2017 John Charles Polanyi Prizes Competition Postdoctoral Prizes

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2017 John Charles Polanyi Prizes Competition                             

Postdoctoral Prizes 


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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’s Quota 

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 

Polanyi Prize. 



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                             

Postdoctoral Prizes 


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Application Instructions for candidates: 

School of Graduate Studies Deadline is Thursday, December 1, 2016 

Each applicant must submit to 


 the following documents as one 

PDF 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 

compatible format.   


Among other things, the letter should clarify the nature of the position which will be held by 

the candidate.   


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 




Useful links: 

For further information, please visit the COU Website at:  




2017-18 John Charles Polanyi Prize Announcement: 




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