Formatting and page limits:

Nomination packages are not to exceed 15 numbered pages, including all material requested. The package must be submitted using 2.54 cm (1″) margins, double-spaced (except for letters which may be single or double-spaced) in 12 point Times New Roman font. No video, web content, or web links will be accepted. The only materials to be included that do not count as part of the 15 pages are your transcripts (Section 3 below) and Cover Page. Do not include as part of the nomination package your required bio (see further information below). Nominations may be submitted in either French or English. Any nomination package that does not adhere to the formatting and page limits will be disqualified.

Here is a checklist/template of what to include. Ensure that each section is clearly labeled in your nomination package:

1.0 Cover Page (Cover Page Form)

Please complete this cover page form with the following information:

  • Your full name (as you would wish it to appear on certificate if you are named a 3M National Student Fellow)
  • Email address
  • Phone number where you can be contacted
  • Mailing address during the academic year and if different, permanent mailing address or address after academic year is over
  • Your program of study and major and the number of years of the program
  • The year in which you are currently registered (e.g. 2nd, 3rd)
  • Email addresses of nominator, writers of letters of support, and the Vice-President of Students or person in an equivalent role.
  • Name and email address of the president of your institution, as well as any others at your institution you would like to be notified if you are named a 3M NSF, such as Communications or Public Relations representatives.
  • Please note: Headshots do not need to be included with your submission. Only applicants who have been chosen for the award will need to provide a high resolution headshot.
2.0 Nomination Letters, Letters of Support and Statement from Vice-President of Students (or person in equivalent role).

All letters and statement count within the 15 page limit.

Nomination letter: Written by a person of the candidate’s choice. Self-authored letters of nomination are not accepted.

Letters of support: The number of letters is up to the candidate. Letters should complement the narrative flow. Effective nominations will demonstrate the nominee’s excellence with concrete examples and not repeat information.

All letters, which must include signatures and, if from an institution or organization, be on letterhead, are part of the 15-page limit. They may be single- or double-spaced.

Statement from Vice-President of Students (or person in equivalent role, such as Vice-Provost, Students or Associate Vice-President, Students): Your nomination package must be viewed in its entirety by the Vice-President of Students or person in an equivalent role at your institution. That person then writes one statement, noting that he/she/ze has seen your complete nomination package, and verifying that your transcripts are recognized as being representative of your institution, adding his/her/per name, role and signature. Note: this position is NOT a position in student government. It is a senior administration position.

3.0 Academic Performance

As an applicant, you must be in good standing academically, in your program and in your institution. Please provide all post-secondary institutional transcripts (official or unofficial) for all years of post-secondary education, plus all available grades from the first term/semester of your current year. Transcripts are not part of the 15-page limit. If there are anomalies on your transcripts, briefly explain them in this section. Since you will likely have to scan your transcripts, you will have the Vice President, Students (or equivalent) verify that your scanned transcript is indeed the transcript of your institution.

4.0 Leadership

Leadership involves leading significant transformation at a post-secondary institution at an institutional, disciplinary, community, and/or societal level that demonstrates a lived commitment to improving higher education and society. Leadership fosters and supports change, and leads to a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse post-secondary education landscape.

 “Leadership” by itself is not a term that has easily identifiable boundaries. For this reason, it is impossible to provide a precise definition. It is important for you as an applicant to describe your leadership capacity and leadership potential in relationship to other people. Therefore, a quantifiable list of activities/events/situations/experiences that a student was “in charge” of does not demonstrate leadership in the context of this award. Please describe and demonstrate your personal leadership profile by considering different examples of your capacity for leadership beyond being in the position of “boss.”

For example, you may want to include one or a few experiences that you have had outside of the classroom and off your campus. Describe how these experiences influenced your academic performance, your attitudes toward teaching and learning, and your approach to leadership. You may want to situate yourself in terms of your identity, privileges and challenges. You may wish to reference educational issues beyond your immediate environment.

As part of your package, please provide a definition of leadership in the context of your educational experience. The definition should then be applied in detail and creatively through examples of personal activities drawn from your time in post-secondary study. Please do not use jargon or abstract description of leadership, in general; instead, paint a picture of who you are as a leader using clear examples from your experience.

Explain why you aspired to be a leader. Your examples should demonstrate how your initiatives have led to, or been part of leading, events in the post-secondary environment.

5.0 Innovation

Innovation is the novel execution of ideas that contribute to more effective practices and supports for students in post-secondary education. The result of innovation impacts people in academia and beyond.

Often, innovation begins with a challenge. In this section, describe the most significant challenges that inspired you to take action as a leader at the post-secondary level. How did these challenges impede learning? What could be done further to address these challenges? Thinking beyond, what are the biggest challenges facing post-secondary education in Canada, as a whole? If you had the resource capacity, how would you implement concrete solutions to these challenges?

Since there are more qualified nominations than there are spaces in the fellowship, the adjudication committee tends to look for those that demonstrate impact on students and institutions: those that tell a story, that “jump off the page.” What impresses is depth and harmony in the application, not simply a long list of activities.

6.0 Awards and Recognition

Describe academic or non-academic awards or recognitions you have received, not simply listing them, but contextualizing them to show how this record aligns with your leadership and innovative educational experiences. Clearly describe how each recognition connects to this award.

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