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Frequently Asked Questions About the Nomination Process
- Published on Monday, 21 August 2006 01:14
- Written by Robert Clift
Distinguished Academics Awards
Frequently Asked Questions
About the Nomination Process
Can I nominate someone for multiple awards simultaneously?
Yes, you can, but you should submit separate cover letters and reference letters for each award and ensure that the letters address the specific criteria for the award.
Also, the award Selection Committee may, at its discretion, move a nominee from one award category to another or consider a nominee for multiple awards if the nominee meets the necessary criteria.
Can I resubmit a nomination I made last year?
Yes, you can, by sending a new application form and a letter to the Selection Committee indicating that you wish them to reconsider the previous year's nomination. If the original nomination was made more than a year ago, however, you must submit a new nomination package, because nomination packages more than a year old are destroyed.
Can I use the same cover letter and reference letters as was used in nominating someone for another award?
You can, but we discourage you from doing so. The Distinguished Academics Awards recognize contributions to the community outside of the university through research and other scholarly activity, and are not general research awards. If you use application materials originally written for other award nominations, it is very likely that your nominee will not be selected to receive a Distinguished Academics Award.
Does the nominee have to be a member of the local faculty association?
Yes, if you are nominating a single individual. If you are nominating a group, the majority of group members, including the primary researcher or team leader (if there is one), must be members of their local faculty association.
How do I find out if a nominee is a member of their faculty association?
Almost all tenured, tenure track and core faculty and professional librarians are members of their local faculty association. Retired, adjunct and clinical faculty are usually not members of the local faculty association. The situation for part-time, sessional and associate faculty varies between universities. If you are uncertain, please contact the local faculty association for more information.
At what level of detail should I describe the contributions of the nominee?
The Selection Committee is comprised of people from various academic backgrounds, so any detailed description of the scholarly activity of the nominee should take into account that the committee may not have the necessary knowledge to understand overly technical descriptions. You should also keep in mind that the work of the award recipient will be publicized and thus the nomination material should be written in such a way to help CUFA BC explain the work of the award recipient to a general audience.
How recent does an outstanding contribution have to be to qualify for the Academic of the Year Award?
Generally, nominees for the Academic of the Year Award should have made their outstanding contribution to the community beyond the academy within three years of the date of nomination.
What counts as "early in career"?
Given that there are many different pathways to an academic career, there are no hard and fast criteria for what counts as "early in career". As a guide only, early in career is often defined as being "no more than five years from completion of a doctoral degree or equivalent" or "within three years of the initial appointment as an Assistant Professor". The selection committee will make the final determination if the nominee is early in their career.
Does the nominee have to have an extensive publication record in order to receive an award?
Not in the case of the Academic of the Year Award or the Early in Career Award. These awards recognize a specific, recent contribution to the community beyond the academy or contributions early in one's career and thus it is possible for someone to receive either of these awards without an extensive publication record.
In the case of the Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award, the answer is not necessarily so. It is indeed possible that a nominee could have made ongoing contributions to the community beyond the academy through her/his scholarly work without an extensive publication record, but it is unlikely to be the case.
In either case, if the nominee does not have an extensive publication record, you should fully explain the nature of their research or scholarly activity and how it has affected the community beyond the academy.
What is a "contribution to the community beyond the academy"?
A "contribution to the community beyond the academy" means that the nominee's research or scholarly activity has had an effect outside the academic world. This might mean that the nominee uses his or her scholarly work to help the public grapple with an important or vexing public policy issue. It might mean the nominee has made a discovery or developed a product that has a significant social or economic effect. It might mean the nominee has done the research in cooperation with and in support of a community project. Any scholarly work that contributes to the world outside of the academy is eligible for consideration.
Why do the awards recognize "contributions to the community beyond the academy"?
In creating the awards, CUFA BC wanted to demonstrate to the public the direct benefit to them of research and scholarly activity carried out at BC's public universities. Although there is certainly world-class research taking place at BC universities, it is not always immediately apparent how that research affects those people outside of the academy. So, the Distinguished Academics Awards focus on one part of the total university enterprise in order to recognize people who use their scholarly work outside the academy, and highlight these achievements to the public.
Why do you limit the awards to "research and scholarly activity"? Why don't you recognize teaching?
In creating the awards, CUFA BC believed that the public already understood the teaching function of the universities through a number of high-profile awards. What we felt was lacking was a better appreciation by the public of the research function of the university, so we chose to limit our award to this aspect of university life.
How important is teaching and service in deciding who receives the award?
The Distinguished Academics Awards are primarily about research and scholarly activity, but the Selection Committee is also interested in the other aspects of a nominee's professional life. So, it is advisable to include some information about teaching, service and other aspects of the nominee's professional life.
Does the nominee have to sign the consent section of the awards application form?
Yes. The Personal Information Protection Act came into force on January 1, 2004 and it requires that all organizations obtain informed consent from individuals for the collection, use and disclosure of their personal information.
Does the nominee have to be present at the award ceremony to receive the award?
Yes. The Distinguished Academics Awards are given only to those people who are able to attend the award dinner and ceremony. Before filing a nomination, please make sure that nominee is available on day the award will be presented for both the award dinner and to speak with the media. If the first person chosen by the Selection Committee to receive the award is unavailable to attend the award ceremony, the committee will then choose an alternate person to receive the award.