Governor General’s Gold Medals
- Award Category: Completion Awards, Doctoral Awards, International Awards, Master's Awards
- Student Deadline : Date set by graduate unit
- Application Dates : Winter
- Level of Study : Doctoral, Master’s
- Required Legal Status : Domestic / International
The Office of the Governor General annually awards Gold Academic Medals to students who achieve the highest academic standing at the graduate level. The assessment of highest academic standing includes an examination of the following:
- Academic performance in degree courses (first class average);
- Evaluation of the thesis and the thesis defense; and
- Originality and significance of the research.
Three (3) gold medals are available at the University of Toronto.
One medal will be awarded to a candidate from Division I or II; one medal will be awarded to a candidate from Division III or IV; the third medal will be awarded to an outstanding candidate from any division. The medals will receive a Gold Academic Medal and personalized certificate signed by the Governor General of Canada
NEW: All nominees for the GG Gold Medals will automatically be assessed for eligibility by the Graduate Awards Office, with recipients/nominees selected by the SGS Awards Committee for the following awards:
- Donna Hayden Memorial Fellowship – one award of $10,000 to a top female domestic graduate student registered in Engineering or Dept of Computer Science with financial need.
- Chorafas Prize – two awards of $5,000 to a graduating doctoral student age 32 or under in engineering sciences, medicine and the natural sciences, completing research that impacts humanity.
- CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards – two nominees to Council of Graduate Schools for two $2,000 prizes for doctoral dissertations making significant contributions to the fields of biology and life sciences or humanities and fine arts. Fields of study awarded rotate every other year.
- NAGS Master’s Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Awards – two nominees to Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS) for $1,000 prize for outstanding master’s thesis (Arts & Humanities) or doctoral dissertations (Social Sciences & Education). Fields of study awarded rotate every five years.
- Have achieved the highest academic standing at the graduate level
- Have graduated or will graduate at one of the following convocations:
- November 2022
- March 2023 (in absentia)
- June 2023
Note: Students must submit their final thesis by April 21, 2023 to be eligible to graduate at the June Convocation.
Students interested in being nominated should contact their home graduate unit to inquire about the unit’s nomination process and their established deadline.
Each graduate unit is invited to nominate their top student or recent graduate, either at the master’s (course based or research stream) or doctoral level, for the GG Gold Medals (i.e., 1 nomination per graduate unit). All nominees will automatically be assessed for eligibility for the other awards listed above.
- To encourage nominees eligible for the Donna Hayden Memorial Fellowship, if the unit’s top nominee is male, graduate units in engineering or computer science may submit one additional nominee, a female domestic student with financial need, to be considered for the Donna Hayden Fellowship only. Please ask this nominee to complete the SGS Financial Need Assessment Form to demonstrate financial need, and submit the completed form along with nomination package.
- To encourage nominees eligible for the NAGS Master’s Thesis Award, if the unit’s top nominee is a doctoral student, graduate units in Arts & Humanities may submit one additional nominee with a master’s thesis for the NAGS Master’s Thesis Award only.
The complete nomination package will consist of one PDF file containing the following documents:
- A nomination letter (on letterhead, signed and dated), preferably from the Department Chair or Graduate Coordinator, describing the reasons for the nomination and why the candidate should be recognized for their outstanding scholastic achievements. Using strong and positive language, this letter should focus on:
- The nominee’s outstanding level of achievement compared to other students in the same program, including information relevant to the field of study, degree or culture of the department (e.g., publishing norms, degree requirements, grading practices at specific international universities, unusual accomplishments) that would otherwise not be known outside the field of study; and
- Factors used to determine why the student is deserving of this award, clearly articulating the excellence of the work and how it makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline.
- Current graduate transcript(s) (ACORN/ROSI printouts are acceptable);
- Up-to-date Curriculum Vitae (no page limit), including professional background, publications, presentations, internships, and awards;
For research thesis/dissertation nominations (not required for course-based master’s):
- Two original letters of recommendation (signed and on letterhead) evaluating the quality, and describing how the dissertation represents original work which makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. It is recommended that these letters also communicate the nominee’s outstanding level of achievement in research compared to other students in the same program or whom the referee has encountered in the past. The letters are to be written by:
a) The nominee’s thesis/dissertation advisor/supervisor
b) A member of the nominee’s thesis/dissertation committee;
- A 300 word lay-abstract written by the candidate in non-technical language.Appendices containing non-textual material, such as charts or tables, are not required (committee members will not be reviewing the appended items
- A statement written by the candidate clearly addressing how the research represents original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline and where applicable benefit humanity (max. 1 page, single-spaced);
- For doctoral nominations only: A copy of the external examiner’s pre-defence report signed and dated by the examiner (or authenticated upon submission to SGS).
Contacts & Resources
If you have questions about this competition, please refer to the SGS Awards website or contact:
Graduate Awards Office
School of Graduate Studies