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The Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award

Eligibility and Selection Criteria | Application Procedures | Conditions and Additional Notes

Nomination period is closed.

The University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA) is pleased to accept applications for the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award. One fellowship of up to $25,000 is awarded annually to a graduate student who demonstrates outstanding academic and extracurricular leadership.* The selection committee will choose a group of finalists to be interviewed. Candidates who are interviewed as Sedra finalists, but not selected as the Sedra scholar may receive a $1,000 honorarium in recognition of their achievement. The Sedra scholar and all finalists will be honoured at the Awards of Excellence ceremony in the Spring.

*If the recipient is an international student, the award will be increased to fund the tuition differential and individual UHIP premium.

This award was created in 2002 in recognition of the remarkable contribution made by Professor Adel S. Sedra to the advancement of the University of Toronto during his nine-year term as Vice-President and Provost. During the period of his leadership, the graduate student experience at the University of Toronto was significantly enhanced by Sedra’s dedication to the University’s goal of becoming one of the world’s best public teaching and research universities. Among his many notable accomplishments, Professor Sedra spearheaded the University’s current funding guarantee for graduate students, which ensures that every doctoral-stream student receives at least a minimum package of $12,000 plus tuition. It is only fitting that the establishment of a prestigious graduate student award should commemorate Adel Sedra’s profound legacy.

Award applicants must be registered and in good standing in their second or third year of a doctoral programme (third or fourth year of a direct-entry PhD) at the University of Toronto at the time of nomination.

Please note: for transfers from a Master’s to a PhD program, students carry their year of study over from the Master’s to the PhD, and are transferred into the direct-entry PhD.

The successful candidate: 

  • Will have an outstanding academic record and will be making exceptional progress in his/her graduate research program, as demonstrated by academic records, letters of recommendation and other measures of scholarship 

  • Should be involved in work that reflects a concerted effort to understand and respond to the changing intellectual landscape in his/her field of study 

  • Should have demonstrated a commitment to enhancing the student experience of his/her peers through extracurricular leadership within the University and involvement in the life of the University. Of equal importance will be the candidate’s commitment to community outreach and involvement, as demonstrated by extracurricular activities outside of the University


A complete application package must include the following:

  • Completed application form (form available in Fall)
  • Curriculum vitae outlining academic achievements, scholarships and awards received, plus publications, work experience, and extracurricular involvement both inside and outside the University. Extracurricular experience should be clearly separated into two categories: inside and outside the University. (NOTE: only PhD achievements/contributions will be considered. Other achievements will be reviewed but will not be considered)
  • Statement of no more than 500 words about the applicant’s future academic and career goals
  • Official transcript(s). All graduate transcripts should be provided for both Master's and PhD level studies. An undergraduate transcript is not required except in the case of a direct entry PhD.
  • Up to four (4) supporting letters of recommendation from the following list of people. A maximum of four (4) letters of recommendation will be considered by the Sedra Award Committee. All letters from this list should be typed rather than handwritten:
      1. Thesis supervisor or supervisory committee member who can comment on the applicant’s academic progress
      2. Member of the teaching staff (of the department/s in which the applicant is registered) who can comment on the student’s academic progress and/or involvement in university life
      3. Up to two (2) additional letters of recommendation that attest to the student’s academic and extracurricular leadership


In the event that a student designated as an Adel Sedra scholar receives additional scholarships or awards which, as a condition of acceptance, place a limit on the total amount of scholarship support that a student may receive: receipt of the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award could be deferred for one year. Final receipt of the Sedra Award funds will be contingent upon the Sedra scholar’s continuing study at the University of Toronto. Interest earned on the deferred award will remain part of the capital fund from which the scholarship is generated. If, after the scholarship has been deferred, the designated Sedra scholar chooses not to pursue further studies, a $2,000 prize will be awarded and his/her name will remain on record as the recipient of the award for the year specified. Balance of the money will remain as part of the capital fund from which the scholarship is generated.


  • All letters of recommendation are confidential and will only be viewed by Selection Committee members.
  • Members of other divisions who wish to view the letters for publicity or information purposes must first obtain permission from the individuals who wrote the letters.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that letters of recommendation are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered by the Selection Committee.
  • The awards administrator will notify students whose application packages are incomplete.
  • Please do not submit more than the required number of documents/letters, as outlined in the individual award requirements. Supplementary documents will not be considered.
  • It is recommended that all documents and letters be typed rather than handwritten.
  • For additional information, please email


The deadline for nominations is 4 pm, Friday, December 6, 2013.