Excellence in research is its own reward, but the MacEwan community takes great pride in acknowledging our researchers with the annual Distinguished Research Award. 

The deadline to nominate a distinguished researcher for the upcoming year is December 15.

Award Criteria

Curious about many things  

Shelley's research portfolio spans the research spectrum, addressing her interests in climate change, citizen engagement and digital media. Her work earned her the 2017 Distinguished Research Award.

Shelley Boulianne Photo


Storing the stars

When chemistry professor Robert Hilts began to study meteorites in 2006, scientists used nitrogen-based cold curation chambers to store meteor fragments. Robert and his co-workers have revolutionized that process, capturing the interest of NASA—and earning him the 2016 Distinguished Research Award.

Inaugural research award winner

Allan Gilliland sports a vast and varied list of composition credits, including works for solo instruments, orchestras, film and theatre. His work has been performed around the world, as far afield as St. Petersburg, Russia and as close to home as the Winspear Centre in downtown Edmonton.



Distinguished Research Award

Through the Dr. Sherrill Brown Distinguished Research Award, we recognize faculty members, both individuals and teams, who have made notable contributions to research at MacEwan University. If you know someone who deserves to be recognized for excellence in research, consider nominating them for this important award.

Nomination criteria

Any member of the MacEwan community can nominate a tenured or tenure track faculty member for the Distinguished Research Award.

The nominee must have a sustained record of peer-reviewed publications, creative/artistic work or leadership in undergraduate research. If the faculty member is a new investigator, research achievements of significant impact will be considered. The nominee cannot be a member of the Distinguished Research Award Selection Committee or the Research Council in the year they are nominated.

Read the policy and related procedures that govern the award to ensure the faculty member you nominate is eligible. Then complete and submit the nomination form and accompanying letters of support to the Research Office by December 15.

Distinguished Research Award policy and procedures

Nomination form

Nomination approval

The Vice Provost reviews the nomination package to ensure the nominee meets all criteria.

Nominee's research dossier

If you are nominated for a Distinguished Research Award and meet the eligibility criteria, the Vice Provost lets you know about the nomination and asks you if you’d like to accept it.

If you accept your nomination, you need to submit a research dossier to Research Services by January 15. The Vice Provost forwards your completed dossier to the Distinguished Research Award selection committee.

Dossier guidelines

Recipient selection

The Distinguished Research Award Selection Committee, which is a subcommittee of Research Council, uses a two-step review process to determine award recipients. In the first step, each member of the committee reviews your research dossier and the letters provided in the nomination package independently. In the second step, the committee convenes as a whole to discuss members’ independent assessments and to work toward consensus until one nominee is unanimously agreed upon.

The Committee makes its recommendation to the Provost by February 15, who confirms the award recipient and notifies the successful candidate.

Selection committee terms of reference

Award presentation

The award is presented at spring convocation.


Nomination form

Award namesake

For 20 years, Dr. Sherrill J. Brown taught in the Early Learning and Child Care program at MacEwan University. As well as bringing her passion for children and education to her students, she worked in the community, supporting young children and their families across the province. She was instrumental in developing Alberta’s accreditation model for child care in 2005.

From 2006 to 2009, as MacEwan’s Research Officer, Sherrill supported faculty across all programs in their research efforts. Her own research focused on the early childhood community. She was particularly interested in the connection between play and learning and literacy, the role of empathy in children’s development and developing a cross-disciplinary model for play.

The inaugural Sherrill Brown Distinguished Research Award was presented in 2015.