Western Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies

Governor General's Gold Medals

GGGoldMedal

Value

  • The medal is accompanied by a certificate signed by the Governor General, but is not associated with any monetary award

Timeline and Deadlines

  • April: Annual Call for nominations sent to Associate Deans, Graduate and Graduate Chairs
  • Friday, September 8, 2017: University Deadline to receive nominations in SGPS
  • September: SGPS Executive Committee covenes to select the three (3) recipients
  • Friday, October 6: SGPS submits the names of the new Medalists to the Registrar 

Application

How to Apply: Eligible students are nominated by their graduate programs

A complete application consists of:

  • One letter in support of the nomination from the Graduate Chair or Department Chair (max. 2 pages), signed on letterhead. The letter must illustrate the candidate's academic excellence and include the completing average
  • One letter in support of the nomination from the thesis supervisor (max. 2 pages), signed on letterhead
  • Abstract of the thesis (1 page)
  • Current CV of nominee
  • Western academic record (not other transcripts required)

Eligibility

To be eligible for nomination for a 2017 Gold Medal, a candidate:

  • Must complete all the requirements of the Master’s degree (thesis only) program or the Ph.D. program after August 31st, 2016 and before September 1st, 2017 
  • Must graduate with high first class honours and have maintained first class honours throughout the degree program. First class honours at Western is min. 80%. The assessmment of highest academic standing includes an examination of such criteria as:
    • Academic performance in degree courses, seminar performance
    • Evaluation of the thesis and the thesis defense
    • Originality and significance of the research
    • Evaluation of letters of support
    • Appraisal of other degree requirements
  • May be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident or an international student
  • May be considered if the degree was completed on a part-time basis

Administering the Gold Medal Competition

Graduate Program Responsibility

  • Nominate eligible candidate
  • Prepare the nomination file. All letters should be addressed to the Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Include the following documents, in order:
    • One letter in support of the nomination from the Graduate Chair or Department Chair (max. 2 pages), signed on letterhead. The letter must illustrate the candidate's academic excellence and include the completing average.
    • One letter in support of the nomination from the thesis supervisor (max. 2 pages), signed on letterhead
    • Abstract of the thesis (1 page)
    • Current curriculum vitae of the candidate
    • Western academic record (no other transcripts required)
  • Create a single PDF file of the nomination documents as ordered above
  • Submit the PDF nomination file to the Faculty Office by the Faculty deadline
  • Notify the nominee if not recommended to SGPS by the Faculty Committee

Faculty Responsibility

  • Set internal deadline to receive graduate program nominations 
  • Communicate the deadline to graduate program staff/faculty
  • Convene the Faculty Committee to review and rank the nominations
  • Submit the top-ranked nomination file (PDF) to Paula Menzies Cameron by Friday, September 8, 2017

SGPS Responsibility

  • Convene the SGPS Executive Committee to select the three winners
  • Coordinate the publicity of the new Gold Medalists with Western Communications
  • Add the honour award to each winner’s academic record
  • Relay the recipient details to the Manager, Examination Services in the Office of the Registrar (OOR) by Friday, October 6

Office of the Registrar Responsibility

  • Coordinate the inclusion of the accolades in the Autumn Convocation program
  • Be responsible for the receipt of the medals from Rideau Hall and for their safe-keeping
  • Coordinate the inscription of names on each recipient’s certificate

Overview of Competition

The number of Gold Medals awarded by each university is determined by its full-time equivalent (FTE) graduate enrolment:

  • 1 medal – under 2,500 students
  • 2 medals – 2,500 to 5,000 students
  • 3 medals – more than 5,000 students

Based on the above model, Western University annually awards three (3) Governor General's Gold Medals, one to each of three outstanding graduate students who have completed their degree programs with the highest academic standing as determined by the university committee. 

Each graduate program is allowed to nominate its most meritorious candidate to the Faculty Office by an internal deadline set by the Faculty Associate Dean, Graduate.

Members of each Faculty Committee will review and rank their nominations and submit only the top-ranked nomination to SGPS.

The Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Autumn Convocation Ceremonies

Two (2) ceremonies of the annual Autumn Convocation program are dedicated to graduates of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The annual recipients of the Governor General’s Gold Medals will be recognized at these ceremonies.

Contact

For more than 140 years, the Governor General’s Gold Medals have recognized the outstanding scholastic achievements of students in Canada. They are awarded to master’s or doctoral students who have achieved the highest academic standing in their degree programs. The purpose of the Academic Medals Program is:

All information updated May 15, 2017.