Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research and Teaching Awards

Pilot plan launching October 2021


The University of Calgary Research and Teaching Awards Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Pilot Plan was developed to embed a foundational commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the identification and nomination of candidates for external research and teaching excellence awards. 

The impetus for this approach is grounded in a significant and growing body of research, which has established the many ways in which equity, diversity and inclusion are integral to excellence in the 21st-century university. This research demonstrates that diversity makes us smarter, improves problem-solving enhances decision-making fuels creativity and drives innovation. Diverse and inclusive environments contribute to a more socially diverse academic and staff workforce, higher retention rates of faculty and improved collective research and teaching impact. 

The intended audience includes faculty members who recruit, nominate, sponsor, mentor, and evaluate their peers for external awards, as well as senior institutional leadership, award committee members and staff who support these efforts.

Two documents are available for you to download for review:

Next Steps: October 2021–April 2022

  1. The pilot plan will undergo a broad consultation on the plan during the 2021-2022 academic year, seeking feedback from multiple committees and groups across campus
  2. Faculties will begin to implement the principles and practices described in the plan and provide feedback to both the drafting committee and the Research Awards Steering Committee

If you have feedback that you would like to send outside of a planned faculty session, please email the drafting committee or fill out the feedback form

Plan development team

The Pilot plan was developed collaboratively, with leadership from Dr. Malinda Smith, PhD, Vice-Provost (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) and Associate Vice-President (Research - EDI); Dr. Leslie Reid, PhD, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning); and Dr. Robert I. Thompson, PhD, Associate Vice-President (Research).

The Drafting Committee drew its membership from groups across campus with expertise in EDI issues and awards. 


If you have questions, please review the FAQ on this page. If you require additional information, please contact the drafting committee or fill out the feedback form


The overarching objective of this plan is to advance equity, diversity and inclusion in the research and teaching award portfolios at the University of Calgary through the following actions:


Identify and address barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion in current research and teaching awards for talent identification, nomination and selection processes


Identify practices that increase opportunities, and advance equity, diversity and inclusion in research and teaching award nominations, selection, and related processes


Establish a culture of inclusive excellence, and recognition that is equitable and inclusive of equity-deserving groups and diverse scholarly disciplines


Identify supports and resources required to implement the plan

Framework and guidance

In the short-term, this plan will provide a framework and guidance to enable the university’s faculties and central administrative offices to:


Increase the diversity of our pool of nominees for external research and teaching awards, to be reflective of the diversity on our campus and inclusive of all equity-deserving groups


Develop and incorporate inclusive practices in the identification of nominees for external teaching and research awards


Work with the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Institutional Analysis to access data on faculty members and equity-deserving groups that can be combined with research and teaching awards data to establish targets and track progress on objectives

Drafting Committee


  • Malinda Smith - Vice-Provost (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion), Associate Vice-President (Research  - EDI)
  • Leslie Reid - Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning)
  • Robert Thompson - Associate Vice-President (Research)

Support Staff

  • Pamela Hyde - Senior Specialist, Strategic Marketing & Communications, Office of the Vice-President (Research)
  • Anna LeMarquand - Specialist, Research Grants and Awards, Research Services Office
  • Erin O’Toole - Specialist, Research Awards and Chairs, Research Services Office
  • Amber Bedard - Manager, Indigenous Research Support Team
  • Laleh Behjat - Professor, Department of Electrical and Software Engineering; NSERC Women in Science and Engineering Chair (Prairie Region), Schulich School of Engineering
  • Fiona Clement - Associate Professor and Department Head, Community Health Sciences
  • Jaya Dixit - Specialist, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Research Services Office
  • Kirsten Exall - Director, Institutional Programs Division, Research Services Office
  • Natasha Kenny - Senior Director, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning
  • Tiago Lier - Director, Grants, Awards, and Ethics, Research Services Office
  • Mary Grantham O’Brien - Professor, School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Culture, Faculty of Arts
  • Kinga Olszewska - Senior Research Advisor, Faculty of Arts
  • Sylvie Roy - Professor and Associate Dean (Research), Werklund School of Education
  • Shirley Steinberg - Professor, Werklund School of Education
  • Marc Strous - Professor, Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science

“When proactive measures are taken to identify and remove systemic barriers and biases and to increase accountability, more diverse cohorts of excellent researchers [and teachers] are nominated…. The bottom line is there is no antagonism between diversity and excellence.”

Malinda S. Smith, PhD, LLD (Hons) et al., 2019

Campus landmark

Submit your questions or feedback

We welcome questions or feedback on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research and Teaching Awards pilot plan. We will be revising the plan based on consultation and feedback from the campus community iteratively throughout the 2021-22 academic year.

Submit feedback