s Research Award”.