Internal Awards: Distinguished James McGill Professors, James McGill Professors, and William Dawson Scholars

Introduction

In 2000, McGill created two internal recognition awards, the William Dawson Scholars and the James McGill Professors, in parallel with the Canada Research Chair (CRC) program. These awards recognize the outstanding research contributions of tenure-track and tenured academic staff members at the University. Then, in 2017, the Distinguished James McGill Professors was created to recognize the sustained scholarship and achievements of McGill's most accomplished tenured academic staff.

Eligibility

The Distinguished James McGill Professor award recognizes a late-career scholar's sustained scholarship of world-class caliber and international leadership, similar to that of a CRC Tier 1. Nominees for these awards include current James McGill Professors who have held the award for two seven-year terms and have maintained an outstanding research record, and CRC Tier 1 Chairholders who have completed two seven-year terms. The award will continue until retirement. Upon retirement, Distinguished James McGill Professors who are granted Emeritus status will be allowed to carry the title Emeritus Distinguished James McGill Professor.

The James McGill Professor award recognizes a senior scholar’s status as an outstanding and original researcher of world-class caliber and an international leader in his or her field. The award is similar to that of a CRC Tier 1. James McGill Professors must be tenured full professors. Their award will be held for a seven-year term, and is renewable once upon performance review.

The William Dawson Scholar award recognizes a scholar developing into an outstanding and original researcher of world-class caliber who is poised to become a leader in his or her field. The award is similar to that of a CRC Tier 2. William Dawson Scholars must be nominated as tenure-track assistant or associate professors. They hold the award for a five-year term. The award is renewable once, upon performance review. An associate professor who is promoted to full professor during their first term as a William Dawson Scholar is eligible for renewal.

An award holder is not automatically promoted from a William Dawson Scholar to a James McGill Professor, or from a James McGill Professor to a Distinguished James McGill Professor. Each nomination process is distinct and previous award holders are subject to the same internal review as other candidates for that award.

Internal award holders may not concurrently hold a Canada Research Chair.

Award

The James McGill Professor and William Dawson Scholar awards provide for an annual salary supplement in the form of a fixed academic stipend, and an annual research allowance. The combined total of the salary stipend and research allowance may not exceed $25,000.

The Distinguished James McGill Professor award provides for a $10,000 academic stipend or a $15,000 research grant allowance. The award holder must select one of these options at the time of appointment, and may request a change once annually.

Nomination Process

James McGill Professor and William Dawson Scholar awards

Deans, Associate Deans (Research), Department Chairs, and Directors are encouraged to identify and nominate excellent researchers in their Faculties and Departments for vacant WDS, JMP, or DJMP awards. In so doing, Faculties are urged to be mindful of equity considerations and to ensuring McGill’s cohort of chair-holders is diverse by soliciting applications from individuals in under-represented groups, including women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, racialized persons/visible minorities, and persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity (LGBTT2SQ persons). Potential candidates should be encouraged to fill out the Employment Equity Survey and informed that this survey data is kept confidential.

Faculty decisions about nominations should be:

  • based on the candidate’s record of achievement; and
  • made pursuant to a review by a Faculty-level committee composed of at least three members including the Faculty Dean (or delegate) and Associate Dean (Research). The membership of the committee should be diverse, and include at least one woman.

Once a Faculty has identified its nominee(s), it will submit a nomination package for each nominee that includes:

  • the nominee’s curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of presentation from the nominee summarizing research and highly qualified personnel (HQP) training accomplishments, and a description of intended future research and its potential impact (2 pages, maximum); and
  • a letter of support jointly submitted by the nominee’s Dean and Department Chair/Director (1 page, maximum).

The same package shall be provided for any application for a JMP or WDS renewal. For renewals only: the file includes a performance report of achievements prepared by the candidate. Contact crc.provost [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Performance%20Report%20Template)  for the appropriate template.

Distinguished James McGill Professor awards

Where a Faculty intends to nominate a professor for a DJMP award, it will submit a nomination package that includes:

  • the nominee’s curriculum vitae; and
  • a letter of support jointly submitted by the nominee’s Dean and Department Chair/Director (1 page, maximum) explaining the candidate’s sustained scholarship of world-class caliber and international leadership, similar to that of a CRC Tier 1 Chairholder.

Deadline: Nominations are typically due by 1 February  each year.

 

Internal Review Process

All nominations are assessed by the Standing Internal Review Committee (SIRC) with expertise in the nominee’s field (i.e., CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC). This is the same committee that reviews CRC nominations in the current academic term. The current membership is available PDF icon here

The SIRC will make a recommendation to the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) who shall consider this recommendation to reach a final decision about granting or renewing an award.

Criteria for evaluation include:

  • the nominee’s record of research dissemination and impact;
  • HQP training record; and
  • promise for sustained success and growth as a top-tier researcher in the nominee’s discipline.

 

For James McGill Professors and for Distinguished James McGill Professors For William Dawson Scholars
The file must demonstrate that the nominee:
  • is an outstanding and original researcher of world-class caliber and leader in his or her field;
  • has successfully attracted, and continues to attract, excellent trainees, students and future researchers to the university or affiliated institute; and
  • is carrying out a program of research that is producing leading-edge results that are making a significant impact at the international level.

The file must demonstrate that the nominee:

  • is developing into an outstanding and original researcher of world-class caliber who is poised to become a leader in his or her field.

 

 

The SIRC will assess applications where candidates have had leaves causing career interruptions, accounting for the candidate’s career stage. Safeguards will be in place to ensure this information is considered equitably and treated confidentially.

Award decisions are typically communicated to nominees and their Department Chair/Director and Dean by mid-April of each year.

 

Administration Guidelines

Minerva Appointment Form

A Board of Governors Letter will confirm receipt or renewal of the award. The department must then prepare a Minerva Appointment Form using the appropriate position code. Departments and Faculties are reminded that changes in academic stipends require prior approval from the Associate Provost (Equity and Academic Priorities).  

Research Allowance Usage

The research fund associated with the award is to be used exclusively for purposes of research and scholarship. It is not a supplement to the award holder's income. The use of the research fund is subject to all applicable University policies and regulations on research.

  • Travel expenses and personal expense reimbursements for the award holder must be approved by the award holder's Department Chair or Dean, as applicable, and must adhere to University policy.
  • All software, books, equipment, or other property acquired by the award holder with funds from this award are the property of the University. The award holder is expected to make such acquisitions known to their Department, School, or Faculty insofar as this is compatible with the award holder’s own research program.
  • Administrative and office equipment, including cellular phones, tablets, and furniture are not eligible research fund expenditures without adequate justification and approval by the Associate Provost (Equity and Academic Policies)
  • The award holder agrees to adhere to the Chairs Administration Guide and the Tri Agency Financial Administrative Guides.

End of Fiscal Year Balances and Top-Up Policy

Award holders are expected to deplete their research allowance each fiscal year. In exceptional circumstances, an award holder will be permitted to carry forward unspent funding with permission from the Associate Provost (Equity and Academic Priorities). Requests must be emailed to anne-marie.durocher [at] mcgill.ca before March 15th in a given year and must include a detailed explanation as to why the funds were not used, as well as a spending plan for the unused funds in the next fiscal year.

In all other instances, an award holder who does not deplete their research fund will be topped-up with a research allocation, which takes into account the unspent amount as follows.

For example:

Annual Research Allocation

Amount Spent in FY

Balance at FY End

Top-up Amount

Balance at New FY Start

Carry-Forward of Unspent Amounts

$15,000

$3,000

$12,000

$3,000

$15,000

$0