President's Impact Awards & Academy: Selection Process

What do I need before I can begin?

  • Nominations for the 2024 President’s Impact Awards are now open. The deadline to submit a nomination is  Friday, November 3, 2023.
  • Note the deadline of November 4, 2022 and check with divisional awards offices for earlier internal deadlines


Nominations are open to U of T faculty members, and teams of two or more faculty, who hold full-time academic appointments and whose research has led to significant impact beyond academia. Eligible nominees include tenure-stream, teaching-stream, and clinical faculty and status-only faculty with full-time academic appointments. The primary focus of nominations should be on research impacts that have occurred while the nominee(s) have held appointments at U of T.

Teams of eligible faculty may be nominated for impacts that have emerged from their collaborative research. Nominated team members must include the director(s) or leader(s) of the collaborative research, who will hold the research funds if awarded, and all nominated faculty must have significantly contributed to both the research and impacts. The nominees may represent and receive the award on behalf of a larger team, initiative or collaboration.

Please note that the President’s Impact Awards are not lifetime achievement awards. They recognize demonstrable, sustained research impacts that may result from a single influential contribution or from an ongoing commitment to research translation. The extent of the impact should generally exceed the normal scope and expectations of the nominees’ professional role(s). Research impacts must be measurable, recognizable by others, rooted in scholarship, and realized (not anticipated).

Nominators and Endorsers

The nominator may be a Department Chair, Academic Director, Vice- or Associate-Dean, Research, or Vice-Principal, Research of the nominee’s or team lead's academic unit or division as appropriate. As a rule, nominators are to be one administrative level above nominees.

  • For a multi-department division, the nominator would ideally be the Department Chair
  • For a single-department faculty, the nominator would ideally be the Vice- or Associate-Dean of Research
  • For hospital-affiliated faculty members, the nominator is to be a University of Toronto Department Chair, Academic Director, Vice- or Associate-Dean, Research, or Vice-Principal, Research

To ensure that academic divisions are aware of nominations, all nominations are to be endorsed by a Faculty Dean, Principal, Vice-Principal, Research, or Vice- or Associate-Dean, Research by completing an endorsement form that is uploaded as part of the online nomination. Electronic signatures are permitted.

Academic divisions will determine their own process for soliciting nominations, and there is no limit to the number of nominations endorsed by each division.

Please note that endorsers are to be one level above nominators.

  • For a multi-department division, the endorser would ideally be the Vice-Dean or Vice-Principal, Research
  • If the Vice-Dean or Vice-Principal, Research is a nominator, then the Dean or Principal would be the endorser
  • For a single-department Faculty, the endorser would ideally be the Dean

Submission of Nominations

Nominations must be submitted online by the published deadline. Please see Prepare a Nomination, which outlines the materials that should be included in the nomination dossier and provides access to the online nomination form.

The nominator is responsible for compiling the required documents. Nominators may request guidance from their Divisional Awards Office or the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (OVPRI).

Nominations for the Carolyn Tuohy Impact on Public Policy Award

President’s Impact Award nominations of individual faculty for impacts related to public policy may be simultaneously considered for the Carolyn Tuohy Impact on Public Policy Award, one of the University of Toronto Awards of Excellence, which is adjudicated alongside the President’s Impact Award and may be won concurrently.

To request that a nomination be considered for both awards, nominators can check a box in the online nomination form. No additional materials are necessary, but nominators should note that the Carolyn Tuohy Impact on Public Policy Award selection criteria include “academic excellence as a teacher and scholar”. Therefore, both teaching and scholarship should be addressed in nominations to be considered for both awards.

Selection Committee

Completed nominations will be reviewed by a Selection Committee assembled and chaired by the Associate Vice-President, Research.

The Selection Committee shall be composed of up to six internal U of T members and one or two member(s) from other institutions. The membership of the Committee shall be made up of distinguished researchers and practitioners and shall be as broadly-based and diverse as possible. Past President’s Impact Award Laureates may be invited to serve as internal review committee members.

Selection Criteria and Adjudication

The Selection Committee will evaluate all nominees on the basis of clear and demonstrated evidence of significant impact of their research beyond academia. The following three broad criteria will be considered.

  • Demonstrated, sustained impact(s) of research beyond academia
  • Benefits of the nominated achievements to society
  • Originality, scope and/or uniqueness of research impact(s)

Recognizing the breadth and depth of scholarship at U of T, multiple PIAs may be awarded annually. The Selection Committee will seek over time to achieve a balance across disciplines and types of impact.

U of T recognizes that diversity is essential to the creation of a vibrant intellectual community that allows our researchers to maximize their creativity, contributions, and impact. The President’s Impact Awards are therefore strongly committed to recognizing diversity in research impact and especially welcomes nominations of racialized persons/persons of colour, women, Indigenous/Aboriginal Peoples of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and impact. The Committee will be expected to reinforce standards of rigour, fairness, respect and equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the process.

Employment Equity Survey

As part of our efforts to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion in the selection process, all nominees are asked to ensure they have completed the U of T’s Employment Equity Survey prior to the nomination deadline. Self-identification data is important to the University’s ability to accurately identify barriers to inclusion and develop strategies to eliminate these barriers. Aggregated self-identification data is reviewed ahead of the competition to confirm that the nomination pool reflects the diversity of our faculty.


Unsuccessful nominations are eligible to be submitted for consideration again in the year following their initial nomination. After this, nominees must wait at least two years before resubmission.

A renomination requires a new submission with updated nomination materials. Revising the detailed description and providing updated letters of nomination and support are recommended.


  • Provide guidance on the nomination process
  • Manage the online nomination form and selection process

VPRI Contact


Sarah Carson

Manager, University Awards & Honours
Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (OVPRI)
(416) 978-7905

Other Resources