Teaching Award

Student-Nominated Teaching Award: Constitution

May 27, 2021


  1. Description

The Physics Student Union Teaching Award is an annual award intended to recognize exceptional pedagogy in undergraduate courses in the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto. The award is given to two distinct individuals (one per semester) at the end of each academic year. The winners will be selected based on student nominations solicited at the end of each semester.


  1. Nomination Process

At the end of each semester (no later than December 20 for the Fall semester, and no later than April 20 for the Winter semester), the Physics Student Union shall publish a nomination form to the website of the Department of Physics. The form must ask for:

  • The name, email address, and student number of the student,

  • The name of the nominee, who must be lecturing a current undergraduate course in the Department of Physics,

  • The course in which the nominee demonstrated exceptional pedagogy (must correspond to the semester for which the form is released), and

  • Specific examples of actions the nominee took that improved the learning experience of students enrolled in the course. Submissions that do not include such information may be nullified.

The nomination form may be filled out by any current undergraduate student at the University of Toronto who has taken at least one physics course in the preceding semester. Each student may make at most one nomination per semester.


The Physics Student Union reserves the right to nullify any nomination that is deemed not to be made in good faith.


An exception to the above deadlines is made for the first annual award (2020-2021 academic year).


  1. Selection Criteria

The PhySU Executive Team will select the recipient after reviewing the nominations received. The executives will take into account the information provided in the nominations, as well as the number of nominations (scaled to take into account course enrollment).


The winners for each semester must be distinct. No person may be selected as a winner who has won the award within the preceding five (5) years.


  1. Announcement of Award

The winner of the award for both the fall and winter semesters shall be decided by the Physics Student Union no later than May 30. The winners shall be announced at the Department of Physics end-of-year party (generally held in early June), and a certificate or plaque will be awarded to each winner.


An exception to the above deadline is made for the first annual award (2020-2021 academic year).


  1. Summer Award

The Summer Teaching Award shall be a separate award selected in a similar manner at the end of the summer term. One winner will be selected at the end of the summer. PhySU shall send out one nomination form at the end of each semester, no later than:

  • June 20, for the first summer semester, and

  • August 10, for the second summer semester.

The purpose of having two forms is to ensure that respondents have a clear memory of the course being nominated. The PhySU executive team will combine the responses from both forms to select one winner, using the same selection criteria as for the main award.


The winner of the Summer Teaching Award will be announced at the Physics end-of-year party alongside the main teaching award. No person may be selected as a winner who has won the award within the preceding three (3) years.


No person may win both the Summer Teaching Award and the Physics Student Union Teaching Award within the same year. However, the same person may win both the Summer Teaching Award and the Physics Student Union Teaching Award within the same three- or five-year period.