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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 the 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.

Who is Adel S. Sedra?

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.

Can I nominate a student for the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award?

You may encourage a student candidate 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.

I'm a student, am I eligible for the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award?

Award applicants must be registered and in good standing in their second or third year of a doctoral programme (third or fourth year of a direct-entry doctoral) at the University of Toronto at the time of nomination. The scholarship is not open to students pursuing their master’s degrees.

Please note: If a student transfers from a master’s program to a doctoral program without completing the master’s degree, the commencement of the doctoral program will be from the date of first registration in the master’s program. For example, if you transferred after your first year of registration into your PhD program you would be in year two of a direct entry PhD program.

The successful candidate:

  • 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 candidate’s commitment to community outreach and involvement, as demonstrated by extracurricular activities outside of the University.
What is the application deadline?

Applications for this year’s award are due by 4:30 pm on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.

What application materials must I assemble?

A complete application package for the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award must include all of the following documents in hardcopy:

  • Completed nomination 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 should be clearly separated into two categories: inside and outside the University. (NOTE: only doctoral achievements/contributions will be considered. Other achievements will be reviewed but will not be considered)
  • Statement of no more than 500 words about the applicant’s future academic and career goals
  • Original or certified/validated copies of up-to-date official transcripts from master’s and doctoral level studies. Direct-entry doctoral students must also supply original or certified/validated copies of their official undergraduate transcripts. (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)
    1. Thesis supervisor or supervisory committee member who can comment on the applicant’s academic progress
    2. 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
    3. Up to two (2) additional letters of recommendation that attest to the student’s academic and extracurricular leadership
What other application details should I keep in mind?

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.

 

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. 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 tara.lock@utoronto.ca by the application deadline.

 

All materials must be submitted in English.

 

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Where do I send my application package?

Applicants must submit their complete hardcopy application package to the Graduate Awards Office by the application deadline (63 St. George Street, 2nd floor reception).

What are the conditions of fulfillment of the Sedra Award?

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 a student may receive, receipt of the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award could be deferred for one year. Final receipt of the Sedra Award funds will be contingent upon the Sedra scholar’s continuing study at the University of Toronto. Interest earned on the deferred award will remain part of the capital fund from which the scholarship is generated. 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.

May I include additional material in my application?

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

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

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.

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

It is each applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all of the following documents are provided to the Graduate Awards Office in hardcopy by the application deadline:

 

  • Application form, CV, statement
  • Original or certified/validated copies of up-to-date official transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation in signed and sealed envelopes

 

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Does the selection process include interviews?

Yes, interviews are held for 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.

Whom should I contact if I need further information?

Please contact:

 

Tara Lock
Graduate Awards Officer (Internal)
Graduate Awards Office
tara.lock@utoronto.ca
(416) 978-2386

 

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