Research Excellence Award

Nominate someone for the Research Excellence Award.

The Research Excellence Award is presented each year to a UFV faculty member whose research has demonstrates innovation, mentorship, academic impact, and an interface of teaching and research.

2017 UFV Research Excellence Award Recipient

Dr. Miriam Nichols, English 

Dr. Miriam Nichols is this year's recipient of the UFV Research Excellence Award. Dr. Nichols has been an English literature professor at UFV for 23 years, helping to incorporate research into her teaching duties and allowing students the opportunity to get excited about research while fostering their skills. 

Dr. Nichols received her BA in English with honours at Simon Fraser University, and her PhD in English at York University. Her PhD majored in Contemporary literature, American, Canadian and British, and minored in English Renaissance. She was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship award, as well as a SSHRC grant for $55,000.00 from 2008-2012 for her extensive biography of Robin Blaser. 

Dr. Nichols has been a member of the prestigious Bloomsbury Press editorial board for two years, and has recently been asked to review and report on a book in manuscript on the subject of the avant-garde poet Clark Coolidge. At UFV, Miriam has served as a reliable member of several key committees, helping to undertake some complicated program changes, assist on the Master's Development Committee, chairing the Special Events committee this year, and working within the Canadian Studies working group to name a few.

Miriam's main ongoing project is her full-length biography of the poet Robin Blaser, who was born in the United States and moved to Vancouver in the 1960s, residing there until his death in 2009. Miriam has worked on several books about Blaser, including Even on Sunday, a collection of expository essays about his work; Holy Forest, the Collected Poems of Robin Blaser; The Fire: Collected Essays of Robin Blaser; and Astonishments, an edited collection of talks and lectures given by Blaser. In conjunction with the biography of Robin Blaser, Miriam has been publishing short excerpts from the manuscript in the online journal Dispatches.

It is her ongoing work on the Blaser biography that Miriam has used to involve her students in research and learn the valuable skills related to research. Her grant funding allowed her to hire several students to sort through 65 moving boxes worth of archival material related to Blaser, sorting and annotating them. Nichols recalls, "They read all those documents, picking out what they thought would be important to my work, made extensive notes, and organized it all. The level of sophistication of their research abilities was improved significantly through this experience. I can't understate the value of the students and my extreme gratitude to them for the years of work."

‌Past Research Excellence award recipients

2016 Recipient

Dr. Derek Harnett, Physics 

2015 Recipient

Dr. Lenore Newman, Canada Research Chair in Food Security and the Environment, Director, Agriurban Research Centre, Associate Professor, Geography and the Environment 

2014 Recipient

‌Dr. Michael Gaetz, Kinesiology and Physical Education

2013 Recipient

Dr. Noham Weinberg, Chemistry

2012 Recipient

Dr. Olav Lian, Geography and the Environment

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