The Pat Clifford Award

This year's deadline:
31 May 2016

2016 Pat Clifford Award – Call for Submissions

CEA’s 2016 Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education could recognize your emerging research and its considerable promise in contributing to the transformation of education in Canada. 

Deadline for submissions:  Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 5 pm PDT (Pacific daylight time)


File 6800

(Photo caption) 2015 Pat Clifford Award Winner Dr. Sean Lessard – Assistant Professor of Indigenous Education and Core Studies at the University of Regina’s Faculty of Education – with CEA President & CEO Ron Canuel.

The recognition

  • Formal recognition of your research at a public, education-related event.
  • Opportunities for you to develop additional knowledge mobilization strategies with CEA to maximize the impact of your work in the policy and practice fields.
  • An invitation for you to submit a feature article about your research to be published in Education Canada magazine.

Application information

Who can apply? / Who may be nominated for the award?

  • Applicants must be in the process of completing a Masters or PhD OR have completed a Masters or PhD in the last 2 years (from date of convocation)
  • Applicants may be from faculties of education or other related disciplines, school boards, provincial or territorial departments of education, educational or other organizations, or research consultants
  • Applicants can either nominate themselves or be nominated by another person

 Qualifications of Applicants/Nominees

  • Individuals with demonstrable promise in educational research as evidenced by completed research papers/projects, letters of reference, and any research awards or citations.
  • Those who show promise of making a significant contribution to educational concepts, theory, policy and/or practice through their research, as evidenced by: the description of work, its importance and impact with respect to one or more of CEA’s program priorities, as well as plans for knowledge mobilization and dissemination. 

 General Selection Criteria

 1. Quality

  • Innovative and opens up new areas of research or extend research in existing areas;
  • Research work that is well-grounded conceptually and theoretically, with clear and compelling writing, and which demonstrates the use of adequate and appropriate research methodology; and
  • Demonstrates evidence of early career promise (publications, research project reports/papers). 

 2. Contribution and Impact

  • A promising contribution to improving educational policy and/or practice in education;
  • A promising contribution to improving concept and theory development in education;
  • Demonstrated understanding of how their work can be mobilized to make a contribution and have an impact.

3. Relevance

A body of work which is relevant and makes a significant contribution to transforming education in one of the following CEA program priorities:

  • Student Engagementresearch that furthers ideas, knowledge and practices that deeply engage students in learning with a particular focus on transforming learning environments for adolescent learners.  Research that broadens and deepens current understanding of learning as the basis on which educational policy and practice should be built.
  • Teacher Engagementresearch that furthers knowledge of how teaching and learning reinforce each other as reciprocal processes; how teaching can be engaging for both teachers and students; how teachers can be supported to teach the way they aspire to; and how teachers understand their own learning. 

Application Preparation

The application must contain a cover sheet along with the following attachments:

  • Curriculum vitae (maximum of 5 pages);
  • A brief description of the applicant’s work, its importance and impact with respect to CEA’s program priorities and general selection criteria (maximum of 500 words);
  • An assessment by the nominator or applicant of the promising contribution to educational research in Canada and its impact on the pan-Canadian scene (maximum of 500 words);
  • If nominated: One (1) additional reference letter (maximum of 250 words);
  • If self-nominated: Two (2) letters of reference (maximum of 250 words);
  • Application submissions must not exceed specified word count maximums (excluding CV). The Nominations Committee will not receive or review submission material above the specified word count.
  • Copy of two (2) abstracts and/or executive summaries of your research project reports or papers
  • Optional: summaries of articles pending confirmation of publication and/or the applicant's intention for future submissions within his/her area of interest.

The Application must be received electronically by e-mail to in PDF format only. The total size of all attachments cannot exceed ten (10) megabytes of information. All applications that do not meet these strict specifications will be discarded.

The submission deadline is 5 pm PDT (Pacific daylight time), Tuesday, May 31, 2016. 


The Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education

This award is administered by the Canadian Education Association (CEA) and recognizes the work of emerging researchers – their research contributions, their promise, and their commitment to breaking new ground or revisiting commonly held assumptions in education policy, practice or theory in Canada.

2015 Pat Clifford Award Winner Dr. Sean Lessard

About Pat Clifford

Pat Clifford was one of the co-founders of The Galileo Educational Network, which is based in Calgary, Alberta. Pat had an extensive teaching background from primary through graduate level, and was the recipient of numerous awards for both research and teaching practice. Pat passed away in August of 2008 but she left a gift to us in her teaching, scholarly writing, poetry and stories. As a teacher, Pat was steadfast in her belief that each child had the right to succeed brilliantly, and brought to them her own love of literature, writing and history. This award is dedicated to her memory.