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30 May 2018

CAGS’ Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentorship

Dr. Suning Wang, Department of Chemistry at Queens University, has won the first Canadian Association for Graduate Studies Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentorship.

CAGS’ President Susan Porter stated: “There were many extraordinary nominees for this award, and the competition was extremely difficult to adjudicate. Dr. Wang’s record and the sincere gratitude and enthusiasm of your students for the mentorship you provided them was truly inspiring and stood out as exemplary. CAGS is delighted to have Dr. Wang serve as the inaugural role model for this award!”

The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies instituted this award as an indication of the high value we place on graduate mentorship. In highlighting and celebrating mentors who exemplify all that is best in this form of pedagogy, we also hope to inspire others to reach that level of achievement.


Please see a video clip of Dr. Wang discussing her philosophy of mentoring.

See the first of a series of mentor profiles that CAGS will post throughout the coming months here (pdf)

This award recognizes graduate faculty members with a record of excellent mentorship of graduate students under their supervision.


  • Certificate of Recognition from CAGS awarded at annual meeting
  • Profile on CAGS website
  • Registration at next Annual Meeting of CAGS

CAGS will profile the winner and 11 selected nominees per year (one a month) on the CAGS website.

Selection Committee

CAGS Board of Directors will review nominations and select the winner of the CAGS’ Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentorship and identify 11 nominees to be profiled by CAGS. The winner and selected nominees will be announced at the end of March each year


Outstanding mentorship is judged on the supervisor’s demonstrated ability to:

  • inspire, guide and challenge supervisees to achieve excellence in scholarship;
  • provide a supportive environment that stimulates creativity, debate, engagement and dialogue and progression toward timely completion;
  • respond to the needs of their students and their career/future aspirations;
  • encourage students to pursue opportunities to share and disseminate their research and scholarly activities within and beyond academia; and 
  • support supervisees in developing their academic and professional skills and transitioning beyond graduate studies.


To be eligible for this award the nominee must:

  • hold a full-time faculty appointment at the rank of associate or full professor,
  • demonstrate a sustained record of graduate supervision at the current institution (no less than 7 years),
  • be currently active as a graduate supervisor,
  • provide a record of graduate students supervised (see details below), and
  • not be a prior winner of the CAGS Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentorship.

Who can nominate 

Nominations must be submitted by universities’ Faculty of Graduate Studies (or equivalent). Faculties of Graduate Studies shall use their own process for soliciting nominations from faculty members, program directors or graduate students (no self- nominations) and for selecting the nomination to be submitted to CAGS.

Nomination Information

A nomination package must include:

  1. A letter of nomination outlining the reasons for the nomination based on the stated criteria (maximum of two pages)
  2. The nominee's abbreviated CV (max. eight pages) including a list of all graduate students (past and current) supervised by the nominee (name, degree, thesis title, program start and end date, current position if known) and any awards or special recognitions received by supervisees.
  3. Two to five letters of support from current and/or former students (letters can be signed by more than one student/former student)


Complete nomination packages must be submitted electronically in a single file with materials ordered as listed above to info@cags.ca, Please include CAGS mentorship award in the subject line. Nomination submissions must be timestamped no later than 5:00 pm, February 15th, annually.