Excellence in Teaching Award

The Graduate School's annual Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes one outstanding master's teaching assistant and one outstanding doctoral teaching assistant for their achievements in the classroom.

The award consists $1,000 for each university level awardee and a certificate citing the recipient's outstanding teaching. Each of the master's and the doctoral graduate assistants nominated by his or her college will also receive a certificate of award for being chosen as the college's nominee.

The UC Excellence in Teaching Award master's student winner and doctoral student winner will be nominated to the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Excellence in Teaching Award competition.

Current Award Cycle

Departmental nominations will due to their college contact on October 19, 2020. College contacts must submit the college awardees to the Graduate School by November 9, 2020. The Graduate School will announce the two university-level winners (one master's student and one doctoral student) on November 18, 2020.

Please direct questions to Megan Tischner at 


Graduate students with graduate teaching appointments who are enrolled at UC during the 2020-2021 year are eligible for the award. Primary consideration will be given to nominees with an excellent teaching portfolio and student evaluations.

Submission Guidelines

Graduate Assistants can be self-nominated or nominated by faculty, peers, or undergraduate students to their graduate program director.

The nomination package will only be accepted electronically as one PDF document. Please scan all documents as a single PDF in the order listed below. All information is required unless otherwise noted. Omission of any item may lessen or negate a nominee's chance for the award.

  • Letter of support from the nominating department head: includes description of any departmental awards/honors presented to the nominated student for teaching excellence. Departmental nominations are due to the college contact on October 19, 2020.
  • Current curriculum vitae.
  • Nominee's Teaching Portfolio: maximum of 6 pages, double spaced, 12-point font.
    • Statement of Teaching Philosophy
    • Evidence of instructional design and innovation, instructional delivery, course management, and student learning
    • (Optional) Video clip of "Teaching in Action": 10 minute maximum; provide electronic link (YouTube or other video sharing website)
      • The two students selected for the university-level award will be required to create a "Teaching in Action" video as part of the nomination packet that the Graduate School will submit to the MAGS regional competition in late January. College Awardees need not have a "Teaching in Action" video to be considered for the university-level competition.
      • Please note that a variety of teaching settings may be used for the video including but not limited to lecture, facilitated discussion, lab, etc., as appropriate to the course; focus is on the quality of teaching/learning, e.g., student engagement, enthusiasm, and knowledge of subject matter, rather than expertise in creating the video.
    • Student Evaluation of Teaching
      • Courses taught as a graduate teaching assistant at UC
      • Number of students
      • Instructional responsibility
      • Summary of student evaluations of teaching data (not the forms)
    • Evidence of Effective Student/Colleague Mentoring
    • Evidence of Teaching/Learning Scholarship (Publications/presentations or grant proposals submitted/funded which focus on teaching/learning; evidence of how pedagogical research informs your teaching)

Please direct questions to Megan Tischner at