The Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award (OGTA) recognizes the contributions of graduate students to teaching and learning at UC Davis.
Anyone may nominate!
Do you know a graduate student who deserves to be recognized for exemplary teaching? Any member of the campus community having direct experience with the student's teaching may nominate. Complete the nomination form and submit your favorite graduate student teacher for consideration. Undergraduate students are especially encouraged to submit.
A committee that includes faculty and graduate students will be convened by Graduate Studies to review all nominations and select award recipients. In spring quarter, the nominees will be notified whether they have been selected to receive an award. Awardees will receive a small monetary award in recognition of their achievement and contribution.
The award is limited to currently enrolled graduate students who have been employed on this campus as Teaching Assistants and/or Associate In's during an eligible quarter. Previous recipients of this award are not eligible for nomination.
AWARD APPLICATION PROCESS
The OGTA award application process happens in three steps:
- Initial Nomination: The initial nomination is generally submitted by a campus member other than the TA/AI. However, the TA/AI may also self-nominate for this award via this form. Nominations are due March 10, 2023.
- Nominee Submits Full Application: Eligible nominees will be invited via email to submit a full application online. This application will consist of an application form, a teaching philosophy statement, and the teaching evaluation summary for the specified nominated course. Full applications are due April 14, 2023.
- Letter of Recommendation and Letter of Support: As part of the full application process, applicants will be asked to include a letter of recommendation from a designated faculty member. If the applicant was not self-nominated, they will also have the option of including a letter of support from the person who nominated them. All letters of recommendation and support are due by April 14, 2023.
For more details on each step of the process, please see below.
Eligible quarters for the 2022-23 OGTA: Graduate student Teaching Assistants and Associate In’s in courses taught in winter quarter 2021-22, spring quarter 2021-22, summer 2022-23 (session I and II), and fall quarter 2022-23 may be nominated.
Please review the following information carefully. The required information must be completed as described. The final deadline for all initial nominations is March 10, 2023.
Who May Nominate: Any member of the campus community having direct experience with the student’s teaching. Self-nominations are allowed.
Once the initial nomination is submitted, Graduate Studies will contact the nominee and provide them a link to the full application. The nominee will be told who nominated them, as they may request a letter of support from that individual.
After the nomination process, the person who nominated the individual may be contacted to provide additional materials for the full application. See below for further details.
Once nominations have been received, Graduate Studies will reach out to all nominees and invite them to submit a full application. All full applications are due to Graduate Studies by April 14, 2023.
The full application will consist of:
- Basic biographical information
- The quarter and course for which you have been nominated
- A description of your teaching duties in the course for which you have been nominated
- Have you been nominated for the OGTA award previously? If so, when and what course?
- How many quarters have you taught at UC Davis?
- List other courses you have taught or assisted in
- Include any other information regarding courses you have taught that would be helpful to reviewers
- Teaching Philosophy Statement: Prepare an essay describing your teaching philosophy. The essay should be a statement of the philosophy, goals, and methods that guide your teaching. Please describe efforts you have made beyond your normal teaching responsibilities. From your own experiences as a student, please describe the attributes that you think the very best teachers should possess. Format: The essays should be no more than two pages in length, double-spaced, one-inch margins, and 12-point font. Be sure to include your name, department and contact information.
- Teaching Evaluation Summary: You will be asked to upload an official summary of the course evaluations for only the specified nominated course.
Applicants will also be asked to include an email address for the instructor of record for the course for which they have been nominated. Upon submission of the application, the faculty member will receive an email with details on how to submit a Letter of Recommendation.
The applicant may also choose to request one Letter of Support from the individual who nominated them (NOTE: if multiple nominations were submitted, only one person may write a letter of support for the applicant. If the faculty instructor of record was the person who nominated the applicant, their letter of recommendation serves as a letter of support. Information on who nominated the applicant will be provided to them by Graduate Studies). Letters of support are optional and candidates without one will still be reviewed.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact their letter writers well in advance of the application deadline. All letters of recommendation and support are due at the same time as the full application, so we recommend you submit your application well in advance of the deadline to give your letter writers time to submit their materials.
Letters of Recommendation & Support
All applicants are required to have a Letter of Recommendation from the instructor of record for the course for which they have been nominated. During the full application process, the applicant will be asked to provide the email address for their instructor of record. Once their application has been submitted, the application system will send a link to the faculty member with information on how to submit their letter of recommendation. A letter of recommendation is required for a full application to be reviewed.
Applicants also have the option to request a Letter of Support from the individual who nominated them for the award. When they are invited to submit a full application, Graduate Studies will provide the contact information for the individual who nominated them. If multiple nominations are submitted for the same individual, only one letter of support may be requested. If the instructor of record was the person who submitted the nomination, their letter of recommendation will suffice for the letter of support. Once the application has been submitted, the application system will send a link to the requested letter writer with information on how to submit their letter of support. Letters of support are optional but encouraged; applications without one will still be reviewed.
All letters of recommendation and support should be a maximum length of two pages, addressing the individual’s performance in the specific course for which they are nominated and should include:
- Nominee name and graduate program.
- Outstanding qualities that distinguish the candidate.
- Evidence of creativity and extra effort in improving instruction and teaching effectiveness.
- Comments on the nominee’s rapport with students, availability, willingness to hold special help sessions, efforts to stimulate independent thinking, and any other contributions to instruction that deserve special recognition and may be helpful to the selection committee.
- Name of individual writing the nomination letter, department, e-mail address and signature.
- Additional relevant information such as experience with the student in other teaching roles other than the nominated course may be added at the end of the letter.
All letters of recommendation and support must be received by the application deadline of April 14th, 2023. Applicants should contact their letter writers well in advance of the application deadline so they have time to write and submit their letters.
If you have any questions about this award, please contact our Internal Fellowships Team at firstname.lastname@example.org