Graduate Department Awards

The Sociology Graduate Department offers several awards to graduate students each year and one award for a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in graduate student teaching and mentorship. These awards recognize and help us celebrate the particular achievements in the graduate program. Awards to graduate students that are administered outside of the department are listed on the SGS Awards page.

The undergraduate departments also honour excellence in the student populations.  Read about the St. George undergraduate awards, The Top UTM Undergraduate Student Awards, and honours awarded to outstanding undergraduates at UTSC.

The CSA Outstanding Sociology Graduate Student Award

The Canadian Sociology Association provides an award for the top graduating students in Canadian University and College Sociology Departments. In selecting the recipients, the Department prioritizes excellence in research.

Previous recipients of the MA award include: Soli Dubash (2020), Maria Finsdottir (2019), Laila Omar (2018), Tyler Bateman (2017), Patricia Louie (2016)

Recipients of the PhD award include: Laura Upenieks (2020), Jonathan Koltai (2019), Marianne Quirouette (2018), Jennifer Elrick (2017), Paulina Garcia del Moral (2016)

The Daniel G. Hill Prize for the Best Graduate Paper in Sociology

Daniel G. Hill was a Canadian sociologist, civil servant, human rights specialist, and Black Canadian historian. He received his PhD in our department in 1960. Dr Hill applied his insight and expertise in several important roles including his role as a researcher for the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto, serving as the Executive Secretary of the North York Social Planning Council, his position as assistant director of the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Research Foundation, and teaching in the department of sociology at the University of Toronto. In addition, he was the first full-time director of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, later becoming the Ontario Human Rights Commissioner. From 1984 to 1989, he served as the Ontario Ombudsman. Dr Hill also founded the Ontario Black History Society, and authored a book titled The Freedom Seekers: Blacks in Early Canada. In 1993, he was awarded the Order of Ontario. A few years later, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Students with an article published in a refereed journal between July 1 and June 30, annually, who are current residents of Ontario and resided in Ontario for at least 12 months prior to the start of their current degree program may apply for the Daniel G. Hill Prize for Best Graduate Paper in Sociology. Students with an article for a refereed journal that received a DOI within this timeframe and meet the residency requirement are eligible as well. The Prize is given for the best published paper among those who are eligible to apply. Winner(s) are required to complete the OSOTF form to verify resident status. The award is competitive.

Deadline varies each year, usually within the first week of October.

To be eligible, students must:

  • be registered full-time in the Department of Sociology or a recent PhD graduate (convocated between July 1 and June 30 of the award year) in the Department of Sociology
  • be a resident of Ontario – verified by completing an OSOTF form
  • submit an electronic version of a paper on any topic in Sociology (may be theoretical or empirical in approach and may use any analytical method)
  • be the sole author of the paper; co-authored articles are eligible, but, all co-authors must be graduate students of the Department of Sociology (Papers co-authored with other people – students or faculty- outside of the department or faculty within our department are not eligible)

The value of the award varies from year to year, depending on the performance of the fellowship fund and financial need.  Students apply by submitting an electronic copy of the paper to the Graduate Program Assistant (socgrad.assist@utoronto.ca) by the established deadline along with the completed OSOTF Form. Late applications will not be accepted. Faculty members may also submit a paper for consideration with the student’s permission.

This award is presented annually to an Ontario resident graduate student and is chosen on the basis of the quality of a paper published between July and June of the award year.

Previous recipients include: Taylor Price (2020), Iona Sendoiu (2019), Lawrence Williams (2017), Gabe Menard (2016)

The Dennis William Magill Canada Research Award

Dennis Magill was a longstanding faculty member of the Department of Sociology who was passionate about community-based research and Canadian sociology. During his time at the university, Professor Magill directed the sociology undergraduate program as well as University College’s health studies program. Professor Magill was an active public sociologist, serving on the boards of many Toronto organizations, including Toronto Historical Board, Sherbourne Health Centre, Rekai Centre for Long Term Care, Centre for Urban Health Initiatives, Community Campus Partnerships for Health, and Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network. He was also a founding member of the Wellesley Institute.

This award is presented for the best dissertation or published paper on Canadian society by a PhD student in the Department of Sociology.

To be eligible, students must:

  • be registered full-time in the Department of Sociology or a recent PhD graduate (convocated between July 1 and June 30 of the award year) in the Department of Sociology
  • have published an article in a peer-reviewed journal or submitted their dissertation
  • be the sole author of the paper; co-authored articles are eligible, but, all co-authors must be graduate students of the Department of Sociology (Papers co-authored with other people – students or faculty- outside of the department or faculty within our department are not eligible)
  • students may self nominate or be nominated for the award by a faculty member (usually their supervisor)

Requests for nominations occur usually in February. The award is presented in the spring.

Previous recipients include: Dana Wray (2021); Andrew Nevin (2020); Meghan Dawe (2019); Atsushi Narisada (2018); Salina Abji (2016); Holly Campeau (2015); Iona Sendoiu (2013)

The Muriel D. Bissell International Travel Award

Muriel D. Bissell graduated with a Masters Degree in Sociology in 1939 and spent much of her life after this in Africa, first as a missionary and then on her farm, which she ran as a cooperative with her employees. The Muriel D. Bissell Award provides funding for graduate students who are strongly committed to research on the problems of development in low and middle income countries. The recipient will ordinarily, but not necessarily, be from a developing country. It provides funding to pay costs of research such as travel and subsistence for data collection, special training (off-campus), and/or the costs of professional development, such as travel to conferences where the recipient is presenting a paper.

Applications are accepted at any time.

The Jeannette Wright Award for Excellence in Mentorship

The Department of Sociology created the award in honour of Jeannette Wright who was a long serving Graduate Administrator in the Department of Sociology, spanning the late 1970s to late-2000s, and was much loved and admired for her dedication and service to the graduate program. The award is presented to faculty members who who show exceptional commitment to graduate student mentorship. The award is presented based on nominations from students and colleagues.

Requests for nominations occur usually in February. The award is presented in the spring.

Previous Recipients include: Josee Johnston, Blair Wheaton, Dan Silver, Monica Boyd, Anna Korteweg