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Provost's Innovative Teaching Award

Please note: Nomination briefs are due November 8 by noon. The deadline for the full nomination package is December 11 by noon. Both documents are to be submitted via the Online Nomination Portal.

The Innovative Teaching Award recognizes a Ryerson educator or a group of educators who have made contributions to advancing teaching and learning at Ryerson with a particular focus on Innovative teaching and on students’ Innovative learning and who have an outstanding teaching record.

Individual recipients receive a certificate of recognition and a one-time monetary award of $2,000 (subject to applicable deductions). Group recipients receive individual certificates and a total one-time monetary award of $2,000 (subject to applicable deductions) to be shared equally among members. The recipient(s) will be invited to the annual Ryerson Awards Night and the annual Faculty Teaching Awards Luncheon.

Key criteria: Teaching

Nomination guidelines

Eligibility and obligations

Who can be nominated?

  • Any member of the Ryerson Faculty Association who has been teaching at the undergraduate and/or graduate level for at least the last three consecutive years in any of the six Faculties at Ryerson who has taught at least one undergraduate course in each of those years is eligible to be nominated is eligible to be nominated for the Innovative Teaching Award.
    • Note: If a sabbatical is taken within that period of time, add one more year to the eligibility period.
  • No individual can be nominated for more than one university-wide teaching award in any given year. The University Teaching Awards Selection Committee (UTASC) tasked with selecting award recipients may choose to reassign a nomination to a different category, based on the best fit with the evidence, if a nominee agrees to it.
  • The nomination is valid only for the year in which it is made.
  • An unsuccessful nomination may be reconsidered the following year provided the nomination package has been updated to reflect any new contributions and/or achievements.
  • Any individual can receive the Innovative Teaching Award only once.
  • By agreeing to be nominated, the nominee commits to cooperation with the nomination facilitator in providing supporting evidence. The nominee will also commit, if selected as the recipient, to:
    • attending the annual Teaching Faculty Awards Ceremony,
    • sharing their teaching philosophy with fellow instructors by making it available for posting on the Learning & Teaching Office website, and
    • giving a presentation at the Ryerson Faculty Conference in May of the same year.
Who can submit a nomination?

Any member of the Ryerson Community (faculty, student or staff) can nominate someone for the Ryerson Innovative Teaching Award.

Award criteria

Contributions to advancing teaching and learning at Ryerson with a particular focus on innovative teaching and on providing students with innovative ways of learning can be demonstrated by some of the following:

  • Curricular innovation, curricular/course design and redesign initiatives;
  • Development and creation of innovative teaching materials or textbooks;
  • Innovative teaching with technology;
  • Collaborative initiatives at the university level to improve quality of teaching and learning at Ryerson through educational innovation;
  • Sharing and dissemination of teaching innovations;
  • Other innovative educational initiatives.

Evidence in support of the criteria may include, but is not limited to, some of the following:

  • A clear description of teaching innovations, and/or creative approaches to teaching that were developed to improve student learning, including their planning, development, execution and assessment;
  • Direct and indirect evidence of the value of the developed innovative strategies and their effectiveness in improving student learning;
  • Samples of student reflection on, and analysis of, their innovative learning experience;
  • Samples of additional reflection from the nominee(s) and from other participants on the goals, objectives and results of the innovation;
  • Description and samples of developed teaching materials, if relevant;
  • Photos of teaching situations, if relevant;
  • Description of curriculum development activities, if relevant;
  • Description of teaching and learning grants received;
  • Description of teaching materials developed;
  • Evidence of grounding one’s work in good practice and connection to learning theories;
  • Evidence of positive peer review of the initiatives;
  • Awards and recognition received as a result of educational innovations;
  • Letters from students, alumni, colleagues and administrators, providing examples and describing the nominee or nominees’ specific innovative learning initiatives and their impact on student learning.

Any evidence of an outstanding and sustained record of undergraduate or graduate teaching will also be taken into consideration by the Selection Committee. Outstanding teaching integrates best practices in instruction and assessment with well-defined student learning outcomes, demonstrates effectiveness of teaching strategies, and provides evidence of student engagement. The range and diversity of support for the nominee (e.g. from students, alumni, colleagues, peers, administrators, collaborators, etc.) will be reviewed, as well as the range and complexity of contributions.

Nomination process

The nomination process for the Chancellor’s, President’s and Provost’s awards follow a two-stage process. If the nominator is a student, they are encouraged to contact the Faculty Awards Committee (FAC) via the Dean's Office to get assistance from a faculty advisor with compiling the nomination brief and with compiling the full nomination file. This is to ensure that the nomination reflects a full scope of the nominee’s activities.

