John Charles Polanyi Prizes

Created in 2006, the NSERC John C. Polanyi Award is given to an individual or team whose research, conducted in Canada, has led to a recent outstanding advance in any NSERC-supported field of the natural sciences or engineering. The award is open to all researchers, regardless of their career stage. The research leading to the advance must have been funded at least partially by an NSERC grant.

As part of the award, the winning individual or team will receive a research grant of $250,000.

The award was established in tribute to the excellence in research that John C. Polanyi continues to exemplify. Dr. Polanyi won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. NSERC is proud to offer a prestigious research prize in his name.

Subject Areas

This award recognizes a recent outstanding Canadian advance made by a researcher or team of researches in any field of the natural sciences or engineering.

Application Method

Nomination Process - Two active researchers from the Canadian science and engineering research community must, together, submit the nomination. The nominators are responsible for assembling the required documentation, including the three external referee reports. Nominators should follow NSERC’s General Presentation Format
which can be found on their website. Grant funds must contribute towards the direct costs of the research program or project for which the funds were awarded.


  • No internal adjudication will be offered for this award.
  • Nominations and Full Applications are to be processed through Research Development & Services for institutional signatures, and are to be accompanied by a completed ROLA Proposal. Requests for Institutional signatures should be received no less than 3 days prior to the posted Sponsor deadline.