[Revised] Nominations for 2017-18 Killam GTA Awards


January 9, 2018  [REVISED JAN. 19, 2018]

To:           Deans, UBC Vancouver

From:      Professor Eric Eich, Vice-Provost and Associate VP Academic Affairs

Re:           Call for Nominations – 2017/18 Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards 

In recognition of the valuable role that teaching assistants play in our undergraduate programs, the university annually awards sixteen Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards.  The Killam GTA Award includes a Certificate and $1,000.00.  The sixteen awards, given annually, seek to demonstrate the importance and value that UBC places on teaching and learning, and to recognize teaching excellence within our institution.

We are seeking your assistance in promoting this award opportunity.  We ask that you distribute this Call for Nominations to Heads and Directors, students and faculty members in all your teaching sites and post it in public spaces, as appropriate.

In addition to the Killam awards, Faculties may choose to establish their own GTA teaching award administered internally.

The procedure for submission of Killam GTA Award nominations follows, and includes a set of criteria approved by the Deans’ Committee when the awards were established.  The Criteria are described in Appendix I. 



The award is open to any Graduate Teaching Assistant who acts or has acted in this position during the current and/or preceding academic year (2017-18 and/or 2016-17).

Nomination Process: 

Nominations should be encouraged from faculty supervisors (professors, senior laboratory instructors) of the Graduate Teaching Assistant nominee, from colleagues working closely with the nominee, and from the students who attend/attended the nominee’s class or laboratory. GTAs can also self-nominate for the award.

Each Faculty will determine how nominations will be encouraged and gathered within that Faculty.  The Head’s Office collects the nomination packages and submits them to the Dean’s Office for adjudication (see below for deadlines and adjudication process).  Following adjudication, the Dean’s Office notifies the Provost Office of the selected winner(s).

Please note that there is no application form.  The application takes the form of a teaching dossier and supporting documentation, from either the self-nominee or the student/peer/faculty nominating party.  Please see Appendix II for guidelines for compiling the dossier and supporting documentation.

Completed nomination materials will be collected by the Department Head or Director, for submission to the Dean’s Office.  Any questions about the length and format of the materials should be directed to the relevant Dean’s Office.

If the TA work is performed in a Department other than the TA’s “home” Department (where he/she is registered), the nomination package should be submitted to the Department in which the work is performed, and the home Department should be notified of the nomination.  Should the nominee become a winner, both Departments should be mentioned when the Dean’s Office submits the winner’s name to the Provost Office.

Nomination Deadlines: 

  1. a) Individual nomination packages must be submitted to the Head’s or Director’s office by: Friday, March 9, 2018.   
  1. b) The Department/Unit must send nomination packages to the Dean’s office by:

Friday, March 16, 2018. 


  1. c) Following the adjudication process, the Dean’s Office will forward the name of the winner(s) to the Office of the Provost and VP Academic, via email to fast@ubc.ca, on:

Thursday, March 29, 2018, along with the following information:

  • current home mailing address
  • email address
  • Social Insurance Number (for Payroll to process the financial award)
  • name, title and email address of the TA’s immediate supervisor
  • name and email address of the Department/Unit Head

Faculties are asked to refrain from announcing the results until the winners’ list has been posted to the Provost Office website (https://academic.ubc.ca/awards-funding/award-winners/killam-teaching-service-winners.  The list will be posted to the website approximately 1-2 weeks following the March 29th deadline above, and following the congratulatory letter that is sent to each winner from the Vice Provost and Associate Vice‑President Academic Affairs.

Adjudication Process: 

As decided by the Committee of Deans in the late 1990s, Faculties are responsible for adjudicating the awards for their units.  To that end, a committee should be struck by each Dean’s Office to review the nominations from departments.  It is suggested that each committee consist of three Graduate Teaching Assistants who are recognized as effective teachers, three faculty or laboratory Supervisors of teaching assistants, and up to three recent teaching award winners in the faculty. A committee Chair will be chosen by, and from within, the committee.  The enclosed criteria should be used by committees to determine nominees’ teaching effectiveness.

The 16 centrally-funded awards have been split among faculties on a per-capita (of teaching assistants) basis, using figures submitted by CUPE 2278.  See Appendix III of this letter for faculty breakdowns.

Appendices Attached:   

Appendix I:       Criteria

Appendix II:      Supporting documentation to include in nomination package

Appendix III:    Distribution of awards by Faculty


If you have any questions, please contact Selina Fast, selina.fast@ubc.ca, Office of the Provost and VP Academic, or visit:



Effective Teaching Criteria 

for those preparing nomination packages, and for the Adjudication Committee

Successful candidates will have demonstrated skills, abilities and contributions that result in a high level of respect from undergraduate students and academic or course supervisors, in several of the following areas:

  1. demonstrates a broad knowledge of the field and the ability to help students actively learn new knowledge, skills and perspectives, evidenced by student/supervisor feedback and relevant grades:
  • explains facts or information clearly and logically
  • organizes effective presentations, fieldwork or discussion groups that maximize student learning
  • constructively evaluates student presentations
  • actively helps students to learn transferable skills such as oral and verbal communication, problem solving, critical thinking, numeracy, teamwork, leadership
  1. shows evidence of working in a collegial manner with students, faculty supervisors and graduate teaching assistant colleagues:
  • works with other graduate students or faculty to improve the learning environment for students
  • demonstrates rapport with and support of undergraduate students through active listening strategies and actions
  • encourages student collaboration through group projects and presentations
  1. shows evidence of incorporating new teaching skills learned through workshops, seminars and/or self-directed learning
  1. shows evidence of reflection and action on personal and professional development needs within the scope of the Teaching Assistant
  1. acts as a role model, demonstrating high standards, good listening skills and ethics:
  • demonstrates reliability and availability within the scope of the TA job description
  • encourages and supports diversity and equity within and beyond the classroom
  • returns assignments quickly, with useful constructive feedback (oral and/or written)
  • is involved in community service as part of the position (for example, involvement in science fairs, open houses, undergraduate/graduate events)



Guidelines for Preparing the Nomination Submissions. There is no application form for this award.  Rather, the nominating party (or the nominee if this is a self-nomination) must compile a dossier of information about the nominee’s work as a TA, and include the requirements listed below, addressing the Criteria set out in Appendix I.  The nominating party collects the information from the nominee and other sources as noted.  The nominating party should forward the dossier to the Head’s or Director’s Office by the deadline of March 9, 2018.


  • a summary of recent teaching responsibilities, including number of students, type of teaching undertaken, hours per week in the classroom, average time spent constructively in consultation with students and with supervisors as it relates to Teaching Assistantship duties.  If applicable, include activities from the preceding year;
  • a statement of the candidate’s values and assumptions about teaching and learning in higher education (less than one page in length);
  • any formal feedback from students, colleagues and/or supervisors (in the form of student evaluations, letters, or related material) which addresses the stated criteria for this award; and
  • a demonstration of the candidate’s contributions to teaching over time (for example, as a teaching assistant or marker, and ability to teach a course on his/her own).


  • the description of a recent instructional opportunity or problem faced by the Teaching Assistant which outlines steps taken toward resolution of the issue;
  • an example of written or oral feedback given by the Teaching Assistant to students in a laboratory, tutorial, fieldwork or clinical situation, or course.  This could take the form of comments on lab reports or tutorial assignments, essays, or other submissions which the Teaching Assistant has directly overseen; or
  • further relevant examples of interest and involvement in teaching and student learning; for example, participation in teaching enhancement seminars and workshops, independent reading in the field of teaching in higher education, or involvement in departmental or other University committees which examine teaching and learning issues.

Any support letters should be addressed to “To whom it may concern”.


Distribution of Awards

The Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards are shared between some Faculties.

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences funds its own award specifically for Teaching Assistants within the Faculty and is not part of the allocation process. 

The shared awards are distributed on an alternate-year cycle.  The 2017/2018 distribution is shown in the table below:

Faculty # of Awards 
Applied Science   3
Arts   3
Dentistry   0  (eligible again in 2018-19)
Education   2
Forestry   0  (eligible again in 2018-19)
Land and Food Systems   1 (this round)
Law   1 (this round)
Medicine   1 (this round)
Sauder School of Business   0  (eligible again in 2018-19)
Science   5


Call for Nominations – with revised due date

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