Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award
Awards of Excellence
The Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award is a fellowship of up to $25,000 awarded annually to a doctoral student who demonstrates outstanding academic and extracurricular leadership. (If the recipient is an international student, the award is increased to fund any tuition differential and individual University Health Insurance Plan premium.)
The selection committee chooses finalists to be interviewed for the award. Finalists who are not selected as the Sedra Scholar will each receive a $1,000 prize in recognition of their achievement, and will be named UTAA Graduate Scholars. The Sedra Scholar and all finalists are honoured at the annual Awards of Excellence ceremony held each spring.
The Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award was created in 2002 in recognition of the remarkable contribution made by Professor Adel S. Sedra to the advancement of the University of Toronto during his nine-year term as Vice-President and Provost. During the period of his leadership, the graduate student experience at the University of Toronto was significantly enhanced by Sedra’s dedication to the University’s goal of becoming one of the world’s best public teaching and research universities. Among his many notable accomplishments, Professor Sedra spearheaded the University’s efforts to provide minimum funding to its full-time doctoral-stream students. It is only fitting that the establishment of a prestigious graduate student award should commemorate Adel Sedra’s profound legacy.
Student candidates may be encouraged to apply for a scholarship, but the committee will not consider applications made on a student's behalf. All scholarship applications must be made directly by the students themselves.
At the time of application, applicants must be registered and in good standing in the second or third year of a doctoral program (third or fourth year of a direct-entry doctoral) at the University of Toronto. The scholarship is not open to students who are pursuing master’s degrees.
Note: If a student transfers from a master’s program to a doctoral program without completing the master’s degree, the commencement of their doctoral program will be from the date of first registration in the master’s program. For example, if the student transferred after their first year of registration into a PhD program, they would now be in year two of a direct-entry PhD program.
- Will have an outstanding academic record and be making exceptional progress in their doctoral program, as demonstrated by academic records, letters of recommendation and other measures of scholarship;
- Should be involved in work that reflects a concerted effort to understand and respond to the changing intellectual landscape in their field of study;
- Should have demonstrated a commitment during their doctoral program to enhancing the student experience of their peers through extracurricular leadership within the University and involvement in the life of the University. Of equal importance will be the candidates' commitment to community outreach and involvement, as demonstrated by extracurricular activities outside of the University; (NOTE: only achievements/contributions during the doctoral program will be considered)
- Must be available to participate in an in-person interview on St. George campus in the winter session as a part of the selection process.
Applications for this year’s award are due by 4:30 pm on Thursday, November 14, 2019.
A complete application package for the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award must include all of the following documents in hardcopy:
- Completed application form
- Curriculum vitae outlining academic achievements, scholarships and awards received, plus publications, work experience, and extracurricular involvement both inside and outside the University.
- Extracurricular experience must be clearly separated into two categories: inside and outside the University.
- Only achievements/contributions during each applicant's doctoral program will be considered. Other achievements will be reviewed but will not be considered.
- Statement of no more than 500 words about each applicant’s future academic and career goals
- Applicants are encouraged to include a few examples of their demonstrated commitment to enhancing the student experience through extracurricular leadership within the University and involvement in the life of the University during their doctoral program.
- Original or certified/validated copies of up-to-date official transcripts from master’s and doctoral level studies. (see further details in “What Other Application Details Should I Keep in Mind?” below)
- Three or four supporting letters of recommendation from the following list of people in signed and sealed envelopes. (see further details in “What Other Application Details Should I Keep in Mind?” below)
- One (1) letter of recommendation from the thesis supervisor or supervisory committee member who can comment on the applicant’s academic progress
- One (1) letter of recommendation from a member of the teaching staff (of the department/s in which the applicant is registered) who can comment on the student’s academic progress and/or involvement in university life
- Up to two (2) additional letters of recommendation that attest to the student’s academic and extracurricular leadership
Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. All materials must be submitted in English.
Certification/validation of copies of up-to-date official transcripts may be performed by the graduate unit.
- If the graduate unit is not able to certify/validate a transcript, it is each applicant’s responsibility to obtain and provide within their application package an original official transcript that was issued by the appropriate institution.
- Grading legends must be provided with every transcript.
- Copies of unofficial transcripts will not be accepted.
- Transcripts should not be mailed or emailed to the Graduate Awards Office.
Letters of Recommendation
Hardcopy letters of recommendation should be collected by each applicant in signed and sealed envelopes received directly from the referees.
- The letters should be on institutional letterhead, signed, and the name and contact information of each referee must be clearly stated on the letter.
- There is no particular formatting standard or page limit but each letter must be written specifically for the Sedra competition and should be addressed to the "SGS Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award Committee".
- A letter of support signed by multiple individuals will count as one letter towards the total.
- Referees (particularly those who are overseas) may email their letters as a PDF attachment directly to firstname.lastname@example.org by the application deadline.
- Referees' letters must remain confidential and not be reviewed by applicants.
Note: The letter of recommendation from a "member of the teaching staff" should be from a faculty member or instructor of the applicant's graduate unit who can comment on the student's academic progress and/or involvement in university life.
Applicants must submit their complete application package in hardcopy to the following location by the application deadline:
Graduate Awards Office, 2nd floor reception
School of Graduate Studies
University of Toronto
63 St. George Street
Receipt of the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award may be deferred for one year in the event that a student designated as an Adel Sedra Scholar receives additional scholarships or awards which, as a condition of acceptance, place a limit on the total amount of scholarship support that the student may receive. Interest earned on the deferred award will remain part of the capital fund from which the scholarship is generated.
Final receipt of the Sedra Award funds will be contingent upon the Sedra Scholar’s continuing study at the University of Toronto. If, after the scholarship has been deferred, the designated Sedra Scholar chooses not to pursue further studies, a $2,000 prize will be awarded and the student's name will remain on record as the recipient of the award for the year specified. The balance of the money will remain as part of the capital fund from which the scholarship is generated.
Additional documents/letters should not be submitted.
Supplementary documents will not be considered.
All letters of recommendation 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. Once submitted, all application materials become property of University Advancement and cannot be returned to the applicant.
It is each applicant’s responsibility to ensure that a complete application package in hardcopy is submitted by the deadline.
Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.
Interviews are held for the finalists. Applicants who are not selected to be interviewed will be notified by the Graduate Awards Office in late January.
Candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by a member of the Selection Committee who will provide further details of the process. The Selection Committee will provide a minimum of one week’s notice of the interview date.
Candidates who are interviewed as Sedra finalists but are not selected as the Sedra Scholar will each receive a $1,000 prize in recognition of their achievement, and be named UTAA Graduate Scholars. The Sedra Scholar and finalists will be honoured at the annual Awards of Excellence ceremony held each spring.
Graduate Awards Officer (Internal)
School of Graduate Studies