John McNeill Excellence in Health Research Mentorship Award

The John McNeill Excellence in Health Research Mentorship Award recognizes outstanding mentorship by faculty members at any stage in their academic career, in any of UBC’s health-related disciplines, who have formally been identified as mentors, and who exemplify a deep commitment to fostering the professional and personal development of faculty colleagues, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows in the early stages of their academic careers.

This prestigious award is valued at $10,000.

The award was established by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in honour of Dean Emeritus John McNeill, who joined the Faculty in 1971. For over four decades, John’s leadership helped distinguish the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences as one of Canada’s best graduate programs and research environments. In 2015, two outstanding alumni established the award in recognition of their mentor, paving the way for future excellence in research and research capacity in health at UBC. 

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Eligibility Criteria

Nominees must be faculty members with at least two years of continuous service in a health-related discipline at UBC’s Vancouver Campus and must be engaged in research. Nominees may be at any stage in their academic career. 

Notwithstanding the above, adjunct, emeriti and honorary faculty are not eligible for this award.

Evaluation Criteria

This award recognizes a faculty member’s outstanding ability to foster the intellectual, professional, and personal development of faculty colleagues, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows in the early stages of their academic career. 

The following attributes of an effective mentor will be considered by the adjudication committee. An exemplary applicant:

  • models excellence in scholarship, professional conduct, and integrity, instilling a desire in others to emulate these qualities;
  • encourages, inspires, and supports colleagues and students to reach their full potential in ways that are tailored to each individual;
  • fosters the development in student competencies in critical thinking, scholarly rigour, breadth of understanding and creativity, and professional competencies in areas such as written and oral communication, scholarly integrity, and interpersonal interactions;
  • promotes and models a climate of respect and collaboration;
  • integrates students in the culture of UBC Health and helps them network with relevant individuals; and
  • advocates for colleagues, peers, and students and encourages them to make the best use of institutional and professional opportunities at UBC (e.g., professional development, workshops, courses, and conferences).
Nomination Process

Important notes:

1) Each Faculty unit on the Vancouver Campus will devise an internal process to receive and review eligible nominations from within its own Faculty and select up to two nominations for submission to UBC Health. Submission of selected nominations must be made at the Faculty level.

2) Interested applicants must not submit their nomination packages directly to UBC Health. Applicants must check with their own Faculties to confirm their internal submission processes and deadlines.

Each faculty on the Vancouver Campus may submit up to two nominations to the Associate Vice-President, Health.

Each nomination package must include a letter of support from the department head or equivalent (e.g., associate dean) together with the following documents:

  1. A statement detailing why the nominee qualifies for the award, including:

    a. how the nominee and their activities are part of a health-related discipline at UBC;

    b. the essential and unique features of mentoring within the discipline and beyond;

    c. evidence of their students’/mentees’ productivity and excellence, as reflected in awards held, publications, and other scholarly accomplishments by students mentored;

    d. faculty/student progress, as reflected in retention rates, satisfaction with supervision, guidance or mentorship, and faculty/student involvement in professional organizations; and

    e. student placement and/or faculty progression, as reflected in the success of former students and/or faculty colleagues, including positions held and contributions made to their chosen field.

  2. A short statement by the nominee describing their philosophy on mentoring and how they view the role, including comments on approaches to promoting faculty and/or student success.
  3. The nominee’s current curriculum vitae.
  4. A list of all individuals mentored, including brief descriptions of any notable circumstances of faculty, colleagues, or students.
  5. Three letters of support from individuals who are being/were mentored by the nominee, each including a summary of the author’s experience with the nominee and subsequent career development. 

    a. Only letters signed by the author are acceptable.

    b. Original, faxed, and scanned copies sent by email directly to the department are acceptable.

Materials regarding undergraduate teaching will not be considered for this competition and should not be included in the nomination packages.

All supporting documentation related to a candidate’s nomination must be compiled into one package and emailed as a single .pdf attachment. One scanned package per nominee.

Each faculty unit must submit its selected nominations to Susana Leon, Administrator, UBC Health at

Selection Process

The John McNeill award recipient is selected by the UBC Health Awards Committee, which is composed of UBC faculty members, students, and public members from the health community. 

By accepting the John McNeill award, the recipient consents to having their name and photo published in UBC Health communications.


If you have any questions, please contact Susana Leon, Administrator, UBC Health at

View Past Recipients