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John Charles Polanyi Prizes

To honour the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Ontario Government established a fund to award John Charles Polanyi Prizes annually to up to five outstanding researchers or scholars who are in the early stages of their careers and at Ontario universities. The prizes, each of which is valued at $20,000, will be conferred in the fall of 2021. They are available in the areas of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Economic Science, broadly defined.

Eligibility Criteria:

An applicant must:

  1. be normally resident in Ontario;
  2. have received their doctoral degree from any recognized university in the world on or after September 1, 2016, or, if the doctoral degree has not yet been awarded, be confident that they will have completed all degree requirements by May 31, 2020 (an applicant who was on parental leave between the time of completion of the doctorate and the time of application may have their period of eligibility extended by six months);
  3. either be planning to continue to post-doctoral studies, or hold a faculty appointment, in a recognized publicly assisted university in Ontario.

A complete application requires:

  • an application form completed by the applicant;
  • the applicant’s curriculum vitae (updates to which will not be accepted after submission);
  • a one-page summary of the applicant’s doctoral thesis, written by the applicant;
  • a brief statement of the research or scholarship to be undertaken during the period of the award, prepared by the applicant and not to exceed two pages (one additional page is allowed for diagrams, bibliography, etc.);
  • a non-technical summary of the statement of research or scholarship, written by the applicant and not to exceed 500 words;
  • confidential letters from four assessors; at least two of the assessors must not have had any prior personal or professional association with the applicant (e.g., as a supervisor, a member of the applicant’s supervisory committee, or a co-author) and ideally are not at a university at which the applicant is, or has been, a student or an employee.

The applicant must ask the assessors to send their letters directly, and in electronic format, to the Dean of Graduate Studies of the sponsoring university by Tuesday, December 1, 2020, by which date the applicant must ensure that the remainder of the application package is submitted to the Dean of the applicant’s sponsoring university, also in electronic format. 

Assessors letters should be sent to:

Electronic submission of applications must be made to the Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr. Patti Weir, by Tuesday, December 1, 2020 –

Refer to the announcement and full information, including application forms: