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Northrop Frye Awards

Eligibility and Selection Criteria | Faculty Application Procedures |
Dept. / Div. Application Procedures | Additional Notes | Nomination Form


The Northrop Frye Awards recognize distinguished achievements in connecting teaching and research at U of T in two categories – (i) faculty and (ii) departmental/divisional. The prize value of the awards is $2,000 for the individual faculty member award and $6,000 for the Departmental or Divisional award.

Nominations from across the University are welcome.

Award recipients will be honoured at the annual Awards of Excellence ceremony held in the Spring of each year. The Frye Selection Committee is not required to select a recipient in either category, if no applicable candidates in either given category are nominated.


Professor Northrop Frye (1912-1991) was one of the 20th century’s pre-eminent scholars and literary critics, and a noted commentator on Canadian society and culture. A faculty member in the Department of English at Victoria College in the University of Toronto, Frye gained international recognition with the publication of his works, and held 38 honorary doctorates from universities around the globe. The world remembers him for his writings and on campus, Professor Frye is remembered for his outstanding lectures, about which generations of students have spoken and written with delight, and for his unwavering passion for teaching and learning.


As professors at the country’s leading research-intensive university, University of Toronto faculty members are expected to consistently demonstrate dedicated, effective teaching and outstanding scholarship.

The Northrop Frye Award recognizes faculty from all areas of the University who have gone above and beyond the institution’s standard of excellence, setting themselves apart through innovation in teaching and their commitment to conveying the excitement and importance of research to undergraduate and graduate students.

A list of previous award recipients can be found on the Awards of Excellence website.

(i) Faculty Nominations
The Selection Committee will judge individual nominees on distinguished achievements in linking teaching and research, thereby exceeding the University’s expectations for faculty and furthering its mission. The linkages between teaching and research will be expected to exceed the normal supervision of graduate students exercised by dedicated faculty members. Nominations reflecting success with undergraduate students are particularly welcomed.
The award will recognize excellence exhibited at any time during a faculty member’s career at the University of Toronto; a minimum length of service is not required. Faculty nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Have an established research record and be tenured or hold a tenure-equivalent appointment
  • Be active teachers who have offered courses at all levels

Please note: faculty members, not specific courses created or taught by a particular faculty member, will be evaluated in this category.

(ii) Departmental/Divisional Nominations
Departmental/Divisional nominations should be made by the division head.

The Selection Committee will evaluate each nomination based on the level of commitment and kinds of support demonstrated in encouraging faculty members to develop exemplary linkages between teaching and research. Nominations reflecting success with undergraduate students are particularly welcome. Multi-department divisions may submit up to three nominations. Single-department divisions may submit only one nomination.


Nominations should be accompanied by a supporting dossier and be submitted through the faculty member’s Chair (in a multi-department division) or Dean (in a single-department division).

i. Faculty Dossiers
Each dossier must include the following:

  • Completed nomination form
  • Covering letter from nominee’s Chair (in a multi-department division) or Dean (in a single-department division), summarizing the dossier. Please include relevant comments drawn from the nominee’s student evaluations
  • Letter of endorsement from divisional Dean. Dean’s are expected to provide a thorough and thoughtful assessment of the candidate’s eligibility for the award. Deans are welcome to rank candidates in order of preference if more than one is nominated from their faculty
  • Maximum of five (5) letters of support from students, faculty members or other individuals able to assess the nominee’s effectiveness in linking teaching and research
  • Complete, up-to-date curriculum vitae of the nominee (note: academic bibliographies should not exceed five (5) pages; please provide an abbreviated version if necessary)

ii. Departmental/Divisional Dossiers
Each dossier must include the following:

  • Completed nomination form.
  • Covering letter from the division head, summarizing the dossier
  • Letter of endorsement from the Dean
  • Maximum of five (5) letters of support from students, faculty members or other individuals able to assess the department/division’s linkages between teaching and research
  • Supporting material (e.g., course outlines). This material may be included, but only in an appendix to the description


  • Do not submit more than the required number of documents/letters, as outlined in the individual award requirements. Supplementary documents will not be considered.
  • The nominator is responsible for a ensuring that nomination packages are complete. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered by the Selection Committee.
  • All letters of support are confidential and will be viewed by members of the Selection Committee only. Those who wish to view the letters for publicity or information purposes must first obtain permission from the individual who wrote the letter.
  • It is recommended that the nominee be informed of the nomination.


Complete nomination package must be received by Friday, December 9, 2016.


Nominations may be resubmitted up to three (3) consecutive years. Each resubmission must be accompanied by a new nomination form and nomination letter. It is the nominator‘s responsibility to contact all previous supporters for permission to carry forward letters of support.

Unsuccessful nominations that exceed the three-year limit may be resubmitted after a one-year hiatus, provided that a new package is assembled. It is the responsibility of the nominator to retain copies of the complete nomination package for future reference or resubmissions.

To resubmit a nomination, please email

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