The Pat Clifford Award: Call for Applications

Are you or someone you know contributing to innovative education research by revisiting commonly held assumptions in education policy, practice or theory in Canada?


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


The application deadline is June 6, 2021 at 5:00 pm PDT (Pacific Daylight Time). 


  • Applicants can either nominate themselves or be nominated by another person.
  • Applicants must belong in one of these three categories from a recognized Canadian university:
  1. Master’s Category : For applicants who have graduated from a Master’s program within the last two years (based on date of convocation). Master’s applications should have been students conducting their own research (thesis-based).
  2. PhD Category: For applicants currently in the last two years of a PhD program.
  3. PhD Graduate Category: For applicants who have graduated from a PhD program within the last two years (based on 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.


  • 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 EdCan Network’s program priorities, as well as plans for knowledge mobilization and dissemination.


  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).
  1. 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.
  1. Relevance

(Required) A body of work that could make a significant contribution to one of the following EdCan foundational priorities for ensuring that every student thrives in our schools:

  • Student Engagement: research 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 Engagement: research 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.

(Asset) A body of work that could contribute to the evidence base of one of our upcoming Education Canada Magazine subject theme explorations.


The application must contain all the following attachments:
  • Curriculum vitae (maximum of 4 pages).
  • A plain-language description on how the applicant’s work concretely impacts student engagement and teacher practice (maximum of 250 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 250 words).
  • If nominated: One (1) additional reference letter (maximum of 250 words).
  • If self-nominated: Two (2) letters of reference (maximum of 250 words PER LETTER).
  • 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.
Application submissions must not exceed specified word count maximums (excluding CV). The Awards Committee will not receive or review submission material above the specified word count.


For all questions regarding this award, please contact us at

about the Pat Clifford Award

The Pat Clifford Award recognizes the work of emerging researchers – their groundbreaking contributions and their commitment to advancing research that has the potential to transform Canadian public education.


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.