Research Excellence Award

The Board of Governors and the Senate recognize academic excellence in research, teaching, and other scholarly activities that support student learning and enrich educational programs at UFV.

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.

Research Excellence Award nomination packages for 2018 will be available shortly.

For more information email

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

Research Excellence Award Nomination Process 2018

Nominate Someone Deserving

UFV Research Excellence Awards are presented annually to recognize individuals for excellent research and the significant role research plays in enriching student learning experiences, which is implicit in the mission statement for UFV.

Individuals eligible for nomination include all UFV “B” faculty, including lab instructors, who have completed their probationary period, or other instructors who have a cumulative equivalent of two (2) years teaching time at UFV.

Award winners receive a plaque with the award recipient’s name and the year on it, a framed certificate, as well as a research grant of $2,500. The grant will be administered by the university and accessible for a maximum of two years.

Nomination packages should be compiled and organized formally for submission. It is the responsibility of the nominator to collect all required documentation and deliver it to the Secretariat office before January 12, 2018.

Who is eligible?

All UFV “B” faculty, including lab instructors, who have completed their probationary period, or other instructors who have a cumulative equivalent of two (2) years teaching time.

Those nominees who have been nominated in the past two years and did not receive the award are automatically considered as candidates for the Research Excellence Award. Nominators will be invited to let the nomination stand as submitted, let the nomination stand and provide a brief update, or withdraw the nomination upon the nominee’s request.

Those who have won the award cannot be nominated again for five (5) years. Previous nominees who have not been selected may be nominated in subsequent years by submitting a full, updated nomination package.

Who can make a nomination?

UFV “B” faculty, sessional faculty, or university administrators, but not a member of the REA Selection Committee. Nobody may nominate themselves for the award.

Nominations must be for individual faculty only, not for a group.

How can I nominate?

1 - Check the eligibility of your nominee

Review the selection criteria for the UFV Research Excellence Award listed above

2 – Prepare your nomination package

Nomination packages should include the following:

  • A letter from the nominator laying out the nominee’s broader research/creative program over the last five (5) years and highlighting the nominee’s outstanding creative research achievements during that period
  • Two letters from recognized scholars who specialize in the same or a similar field of research/creative endeavour as that of the nominee and who can speak to the quality and significance of the nominee’s work in the field
  • Up to two additional letters from a non-academic source
  • A copy of the nominee’s current curriculum vitae, highlighting their research/creative productivity over the previous five (5) years, and not exceeding five (5) pages
  • Consent form signed by the nominee
  • Additional relevant documentation supporting the nominee (optional)


3 – Complete the nomination package and consent forms

If you would like to nominate an eligible individual, please review and complete the 2018 UFV REA Nomination Package

4 – Submit your nomination

The nomination package should include all documents listed in step 2, compiled and organized formally for submission. It is the responsibility of the originator of the nomination to collect all the documentation from the nominee and deliver it to the Secretariat office by January 12, 2018.

Please submit completed nomination packages, one hard copy and one electronic copy, to:, Secretariat office, Abbotsford Campus, room B303.

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