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A dossier comprises seven documents, which should be compiled as a single PDF document and uploaded to the nomination form.

  1. A cover letter from the nominator
  2. Citation (maximum 70 words)
  3. Detailed Appraisal (maximum 1200 words)
  4. Candidate’s Statement (maximum 500 words)
  5. Two letters of reference (maximum 750 words)
  6. A brief biography of each referee (maximum 250 words)
  7. A CV (maximum 10 pages)

A Cover Letter from the Primary Nominator

The nominator must, except in the case of an institutional nomination, be a Member of the College or a Fellow of the Society. Where the nomination is made by an Institutional Member, the Primary Nominator shall be the President or CEO of the university or organization. 

The letter from a Primary Nominator should introduce the nomination. It is expected that the letter will be about one page in length, detailing the highlights of the candidate’s career, illustrating how the candidate meets the criteria, and explains whether the candidate has experienced a career interruption. The letter should list the names of the referees whose letters are attached to the nomination, with a brief indication of why they have been selected. It is important to append a brief biography (250 words maximum) of each referee as the last page of the referee letter. If the referee has a website it is also helpful to provide a link.

The dossier will be reviewed by individuals outside of the candidate's direct field of study. It would be helpful for the cover letter to define the usual level of publications and/or grants for the candidate's field of study. 

The cover letter should not repeat information in the detailed appraisal of the nominee; nor should it be cast as an additional letter of reference. Committees do not take into account statements of a referential character contained in letters of presentation. 

Citation (Maximum 70 words)

Citations will have a maximum length of 70 words. The citation should concentrate on the candidate’s original contributions to research and scholarship and should be written so that it can be understood by non-specialists. The citation normally does not play a role in the assessment of a nomination by the selection committee since the information it contains will be repeated in the detailed assessment. While there is no standard form for citations, the citation should include at least the basic information in the following order: full name of the nominee; institutional affiliation (if any); and discipline or artistic field.

Detailed Appraisal (Maximum 1200 words)

The detailed appraisal is the nominator’s opportunity to present a narrative of the candidate’s career in a manner that clearly indicates how the candidate meets the statutory criteria for election and why the candidate is deserving of election. The detailed appraisal is not a reference and therefore should not contain information about how the nominator has come to know the candidate. Normally the detailed appraisal will repeat any substantive information about the nominee’s achievements that appears in the citation. The appraisal should be as technical as is necessary to indicate the candidate’s contributions, but should not be so technical that members of the Selection Committee from other disciplines are unable to make a confident assessment of the candidate’s work. It is important that the detailed appraisal be written in non-technical language that can be understood by all members of the relevant Division. The detailed appraisal should explicitly note how and why the work of the candidate is original and significant. Notice of awards and prizes for scholarship is helpful in establishing impact. The appraisal should also advert to the national and international impact of the candidate’s career and the reputation the candidate has acquired. For example, mention should be made of election to significant international scholarly bodies, publication in top-rated international and foreign journals, translation of technical papers or other materials into foreign languages, invitations to give named lectureships at foreign universities, service on scientific advisory panels of leading international agencies and NGOs, and like indicia (such as, in certain disciplines, citation indexes) of impact and reputation.

Candidate's Statement (Maximum 500 words)

As membership in the College is not solely honorific, a 500-word statement by the candidate reflecting on how her or his work would contribute to the College during the seven-year term is required. The College of New Scholars is Canada's first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership. Beyond the honorific, the College is also an organization of scientists, artists, researchers in the humanities, and social scientists that strives to overcome disciplinary and academic boundaries in the common pursuit of knowledge. It is this mix of disciplines, diversity, creativity and excellence and that the College embodies and seeks to harness as we address the challenges of our world today. The College seeks to participate in our society at various levels, through engagement with government, through our communities and through our schools from K-12 and beyond. We invite candidates to state how they envision what they would personally and/or academically bring to the College at some point during their seven-year mandate.

Candidates may explain the impact their work has had on their community, whether it be their local community, the community where they perform their research, or their academic community. Candidates may explain how the cross-disciplinary nature of their work allows them to engage with others from outside their field and will contribute to the College’s diverse and interdisciplinary programming. Candidates may reflect on their own goals to be engaged in different activities the College strives to undertake, whether it be advising the public on matters of importance to the country or engaging with local/regional/international communities on matters of importance to them.

We want candidates to consider ways in which they will contribute to the College at some point during their term. Their participation could consist of committee work, a performance, an exhibition, collaborative research, public-academic research, among many other possibilities available through the unique composition of the College and its mandate.

Two Letters of Reference (Maximum 750 words each)

A good letter of reference will usually address: (a) the referee’s direct and personal knowledge of the candidate and his or her work; (b) the originality, significance and impact of the candidate’s career; (c) the national and international reputation of the candidate; and (d) other relevant information that indicates the substantial contributions made by the candidate to the Arts, the Humanities, the Social Sciences or the Sciences.  

The volume of publications accumulated over a lengthy career is less important than the impact that even a small number of publications may have had. The referee’s task is to indicate what the impact of the nominee’s scholarship has been.

Good letters of reference tend to be “fact heavy.” Assertions about quality of work should be backed up by reference to some objective source that can confirm the assertion. Statements such as, for example, “won Award X for best publication in Y field,” or “won Award as best article of the year published in journal Z,” or “has been cited 400 times” are confirmatory of quality. 

When speaking about impact, it is helpful to indicate in what way the candidate’s work has made a practical or theoretical impact in the discipline in question. Statements such as, for example, “developed a new theory which resulted in XXX,” or “published a critique of XYZ that stimulated a great debate in ABC,” or “developed a product that changed the way XYZ” are helpful in situating the nominee’s impact. 

External measures such as citation indexes should also be mentioned in letters if they are current measures in the discipline in question. A common mistake of referees is to analogize the process to tenure or promotion process. General statements like “is a great teacher,” “was an excellent department chair,” “is a treasured colleague,” “is generous in reading and critiquing manuscripts,” do not carry much weight with Selection Committees.

Although referees can be persons who have collaborated with the candidate, they must disclose within their letter the nature and extent of their relationship with the candidate.

A Brief Biography of Each Referee (Maximum 250 words)

Please indicate the referee's qualifications and expertise to assist reviewers who may be unfamiliar with his/her work. If the referee has a website it is also helpful to provide a link.

CV (Maximum 10 pages)

The CV should be structured based on the candidate’s discipline and that covers the candidate’s entire career.