2018-2019 LFS Graduate Teaching Assistant Award Competition


2018-2019 Faculty of Land and Food Systems Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

In recognition of the valuable role that teaching assistants play, the university annually awards sixteen Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards.  As the Faculty of Land and Food Systems shares an award with the Faculty of Forestry, this award is offered biennially to LFS TA’s.  In 2014-15, LFS created an LFS Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.   This award allows LFS to annually recognize and acknowledge excellence in service as a teaching assistant.  Both awards includes a certificate and $1,000. Successful candidates will have met the same criteria used for UBC’s Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.

Please note:

  • The procedures for both the LFS Graduate Teaching Assistant Award and the Killam GTA Award are the same.
  • While we value the contribution made by undergraduate teaching assistants, these awards are only available to graduate students (UGTA cannot apply).
  • Non-LFS graduate students who are appointed to TA for any program within the Faculty of Land and Food Systems are eligible to apply.

Call for Nominations (2018-2019)

The deadline to submit nomination packages is Friday, March 8, 2019.  Electronic applications should be sent to melanie.train@ubc.ca.

The LFS Graduate Teaching Assistant Award will follow the procedure used for the Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award competition.  Please refer to attached “Procedures” and appendices 1 and 2.

Incomplete applications or applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.  It is the nominating party’s responsibility to ensure the application is complete and submitted by the deadline.

Following the adjudication process, the winner will receive official notification, via email, by.  The winner agrees to allow LFS to publish their name in LFS Today, and other notifications.  The recipient receives $1,000 and will be presented with a certificate.  The LFS TA Award winner will be announced on the same day the Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award is announced (usually early April)



  1. Eligibility

The award is open to any Graduate Teaching Assistant who acts or has acted in this position during the current academic year (2018 Summer Session and 2018 Winter Session).

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 attended the nominee’s class or laboratory.  TA’s can also self-nominate for the award.

There is no application form.  The application is in the form of a teaching dossier and supporting documentation, from either the self-nominee or the student/peer/faculty nominating party.  Please see Appendix I for criteria and Appendix II for guidelines for compiling the dossier and supporting documentation.  Completed nomination materials will be collected by Melanie Train.

2.  Nomination Deadlines

Individual nomination packages (electronic) must be submitted to Melanie Train by 4:00 pm on Friday, March 8, 2019 – NOTE: Late or incomplete application packages will not be evaluated.

Departmental nomination packages will be circulated and reviewed by internal committee who will rank applicants and determine a winner.

Following the adjudication process, the LFS Graduate Teaching Award Committee will forward the name of the winner to the Manager, Graduate Programs.

The committee will provide the following information about him/her:

  • Student name / student number
  • name of the Program/Degree

The winner of the LFS Graduate Teaching Award will be announced on the same day as Killam Graduate Teaching Award winners are announced (early April).


  1. Adjudication process:

A committee will be struck by the Dean’s office to review the nominations for the faculty. The 2018-2019 committee will consist of:

  • Previous prize winner,
  • LFSUS VP academic,
  • Grad student representative,
  • Pre-tenure faculty member,
  • Chair of Peer Review of Teaching Committee.

The committee will be chaired by the Director of the LFS Learning Centre.  The enclosed criteria should be used by committees to determine nominees’ effectiveness.

  1. Supportive Documentation required and suggested for Nominators

Appendix II of this letter includes information on supporting documentation for nominators to prepare, both required and suggested.  A summary appears in the Call for Nominations.  This information should take the form of a teaching dossier, and should speak to the criteria set out in Appendix I.  There is no application form for this award.




Effective Teaching Criteria 

for anyone preparing a nomination package, 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 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
  2. Shows evidence of reflection and action on personal and professional development needs within the scope of the Teaching Assistant position
  3. 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 8, 2019.


  • 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).



  • A 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”.