Northrop Frye Awards

Awards of Excellence

Northrop Frye

The University of Toronto aims to create a culture of high impact teaching and learning. In pursuit of this goal, we are consistently considering our approaches to teaching and learning in response to our evolving understanding of pedagogical practices and the changing needs of our students, the community and the broader Canadian and global society.

Northrop Frye is remembered on campus for his outstanding lectures, about which generations of students have spoken and written about with delight, and for his unwavering commitment to teaching and learning. The Northrop Frye Award was established to honour Professor Frye’s legacy at the University of Toronto to celebrate and recognize faculty and staff who have contributed to enhancing and re-imagining the undergraduate student learning experience.

This is not a humanities-focused award and nominations from across the University and from all departments and divisions are welcome and encouraged.

The Northrop Frye Award is open to teams of faculty and / or librarians and / or staff who have undertaken a teaching and learning project within the last five years that significantly enhanced the undergraduate student learning experience.  

The recipients of the Northrop Frye Award will be invited to attend the University’s Excellence in Teaching Reception. Up to two teams will annually be awarded the Northrop Frye Award, and will receive $2000.  

 

Who was Northrop Frye?

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.

What does the Northrop Frye Award recognize?

The Northrop Frye Award recognizes the excellence of a team who have undertaken a teaching and learning project within the last five years that significantly enhanced the undergraduate student learning experience. This could include (but is not limited to): 

  • Curricular Innovations: the design and implementation of significant curricular changes with a lens towards improved student learning experiences. 
  • Co-Curricular Learning Opportunities: the design and implementation of a co-curricular opportunity that significantly enhanced students in-classroom learning experiences. For example, fostering opportunities for undergraduates to participate in cutting-edge research activities 
  • Instructional / Pedagogical Innovations: the design and implementation of impactful teaching practices that promoted student learning 

Although there will be many ways in which teams can demonstrate the excellence of their teaching and learning project, nominations may be assessed on the demonstration of at least one of the following: 

  • Qualitative and quantitative data showing project impact (performance measures, baseline data for comparison purposes, learning impact, learner feedback, outcome evaluations).  
  • Adoption of project innovation by others within and outside the University. 
  • The project’s impact on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access within the classroom or beyond. 
Whom can I nominate for the Northrop Frye Awards?

Nominations for the Awards of Excellence may be made by any member of the University of Toronto community. Past recipients of an Award of Excellence may still be nominated for a different Award, provided they meet the eligibility criteria.

Collaborative teams of faculty members and administrative staff are eligible for the Northrop Frye Award. Teams can be comprised of 1) faculty-only 2) staff / librarians-only 3) a combination of faculty, librarians and staff members.  

Faculty members could hold continuing appointments (tenure-stream, teaching-stream (continuing) and clinical faculty) or a Contractually-Limited Term Appointment (CLTA)  

Staff / Librarians should be one of the following: 

  • Advancement Professional, Confidential Staff, Professional & Managerial Staff; Research Associate / Senior Research Associate, Librarian, Unionized (administrative or academic) staff, or a Casual employee, and 
  • Be in good standing and be in active status at the University at the time nominations close 

 

 

What is the nomination deadline?

Nominations close on Thursday,  January 30, 2025.

 

Should I inform the nominee that I wish to nominate them?

Yes, it is recommended that the nominee be informed of the nomination.

What nomination materials must I assemble?

 

  • Completed nomination form that includes a signed endorsement of the Dean (and Chair if applicable).
  • 2-3 page letter from the nominator that:
    • Provides a summary of the project
    • Describes the main outcomes from the project
    • Describes the nature of the team and what makes the collaboration valuable
    • Describes how students were impacted by the team’s project and the number of students impacted
  • One to two letters of support from people in a position able to speak to the impact of the teaching and learning project.

If nominees are successful, their nomination file may be shared with relevant communications teams to support the writing of a story of the nomination.

 

 

 

May I include additional material?

Do not submit more than the required number of documents/letters. Supplementary documents will not be considered.

Who will view the letters of support? Can I have them returned to me?

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.

What if I have not received all necessary documents or letters by the deadline?

It is the responsibility of the nominator to ensure that nomination packages are complete. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered by the Selection Committee.

Additional Information

Nominations should be submitted as one complete PDF with the nomination form by email to the Office of the Vice-President & Provost at awards.provost@utoronto.ca.

It is the responsibility of the nominator to ensure that the nomination package is complete. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered by the Selection Committee.

Resubmissions: You may resubmit nominations once over the course of two (2) consecutive years, provided the project being recognized has occurred within the last 5 years. Each resubmission must be accompanied by a new nomination cover letter.

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