2017 John Charles Polanyi Prizes Competition
Page 1 of 2
The School of Graduate Studies is pleased to announce the Council of Ontario Universities (COU)
2016 John Charles Polanyi Prize Competition.
In honour of the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in
Chemistry, the Government of the Province of Ontario has established a fund to provide annually up
to five prizes to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their career who are continuing to
post-doctoral studies or have recently started a faculty appointment at an Ontario university.
Value of Prizes
The prizes have a value of $20,000 each and are available in the areas broadly defined as Physics,
Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Economic Science.
McMaster may submit up to three nominees in each category.
(Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Economic Science)
Any person who is planning to continue to post-doctoral studies (or has a faculty
appointment) in a recognized Ontario publicly assisted university who meets the following
criteria may apply for one of the prizes:
is normally resident in Ontario and has completed or is near completion of doctoral
studies in any recognized university in the world, or has completed or is nearing
completion of doctoral studies in an Ontario university; and
has received the doctoral degree between September 1, 2013 and April 30, 2017, or
if the doctoral degree has not yet been awarded, will have completed all the
requirements for the doctoral degree by April 30, 2017. Applicants holding faculty
appointments within these time limits may apply. (Note: Applicants who have been
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.)
The prizes are awarded to recognize truly outstanding researchers and scholars for their
work during their PhD program and/or in their post-doctoral research.
The Selection Committee reviews the record of research and publications as well as a
description of planned research when it makes its decisions about the applicants to be
awarded the Prizes. The Committee looks for the evidence from past research in very
concrete terms and sees a plan for future research - both are considered but a good plan
without a truly meritorious record of past achievement would not be recognized with a
The tax-exempt Prizes are awarded directly to recipients who have discretion over the use
of the funding. The prizes may be held along with any other financial support or research
funds received by the winners.
It is hoped that the prizes will be conferred by September, 2017. No prize will be awarded
without the successful applicant having completed all requirements for the doctoral degree.
2017 John Charles Polanyi Prizes Competition
Page 2 of 2
Application Instructions for candidates:
School of Graduate Studies Deadline is Thursday, December 1, 2016
Each applicant must submit to
the following documents as one
by December 1, 2016:
The completed application form
Curriculum vitae, including information concerning the application. Please note, updates to
curriculum vitae will not be accepted after submission
A brief summary of the doctoral thesis (1 page, to be written by the applicant)
A statement of research (or writing) to be undertaken during the period of the award
(maximum of 2 pages, plus an additional 1 page for diagrams, bibliography, etc., to be
prepared by the applicant)
A non-technical summary (maximum 500 words, to be written by the applicant)
The candidate must also provide:
Confidential letters from four assessors. These should focus on an evaluation of the
applicant’s research (or writing) to date, and the research (or writing) being undertaken.
The applicant must ask for the appraisals to be transmitted electronically directly to the
Dean of Graduate Studies by e-mailing
. Two of the
assessors must not have been associated with the candidate as either a supervisor, or a
member of the applicant’s supervisory committee, or a co-author and should preferably be
from another university.
Department Process-Letter of support
A letter of support is required from the department.
The letter is also due on December 1, 2016.
Department Chairs and/or Proposed Supervisors of the Postdoctoral Fellow and/or fourth
year doctoral applicant are required to provide a letter of support in Word or Word
Among other things, the letter should clarify the nature of the position which will be held by
The letter of support will assist the AVP/Dean of Graduate Studies, and will become the
basis of the formal Institutional Nomination Letter required as part of the application.
The Department is required to submit the letter of support by the deadline to
For further information, please visit the COU Website at:
2017-18 John Charles Polanyi Prize Announcement: