Supervision Award for Faculty Members

The JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award recognizes outstanding performance in the multiple roles associated with doctoral (PhD, EdD, DMA, SJD) supervision. Two awards are offered annually: one in the Humanities and Social Sciences and one in the Physical and Life Sciences.

The awards are presented at the Governor General’s Medal reception ceremony in the spring. Recipients receive a JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award certificate, an SGS Travel or Conference Award to grant a current doctoral student to support conference participation or research travel, and have their name inscribed on a plaque housed at the School of Graduate Studies.

The annual JJ Berry Smith Supervision Award honours active faculty members who, over a minimum of a 15-year period, have demonstrated excellence in supervision at the University of Toronto by:

  • inspiring and guiding students to reach excellence in scholarship;
  • providing an environment that is supportive and stimulating;
  • enabling students to learn the essential methodologies, concepts and cultures of their discipline;
  • introducing students to the wider content of the discipline and relevant communities of scholars;
  • positioning students for future careers both within and outside academe;
  • fostering a strong sense of academic integrity.

The 2019 Winners

Dr. Arthur Ripstein and Dr. Tania Watts are this year’s recipients of the JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award, which recognizes outstanding performance in the multiple roles associated with doctoral (PhD, EdD, DMA, SJD) supervision.

Dr. Arthur Ripstein
Dr. Arthur Ripstein

Dr. Arthur Ripstein, Department of Philosophy: A Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Toronto, Dr. Ripstein has a broad, interdisciplinary knowledge base that enables him to mentor students with a range of scholarly interests. Since 1988, he has supervised an unprecedented number of doctoral students (19 to date) while fulfilling extensive administrative duties and public commitments.

His dual talents as a teacher and researcher were recognized with a 2012 University of Toronto Alumni Association Faculty Award. Called “a role model for all academics” by one former graduate student, he provides students with the means to find their own conclusions, and strongly supports their professional development both during and after their graduate studies.

Dr. Tania Watts
Dr. Tania Watts

Dr. Tania Watts, Department of Immunology: Dr. Watts currently holds the Sanofi Pasteur Chair in Human Immunology at U of T and is director of the Toronto Human Immunology Network. She also directs the Faculty of Medicine Flow cytometry facility. Dr. Watts has trained 17 post-docs, 22 PhD students, 6 MSc students and 30 undergraduate students have done their research in her lab.

Students of Dr. Watts speak enthusiastically about her fundamental belief that “science is supposed to be fun and that risk-taking, deep thinking and hard work are at the root of all scientific discovery.” She provides her students with guidance and opportunity, knowing that there are multiple paths to a fulfilling career

Past Recipients

Award Overview

Deadline: Date set locally by graduate unit/Faculty
Faculty Nomination to SGS: April 1, 2020
Results & Presentation of Award: May 26, 2020

Eligibility Criteria

Nominees must be:

  • active graduate faculty members at the University of Toronto; and
  • supervised graduate students for a minimum of 15 years

Selection Criteria

Nominations will be evaluated based on how well the candidates have demonstrated excellence in supervision at the University of Toronto by meeting and exceeding each selection criteria below:

  1. Inspiring and guiding students to achieve excellence in scholarship, fostering a strong sense of academic integrity;
  2. Providing an environment that is supportive, stimulating and tailored to their individual learning styles, needs, and career/future aspirations;
  3. Enabling students to learn the essential methodologies, concepts and cultures of their discipline;
  4. Introducing students to the wider content of the discipline and relevant communities of scholars; and
  5. Positioning students for future careers both within and outside academia.

In an effort to assist Faculties in reviewing their nominations, a JJ Berry Smith Award Scoring Sheet is provided for Faculties’ internal committee use, and may be shared with nominators/nominees.

Nominations of unsuccessful candidates are eligible to be resubmitted for consideration a second time in the year following their initial nomination, at the discretion of the (Faculty) Dean. After this, the Faculty must wait at least two years to nominate the candidate.

Nomination Package

The nomination package provides evidence that the nominee has met the above six criteria as demonstrated through:

  • Completed Nomination Form;
  • Faculty letter of recommendation from the Dean/Vice-Dean, Graduate (1-2 pages). Letter should provide context for the discipline: e.g. clearly address the supervisory norms (including expectations for publishing and presenting with supervised students), types of students (e.g. placement in academia vs. industry), and how the nominee stands out among peers in the same discipline;
  • Two letters of nomination (letters may be from an individual or group):
    • A letter from the department chair, current or former colleague(s);
    • A letter from current or former supervisee(s) – group nomination encouraged;
  • A statement written by the candidate (max 300 words – suitable for public release):
    • Addressing the candidate’s graduate mentoring/supervision philosophy, and
    • Describing the candidate’s personal approach or strategies for mentoring/supervision;
  • Table A: listing all current and former graduate students and their current positions (see Table A: List of Graduate Students for JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award)
  • Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae (as below):
    • Academic Appointments
    • Mentoring or Supervision awards
    • Awards for joint work with Doctoral students
    • Funded or unfunded grants with Doctoral students
    • Publications (in the last 15 years, with notations of co-publishing with doctoral students)*
    • Presentations (in the last 15 years, with notations of co-presentation with doctoral students)*
    • Past and Current Doctoral Supervision roles (including supervisor and committee memberships)
    • External appraisals of doctoral dissertations, which includes:
      • Appraisal of a dissertation completed at a university where the nominee was not a faculty member; and
      • Appraisal of a dissertation completed at the same university as the nominee and supervised by a committee that did not include the nominee.
    • Service related to Doctoral student support, supervision or mentoring
    • Other activities or accomplishments relevant to Doctoral student supervision and mentorship.
  • *Please indicate publications and presentations with current or former doctoral student co-authors or co-presenters using the following notations:
    • highlighting the publication/presentation in yellow; and
    • underlining the names of doctoral students within each publication/presentation.

Nomination Process

Faculty nominations are due to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education through the Faculty Dean or Vice Dean Graduate Office.

Students, faculty members and staff wishing to submit a nomination package for consideration by their Faculty should contact their home graduate unit to inquire about the selection process and local deadlines.

Faculties may forward one nomination for faculty members from each of the four divisions (Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical Science, Life Science).  Requests for an additional quota may be considered where a Faculty has two exceptional candidates from within the same discipline.

Each nomination package is to be submitted electronically as a single PDF file via email; please retain the original application-materials until May 26, 2020.

Nominations are due to SGS from Faculties by April 1, 2020 to:

Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education
c/o Graduate Awards Office
School of Graduate Studies
Tel: 416-946-0808
Email: o.joksimovic@utoronto.ca

Contacts & Resources

Olivera Joksimovic, Graduate Awards Officer
School of Graduate Studies
416-946-0808
o.joksimovic@utoronto.ca

See also: CTSI Resources​.