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John Charles Polanyi Prizes

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 (5) prizes to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their careers who are continuing to postdoctoral studies or have recently started a faculty appointment at an Ontario university.  The John Charles Polanyi Prizes are available in the areas broadly defined as Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Economic Science.

More detailed information about The John Charles Polanyi Prizes, external link.

Prizes have a value of $20,000 each.

Deadlines are set by Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and each institution is allowed to submit up to three (3) applications per prize area:

December 1, 2018
Application deadline for students to submit to YSGS

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:

(i) 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

(ii) has received the doctoral degree between September 1, 2014 and April 30, 2018, or if the doctoral degree has not yet been awarded, will have completed all the requirements for the doctoral degree by April 30, 2018. 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.)

2. The prizes are awarded to assist the recipients in their research and professional development.

3. The prizes may be held along with any other financial support or research funds received by the winners.

4. It is hoped that the prizes will be conferred by September, 2018. No prize will be awarded without the successful applicant having completed all requirements for the doctoral degree.

Application Process

All applicants must submit an electronic copy of the following documents in a single PDF package by December 1, 2018 to Natasha Mills –

  • The completed application form
  • Curriculum vitae, including information concerning the application. 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)
  • 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. 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.

Applications will be reviewed by the Dean of Graduate Studies; successful applicants will be forwarded to the John Charles Polanyi committee for further review.

Successful candidates and Ryerson are notified of the competition results by September 2019.