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2018 John Charles Polanyi Prizes


Thursday, November 16, 2017 11:59 pm - Thursday, November 16, 2017 11:59 pm


See application details below.


To honour of the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Ontario Government established a fund to provide John Charles Polanyi Prizes annually to up to five outstanding researchers or scholars who are in the early stages of their career and at Ontario universities. The prizes, each which is currently valued at $20,000, will be conferred in the fall of 2018. They are available in the areas of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Economic Science, broadly defined.

The John Charles Polanyi Prize is a prestigious award and The University of Toronto is well represented on the list of prize winners.  It is our aim to remain successful in this competition and we continue to encourage graduate units to nominate their strongest, eligible candidates.

Read about the 2016 UofT Prize winners, and past the UofT recipients of the 2015 Polanyi Prize, 2014 Polanyi Prize and 2013 Polanyi Prize.

Applicant Deadline to IMS: November 16, 2017
Value/Duration: $20,000
Level of Study: Postdoctoral or has faculty appointment
Required Legal Status: Ontario resident
Results: November 2018 by agency

* Applicants are to submit their application to their graduate unit or their supervisor’s affiliated graduate unit, not the Graduate Awards Office (or the Dean of Graduate Studies as the COU announcement indicates).

Eligibility to Apply

To be eligible for an award, applicants 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, 2014, or, if the doctoral degree has not yet been awarded, be confident that they will have completed all degree requirements by April 30, 2018 (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 publically assisted university in Ontario.

Nomination/Application Process

All applicants must submit to their graduate unit or their supervisor’s affiliated graduate unit an electronic copy of the following documents in a single PDF package by November 16, 2017:

  1. The completed application form – attached, and available from Council of Ontario Universities’ (COU) website: http://www.cou.on.ca/about/chairs-and-awards/john-charles-polanyi-prizes
  1. Curriculum vitae (no page restrictions), including information concerning the application. Updates to curriculum vitae will not be accepted after submission;
  2. A summary of the doctoral thesis (1 page max, to be written by the applicant);
  3. A statement of research (or writing) to be undertaken during the period of the award, prepared by the applicant (maximum of 2 pages, plus an additional 1 page for diagrams, bibliography, etc.);
  4. A non-technical summary of research or scholarship, written by the applicant (maximum 500 words);
  5. Confidential letters (on letterhead and signed) from four assessors (emailed directly to the IMS before November 16, 2017).
  • Two of the assessors must not have had any prior personal or professional association with the applicant (e.g., as supervisor or a member of the applicant’s supervisory community) and ideally are not at a university at which the applicant is, or has been, a student or an employee.
  • Letters should focus on an evaluation of the applicant’s research (or writing) to date, and the research (or writing) being undertaken.
  • Assessors must read and comment on the statement of research (or writing) being submitted as part of the application.

Note: Applicants do not need to obtain the Dean’s signature or endorsement when submitting the application. The Graduate Awards Office will provide this endorsement to those applications selected by SGS to put forth to COU.

Contacts & Resources

Please direct all questions regarding the John Charles Polanyi Prizes competition or nomination process to:

Stacey Kwan
Graduate Awards Officer (Provincial)
Phone: 416-978-2205

SGS Polanyi Prizes webpage

COU Inquiries
Phone: 416-979-2165, extension 235


COU Polanyi Prizes webpage