What is the Excellence in Teaching Award? 

The Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) is soliciting nominations for the Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition of graduate students who exemplify excellence in the teaching/learning mission of their university. Two awards have been created to recognize the importance of excellence in teaching and mentoring as a component of graduate education and the preparation of graduate students for future service as college and university faculty. One award will be given to a doctoral student and one to a master’s student.

Selection criteria is based on the national guidelines. Up to 100 points are allocated as follows:

  • Letter of support from the Department Chair/Head (5 points)
  • Statement of Teaching Philosophy (15 points)
  • Evidence of instructional design for improved student learning (25 points)
  • Video clip of “Teaching in Action” (25 points)
  • Evidence of Effective Student/Colleague Mentoring (10 points)
  • Evidence of Professional Development (25 points)

The selected nominees (one Master's student and one doctoral student) will be featured on the Graduate School Fellowships award page, and their nominations will be forwarded to the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools’ (MAGS) 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award competition.

The national MAGS winner will receive a citation and a $750 honorarium that will be presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) in April.

Who Is Eligible? 

Eligible nominees must be registered in the University of Minnesota Graduate School during the 2021-22 academic year (September to May), and must have a graduate student teaching appointment.

The deadline for program nominations is noon (CST), Friday, December 10, 2021.

Further Information

For more information about internal review and nomination procedures, please contact your Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or designated program support staff. If you have additional questions, contact the Graduate School Fellowship Office.

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How Do I Apply?

Application Instructions

Each eligible graduate program may submit one nomination for a masters student, and one nomination for a doctoral student. Each nomination should be submitted as a single PDF, sent to the Graduate School Fellowship Office. If submitting two nominations, two separate PDFs should be attached. An email response will be sent acknowledging receipt of nomination(s).

Letter of Support from the Department Chair or Head

  • Include description of any departmental honors awarded to the student for excellence in teaching.

Current Curriculum Vitae

Nominee’s Teaching Portfolio: maximum of six pages double spaced, 12-point font, and must include the following components (a-f ) as headers:

a.) Teaching Statement Philosophy

b.) Evidence of Instructional Design, Innovation, and Delivery, Course Management, and Student Learning

c.) Teaching in Action video

  • Electronic link to YouTube video (see instructions)
  • 10 minute maximum
  • A variety of teaching settings may be used for the video including but not limited to lecture, facilitated discussion, lab, etc. as appropriate to the course; focus is on the quality of teaching/learning, e.g. student engagement, enthusiasm, and knowledge of subject matter, rather than expertise in creating the video

d.) Evidence of Effective Student/Colleague Mentoring

  • Describe your experience with mentoring students outside of the classroom, whether that be related to the courses you teach or in other settings
  • Additionally, discuss any experience you have with mentoring your peers or colleagues in the context of teaching

e.) Evidence of Professional Development

  • Explain how you have used professional development opportunities to grow in your teaching excellence
  • If appropriate, how have you aligned professional development in the feedback you have received on your teaching?