Graduate Excellence Awards
Viola Martin Awards
The Department of Chemistry recognizes excellence in graduate studies at the M.Sc. and Ph.D. level through annual awards for the best M.Sc. and the best Ph.D. These awards are named in memory of Viola Martin, who contributed greatly to the success of chemistry graduate students through her dedicated work as the graduate secretary.
First award in 2018
Terms of Reference
Awards are granted for degrees completed in the prior calendar year. The Deputy Head of Graduate Studies will issue a call for nominations in January of each year. All degree requirements, including final submission of the thesis, must be completed by the end of the calendar year of the competition for the student to be eligible. The application should be comprised of the following materials:
- The applicant’s CV
- The applicant’s teaching dossier (see Anderson Teaching Award guidelines)
- A letter of recommendation from the thesis supervisor
- A complete set of the thesis examiner reports
- Evaluator reports from the 6001 (M.Sc.) or 6003 (Ph.D.) seminars
- The applicant’s thesis
The CV, letter, published papers, and reports should be combined into a single PDF. This document should be submitted by email to the Graduate Secretary by the advertised deadline. Manuscripts submitted or in press should also be attached. The thesis can be sent as a separate document or as a link to the university thesis archive. The thesis supervisor should indicate what the student’s contributions were to any published papers in his or her letter of recommendation.
The selection process is intended to identify the student with the best performance as a graduate student for the graduating cohort of the M.Sc. and Ph.D. chemistry students. Teaching, service, and research achievements will all be considered, but the scientific contributions of the student will be weighted most significantly.
Each member of the graduate studies committee will rank each application on a 4 point scale. Half-point scores may be granted. The evaluators will consider if the student exceeded the standard length of their programs when assigning scores. Standard lengths, excluding parental or medical leaves, are defined as: 2 years for M.Sc., 4 years for a PhD completed after completing an M.Sc., and 5 years for a PhD completed after only a B.Sc. If there is no application that has an aggregate ranking of strong or higher, no award will be made that year.
One or more aspect of the student’s performance makes an award inappropriate. There are significant concerns about the quality of the thesis. The thesis reports indicate significant flaws. The seminar was of below average quality. The student has not contributed significantly to service tasks. As is, the research would not merit publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
The student’s performance is generally of average quality. The thesis is of good but unexceptional quality. The examiner reports indicate the quality of the thesis is fine, but not worthy of an award. The student has made limited contributions in service to the department. The seminar was of average quality. The research would merit publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
The student has a strong record in research, teaching, and service. The thesis is of superior quality. The examiner reports indicate that the thesis is above average quality. The student has made significant contributions in service to the department through outreach, leadership, or safety. The seminar was of above-average quality. The student’s graduate research has been published in peer-reviewed journals.
The student has a superior record in research, teaching, and service. Review of the thesis and examiner reports indicate that the thesis is of high quality and significance. The student has made major contributions in service to the department through outreach, leadership, or safety. The seminar was of high quality. The student’s graduate research has been published in a leading peer-reviewed journal with the student as the first author.
The student has made outstanding contributions in the areas of research, teaching, and service. Review of the thesis and examiner reports show the thesis is of the highest quality and significance. The student has made exceptional contributions in service to the department through outreach, leadership, or safety. The seminar was of excellent quality. The student’s graduate research has yielded multiple first-author peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals.
The initial value of the awards will be $500 for the best Ph.D. and $250 for best M.Sc.
Receipt of this award will be indicated on the student’s transcript.