Student IMPACT Awards

The Student IMPACT Awards were developed by the Student, Staff, Alumni and Faculty Engagement (SAFE) Committee to recognize students who have made outstanding leadership and extra-curricular contributions to the IMS. These awards recognize that while individual contributions and excellence can take many forms, the shared outcome of these successes is the impact made to enhance the student experience and IMS community. A maximum of 6 awards (one per IMPACT letter) are presented annually at IMS Scientific Day.

Award Categories

Click below for category definitions. Please note that the 12 award categories are all independent of each other.

I - Inclusivity, Innovation

  • Inclusivity: facilitating and promoting access to opportunities and resources for those who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.
  • Innovation: development and facilitation of new ideas to solve problems, support students and enhance the graduate student experience.

M - Mentorship, Role Model

  • Mentorship: serving as an outstanding mentor, either in a formal or informal capacity, to fellow students.
  • Role Model: serving as a leader whose behaviour and traits others seek to emulate.

P - Professional Development, Perseverance

  • Professional Development: developing and/or facilitating programs and resources that contribute to the professional development of fellow students.
  • Perseverance: demonstrated commitment and effort to achieve goals despite obstacles and challenges.

A - Alumni Engagement, Advocacy

  • Alumni Engagement: developing and/or facilitating opportunities that meaningfully engage alumni with current students.
  • Advocacy: demonstrated commitment to anti-racist practices and advocacy for equity deserving groups and/or specific causes or issues.

C - Citizenship, Collaboration

  • Citizenship: actively and positively participates in extra-curricular, student life or community service activities and demonstrates respect, kindness and empathy for others.
  • Collaboration: works collaboratively with others, such as students, groups and the wider community, to better achieve shared goals.

T - Trailblazer, Teamwork

  • Trailblazer: a leader who takes risks and pioneers something new and successful for others to follow or lead.
  • Teamwork: demonstrated commitment to working with others and recognizing each person’s unique contributions and skills in order to achieve a common aim.

Click Here to See the 2024 Award Recipients

Award Information

Please direct any Student IMPACT Award questions to Sarah Topa, SAFE Committee Co-Chair, at:


  • Must be a student currently enrolled in the IMS, either in the doctoral (MSc and PhD), Biomedical Communications (BMC) or Graduate Diploma in Health Research (GDipHR) programs.  
  • Have never received a Student IMPACT Award previously.
  • Activities (formal and informal) must have been carried out during graduate training.
  • Be in good academic standing:
    • Doctoral Program:
      • Hold regular Program Advisory Committee meetings (every 6 months)
      • Secure A- in courses
      • Achieve Candidacy on time (PhD students only)
    • Biomedical Communications Program:
      • Hold regular MRP Committee meetings (3 meetings over 16 months)
      • Secure A- in courses
    • Graduate Diploma in Health Research Program:
      • Regular attendance at MSC1992Y seminars
      • Submission of assignments on time
      • Medical Student’s Research Day abstract submission
      • Progressing as expected on research projects 


The Nomination Form must be completed by the student, with:

  • Nominee’s contact and program information.
  • Statement from nominee describing their impact on the IMS community. Statement must show how they meet at least one, and no more than two, of the award categories.
  • Endorsement Statements – must be completed by two members of the IMS community, which includes students, faculty, IMS staff members and alumni.
  • Nominations are due by February 20, 2024 at 11:59 PM

Tips for Completing the Nomination Form

  • Be specific by giving examples and details of how you meet the award categories you selected.
  • Ensure your personal statement is direct and easy to follow.
  • Demonstrate impact by providing as much quantitative and qualitative evidence as possible to support your nomination.
  • Avoid the use of uncommon or undefined acronyms in the description of your activities and contributions.
  • Solicit endorsements from IMS community members who know you well enough to speak first-hand about your accomplishments and personal attributes. 
  • Choose endorsements (2) from different sources, if possible, such as a fellow IMS student AND a faculty member, staff member or alumnus.


Are self-nominations accepted?
Yes, the student is considered the nominee and must be the one to submit the nomination form.

What if I would like to nominate someone else for the award?
Tell them you think they would be a great nominee and encourage them to nominate themselves. If you're an IMS community member, offer to be one of their endorsers. Help them secure a second endorsement. 

Are group nominations accepted?
No, group nominations are not accepted. These awards are only presented to individuals.

Can I choose any of the 12 award categories?
Yes, you may choose any one or two (maximum) out of the 12 award categories in your nomination. The categories for each IMPACT letter are not paired together - all stand alone as independent categories.

Do the endorsement statements have to speak about the same award categories as the nominee?
Yes, the nominee and each endorser (2) must all speak to the same award categories (1-2 maximum).  

Can I provide supplemental documents such as my CV?
No, please only submit the nomination form as the adjudication committee will not consider any supplemental documents.

How many awards are presented each year?
A maximum of 6 awards are presented annually - one per IMPACT letter.

Are the awards tied to a specific award category?
No, each award that is presented is named as a "Student IMPACT Award".

Am I able to include paid work in my nomination?
Yes, you are welcome to highlight paid employment experience in your nomination. 

How are the award winners chosen?
The awards are adjudicated by a sub-group of the SAFE Committee made up of IMS faculty, alumni and staff. 

What is the award prize?
Each individual winning nominee receives an award plaque and $300.

When will the award winners be announced?
The award winners are announced at IMS Scientific Day

Previous Award Winners


  • Muzaffar Bhatti
  • Alex Boshart
  • Ergi Duli
  • Nairy Khodabakhshian
  • Lisa Eunyoung Lee
  • Anukrati Nigam


  • Layan Elfaki
  • Kathryn Lye
  • Swapna Mylabathula
  • Serena Peck 
  • Sajeevan Sujanthan
  • Tarimobo Otobo