Stage 1

  1. Obtain the nominee’s permission.
  2. Prepare, in collaboration with the nominee, a Nomination Brief (one to two pages). The Nomination Brief should clearly address the nominee’s achievements according to each of the awards criteria. Should the nomination move forward to Stage 2, this Brief will serve as an executive summary for the full awards package.
  3. Submit the Brief in the Online Nomination Portal by the specified deadline for consideration by the FAC. The FAC will select one candidate per faculty to move forward to the second stage of the nomination process. Once the FAC makes its selections/recommendations, nominators will be notified as to whether their candidate has been selected.

Stage 2

  1. The nominator compiles a Full Nomination file detailing the record of the nominee’s accomplishments and submits through the Online Nomination Portal.
  2. Nominees will be prompted by email to log in to the Online Nomination Portal and upload their CV.
Nomination package

The nomination file should clearly address the Award Criteria. The required components of the nomination for the Provost’s Innovative Teaching Award are:

  • A Nomination Brief (two page maximum) prepared by the nominator, submitted in Stage 1 of the nomination process. Once the nomination has proceeded to Stage 2, the nominator will have the opportunity to revise the nomination brief. The revised nomination brief should serve to summarize and contextualize the evidence included and provide references that help direct the committee’s attention.
  • A Citation (100 word maximum). Highlight why the nominee(s) deserves this award and any notable achievements. This citation will be included in related university communication if the nominee is selected.
  • A statement of the nominee’s Teaching Philosophy (three page maximum). This statement shows evidence of reflection on one’s practices related to fostering student learning and intellectual growth, to teaching and learning contributions at Ryerson that transcend the Faculty and to possible contributions to teaching and learning outside Ryerson.
  • A Summary of Teaching Evaluations (one page maximum) over a minimum of three consecutive years – please do not submit copies of raw data, instead tabulate (or provide a graph of) the relevant information on a single page.
  • Letters of Support (one page maximum each) that provide specific examples of why the nominee(s) should be considered for the Innovative Teaching Award. The supporting letters must include:
    • One letter from a colleague (if the nominator is a colleague, there has to be at least one letter from a colleague other than the nominator);
    • Two letters from students (e.g. undergraduate student, graduate student, or alumna/alumnus). Students writing support letters should disclose their relationship with the nominee (e.g. current student, former student, research assistant, working under nominee’s supervision, etc.). If the nominator is a student, the letters must come from students other than the nominator.
  • The nominator has the option of providing supporting materials containing additional evidence for how the criteria have been met (four page maximum). Please provide meaningful captions or descriptive information for all supporting materials, describing how the evidence demonstrates that the nominee meets the criteria for the award.
  • A modified Curriculum Vitae (one to four pages maximum) focusing on the nominee’s teaching, educational leadership, achievements and other contributions to teaching and learning, as distinct from a standard CV pertaining to the nominee’s field of expertise. This requirement is submitted after the initial nomination process. Nominees will be prompted by email to submit this portion. For example, do not include field-specific research publications, but do include presentations at the Faculty Conference and other educational conferences, workshops on teaching and learning, textbooks, teaching awards, etc. Nominees will be prompted by email to submit this portion.

Group nomination instructions:

  • Submit the nomination under the most senior instructor's name.
  • Include a list of all nominee names and roles in the Nomination Brief. Briefly describe their contributions.
  • Download the Team Nomination Consent Form from the Online Nomination Portal and have each nominee complete a separate form. Merge all completed forms into one PDF file and upload it into the Portal.
Selection process

The Provost’s Innovative Teaching Award recipient is selected by the University Teaching Awards Selection Committee (UTASC). The UTASC mandate is to help advance teaching and learning at Ryerson through the university-wide Teaching Awards Program by ensuring that high quality candidates whose achievements meet or exceed the awards criteria are selected for the available university teaching awards.

Following notification to all nominees and nominators, the Provost will make a public announcement regarding all Awards recipients.

Important dates

November 8 by noon: All Nomination Briefs are to be submitted online including the nominee's online consent.

November 20: Deadline for each FAC to select a candidate, if any, for the Provost’s Innovative Teaching Award and for the Chair of the FAC to communicate the results to all nominees and their nominators.

December 11 by noon: All completed nomination files for the Provost’s Innovative Teaching Award must be submitted online.

January 12: Deadline for the UTASC to complete their deliberations. The Committee reserves the right not to confer the Provost’s Innovative Teaching Award in any given year if no suitable candidate is identified.

January 18: The results are communicated to the recipient's nominator, as well as to all unsuccessful nominees and their nominators.


Michelle Schwartz, Learning and Teaching Office at or 416-979-5000, ext. 2094


Nomination deadline
Nov 8 at noon

Including nominee's online consent

Recipients of this award are celebrated at two events:

Faculty Teaching Luncheon
Ryerson Awards Night

For questions or more information regarding this award, please contact:

Learning and Teaching Office
Michelle Schwartz
Instructional Design and Research Strategist, ext. 2094