Undergraduate Faculty Teaching Awards


Graduate and Life Sciences Education, Faculty of Medicine in partnership with the Basic Science Departments and Institutes in the Faculty will award five annual Undergraduate Teaching Awards in Life Sciences in four categories.  The purpose of these awards is to honour outstanding and sustained contributions by faculty members to undergraduate Arts and Science teaching and the undergraduate experience in Life Sciences. The awards carry a cash value of $1,000 each and will be presented at the Faculty of Medicine Annual Education Achievement Celebration.


  1. Excellence in undergraduate teaching in life sciences
    This award is for sustained excellence in teaching, coordination and/or development of undergraduate lecture or seminar courses in Arts and Science offered by the Basic Science Departments in the Faculty of Medicine.
  2. Excellence in undergraduate laboratory teaching in life sciences
    This award is for sustained excellence in the teaching, coordination and/or development of laboratory based instruction in formal Arts and Science life sciences laboratory courses.
  3. Excellence in linking undergraduate teaching to research in life sciences
    This award is for sustained excellence, mentorship and innovative methods that link undergraduate teaching to experiential research opportunities such as research project courses, summer student research projects or equivalent programs.
  4. Sustained Excellence and Innovation in Life Sciences Education
    This award recognizes sustained contributions (at least 15 years of all undergraduate appointments as of December of application year) to any aspect of undergraduate education including:
  • Undergraduate student supervision and mentoring

  • Curriculum development

  • Regular support of  departmental, faculty and university undergraduate activities

  • Undergraduate program administration (as applicable)

Eligibility extends to all faculty members who hold full time appointments in Basic Science Departments or Institutes in the Faculty of Medicine and teach in life sciences undergraduate courses and/or research projects in Arts and Science.

Candidates for these awards must be nominated by a student, a former student, or another faculty member through a Departmental/Institute Undergraduate Program office; self‐nominations are not accepted. A previous winner may be nominated for an Undergraduate Teaching Award in Life Sciences in any category only after a period of five (5) years.

The following will be considered in reviewing each nominee:

  1. Commitment:
    • quantity of teaching
    • accessibility to students
    • evidence of self‐development in teaching methods (e.g. course attended) research and publications on teaching methods
  2. Excellence in communication skills
  3. Subject mastery
  4. Ability to organize material and emphasize principles
  5. Demonstrated ability to stimulate students:
    • encourages interest in and enthusiasm for subject
    • displays good rapport with students
    • leads students to think critically, analytically and independently, and to organize their own learning
  6. Effective use of appropriate teaching resources and instructional methodologies
  7. Innovative, creative and experimental teaching methods
  8. Contribution as a suitable role model
  9. Evidence of mentorship

Nomination Process:
The primary nominator (a student, former student, or faculty member other than the nominee) will fill out and submit the nomination form and inform the nominee of the nomination. The nominator and nominee are jointly responsible to ensure that required documentation as listed on the nomination form is submitted, including:

  • Completed nomination form
  • Supporting letters from:
    • Department/Institute Chair/Director (or designate)
    • Students (minimum 2)
  • 1‐2 page summary of the nominee’s contributions to teaching
  • Summaries of student evaluations of teaching/course materials
  • Current abridged Curriculum Vita (max. 10 pages) which includes a full description of the contribution to undergraduate teaching in Life Sciences and accomplishments relevant to the award eligibility criteria, including:
  • Relevant undergraduate teaching
  • Teaching awards for undergraduate teaching
  • Undergraduate students supervised (dates and projects)
    • Nominee’s statement of Teaching Philosophy (max. 1 page)

Deadline Date: January 31, 2020

Nomination forms and doucmentation should be emailed to the Administrative Coordinator, Life Sciences Education at natasha.lowe@utoronto.ca

Selection Process:
Nominees’ files will be reviewed and winners recommended to the Interim Vice Dean, Graduate and Life Sciences Education by a panel of selected undergraduate students and faculty members.

Previous Winners:

Undergraduate Teaching
2019-2020 - Douglas Tweed, PhD, MD -Department of Physiology
2018-2019 - Denis Collier, MSc - Department of Nutritional Sciences
2017-2018 - Michelle Arnot, Ph.D. - Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
2016-2017 - Paul Yip, Ph.D. - Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
2015-2016 - Cindi Morshead, B.Sc., Ph.D. - Department of Surgery, Division of Anatomy
2014-2015 - Debbie Gurfinkel, PhD – Department of Nutritional Sciences
2014-2015 - Sian Patterson, PhD – Department of Biochemistry
2013-2014 – Nohjin Kee, PhD – Department of Physiology
2012-2013 - Barbara (Dee) Ballyk, PhD - Department of Surgery, Division of Anatomy
2011-2012 - Douglas Templeton, MD, PhD - Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology
2011-2012 - Michelle French, PhD - Department of Physiology
2010-2011 - Stavroula (Roula) Andreopoulos, PhD - Department of Biochemistry 
2009-2010 - Cindy Woodland, PhD - Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
2008-2009 - Valerie Watt, PhD - Department of Physiology
2007-2008 - Patricia Stewart, PhD - Department of Surgery
2007-2008 - Carin Wittnich, PhD - Department of Physiology
2006-2007 - Craig Smibert, PhD - Department of Biochemistry
2005-2006 - Patricia Brubaker, PhD - Department of Physiology

Undergraduate Laboratory Teaching
2019-2020 - Nohjin Kee, MSc, PhD - Department of Physiology
2016-2017 - Julie Brill, Ph.D. - Department of Molecular Genetics
2015-2016 - Ahlia Khan-Trottier, B.Sc., Ph.D - Department of Biochemistry
2014-2015 - Adam Rosebrock, PhD– Department of Molecular Genetics / Donnelly Centre
2013-2014 – Martha Brown, PhD - Department of Molecular Genetics
2012-2013 - Carin Wittnich, MD PhD FRCSC, Department of Physiology
2011-2012 - Not Awarded
2010-2011 - Jenny Jongstra-Bilen, PhD - Department of Immunology 
2009-2010 - Grant W. Brown - PhD, BSc - Department of Biochemistry
2008-2009 - Kate Banks, DVM, PhD - Department of Physiology
2007-2008 - Not Awarded
2006-2007 - Christopher Perumalla, PhD - Department of Physiology
2005-2006 - David Isenman, PhD - Department of Biochemistry

Linking Undergraduate Teaching to Research
2019-2020 - Denise Belsham, PhD, MD - Department of Physiology
2018-2019 - Rebecca Laposa, Ph.D. - Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
2016-2017 - William Navarre, Ph.D. - Department of Molecular Genetics
2015-2016 - Jagdish Butany, MBBS, MS, FRCPC - Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology
2015-2016 - Martin Wojtowicz, PhD - Department of Physiology
2014-2015 - Hong Chang, MD PhD FRCPC – Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology
2013-2014 – Anne Agur, BSc(OT) MSc PhD, Department of Surgery, Division of Anatomy
2012-2013 - Richard Horner, Department of Physiology
2011-2012 - Patricia Brubaker, PhD - Department of Physiology

Sustained Excellence and Innovation in Life Sciences Education
2019-2020 - Carin Wittnich, DVM, MSc - Department of Physiology
2016-2017 - Christoper Perumalla, Ph.D. - Department of Physiology / Division of Teaching Labs
2016-2017 - Stavroula Andreopoulos, Ph.D. - Department of Biochemistry