Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award competition.

Student Submission Deadline to SGS:  November 14, 2019 (4:30pm)
Value/Duration: Up to $25,000 for 1 year; finalists receive $1,000 each
Level of Study: Doctoral – second or third year (see below)
Required Legal Status: Domestic or International
Results: Communicated by SGS in late January


In honour of the significant contributions made by Professor Adel S. Sedra, former U of T Vice President and Provost, the University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA) has established this award to recognize a doctoral student who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement and extracurricular leadership.

Eligibility to Apply

At the time of application, applicants must be registered and in good standing in the second or third year of a doctoral program (third or fourth year of a direct-entry doctoral) at the University of Toronto. The scholarship is not open to students who are pursuing master’s degrees (please see UTAA’s website for complete eligibility requirements).

Eligible candidates:

  • Will have an outstanding academic record and be making exceptional progress in their doctoral 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 their field of study;
  • Should have demonstrated a commitment during their doctoral program to enhancing the student experience of their peers through extracurricular leadership within the University and involvement in the life of the University. Of equal importance will be the candidates’ commitment to community outreach and involvement, as demonstrated by extracurricular activities outside of the University (NOTE: only achievements/contributions during the doctoral program will be considered); and
  • Must be available to participate in an in-person interview on St. George campus in the winter session as a part of the selection process.

Application Process

Applicants must submit an electronic copy of their completed application as a single PDF file via email to by the application deadline. The email must have the subject title “Sedra 2020 – NAME OF APPLICANT”.

Application Package

A complete application package will include all of the following items:

  1. Completed application form (found on the University of Toronto Alumni website)
  2. 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
    • Only achievements/contributions during each applicant’s doctoral program will be considered
  3. Statement of no more than 500 words about each applicant’s future academic and career goals;
    • Applicants are encouraged to include a few examples of their demonstrated commitment to enhancing the student experience through extracurricular leadership within the University and involvement in the life of the University during their doctoral program
  4. Scans of original or certified/validated copies of up-to-date official transcripts from master’s and doctoral level studies. Direct-entry doctoral students must also supply original or certified/validated copies of their official undergraduate transcripts;
    • Certification/validation may be performed by the graduate unit. If the graduate unit is not able to certify/validate a transcript, it is each applicant’s responsibility to obtain and provide within their application package a scan of an original official transcript that was issued by the appropriate institution
    • Grading legends must be provided with every transcript
    • Copies of unofficial transcripts will not be accepted without validation
    • Transcripts should not be mailed to the Graduate Awards Office
  5. Three or four supporting letters of recommendation from the following list of people (please see UTAA’s website for complete requirements). Letters must be emailed by each referee as a PDF attachment directly to with the subject title “Sedra 2020 – NAME OF APPLICANT” by the application deadline.
    • One (1) letter of recommendation from the thesis supervisor or supervisory committee member who can comment on the applicant’s academic progress
    • One (1) letter of recommendation from a 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
    • Up to two (2) additional letters of recommendation that attest to the student’s academic and extracurricular leadership


By late January, the Adel S. Sedra Committee will invite selected candidates for an interview and SGS will notify unsuccessful applicants. The Sedra Scholar and all finalists are honoured at the annual Awards of Excellence ceremony held each spring.

Contacts & Resources

Visit the University of Toronto Alumni Association’s website

For questions about this competition, please contact:

Tara Lock
Graduate Awards Officer (Internal)
School of Graduate Studies
(416) 978-2386