Nomination Tips

Are you considering submitting a nomination for the 2017 ASTech Awards?

First, watch this video with great tips from a 2016 winner.
It's the best six minutes you'll spend.

Here's what the judges say it takes to create a nomination worthy of an ASTech Award:  

  • Pay close attention to the criteria for each award.

Successful nominations are clear, concise, well thought-out and complete.  Clear lines are drawn between the questions asked and the answers. Ask a trusted colleague to review the nomination as though they were a judge.  If they come back with questions or asking for clarity, fix those problems before you submit.

  • Although judges are industry experts, they are not necessarily experts in your field.  Write accordingly.

Avoid acronyms and technical jargon unless it is well explained. Create understanding for an outsider.

  • Good nominations take time to prepare, but are well worth the effort.  Ask yourself: are we ready for this recognition?

Heed the words of one adjudicator: Sometimes the quality of the work as described does not lead the judges to believe the nomination worthy of the award. Some need more time, some need more success, some need to carefully read the criteria and perhaps consider which category the nomination falls in and some frankly are not worthy of an award.  The judges are looking for significant lasting achievement, truly innovative use of knowledge or true generation of new knowledge and understanding, with an impact on Alberta. Some nominees were thought to be good practitioners but were not thought to be innovative so some of the awards which clearly are looking for innovation were not deemed to fit.

  •  This is a competition.  You must be deemed the best in your category to win.
You may be nominated in a year when the quality of nominations is extraordinary.  Expect this will be the case and be determined to show the judges your best self. Do not cut and paste from other marketing or nomination documents; treat this process respectfully and with the full attention it deserves.
 
  • If the quality of nominations in any category is deemed to fall below the bar set by the criteria, the award will not be presented.

The ASTech Awards are the most prestigious honour in Science and Technology in Alberta.  We do not honour anything less than outstanding achievement.

  • Avoid making baseless claims.

Show confidence but back up all claims of success or potential success with evidence.

  • Ask for descriptive and illustrative letters of support.

Click here for an excellent example of a support letter, which is a vital piece of the nomination package. Judges praised it because it:

  • Was on letterhead and written by a highly credible individual;
  • Supported both the person and the company being nominated with fact-based information beyond mere opinion;
  • Illustrated examples of achievement: successful partnerships, operational wins, bold leadership, community support;
  • Drew attention to important milestones; and
  • Was genuine and heart-felt.

In summary:

  • Clearly articulate the vision and strategy
  • Differentiate yourself from competitors
  • Demonstrate leadership and impact
  • Answer every question clearly
  • Generate glowing but fact-based letters of support 

If you need help pulling it all together: we have compiled a list of six freelance writers in Alberta with grant-writing experience (many in science and/or technology fields) who can help you articulate your story in the most effective manner. Email nominations@astech.ca for the list; it's up to you to negotiate directly regarding the scope and remuneration.

How will judges view your nomination?

Judges Comments: PRO

  • Their plan is a model for the world
  • This is a creative approach to a very available technology
  • The quality of the potential is excellent
  • This is very well-written and easy to understand
  • This is a real Alberta success story and could change everything in this field
  • The letter was exemplary
  • It was a major demonstration of profound leadership
  • Great external measure of the work
  • It clearly had a significant impact in changing the life of Albertans

Judges Comments: CON

  • Some of the information just isn't correct
  • They didn't supply evidence to back up their claims
  • The letters were terrible; they sounded like form letters
  • It was all nonsense; what do they actually do?
  • It was overwritten; the claims were extravagant
  • Where is the impact of the work?