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Graduate Studies

The John Charles Polanyi Prizes


The John Charles Polanyi Prizes, 2014–2015


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.


$20,000 per prize


December 2, 2013

Technical Eligibility

Any person who is planning to continue to post–doctoral studies (or has a faculty appointment) in a recognized Ontario 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, 2010 and April 30, 2014, or if the doctoral degree has not yet been awarded, will have completed all the requirements for the doctoral degree by April 30, 2014. 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.)

Subject Matter Eligibility

  • Areas broadly defined as Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Economic Science.

Evaluation Selection criteria

  • Not available. However, the selection committee consists of ten members, two each from the five major areas. Committee members are nominated by the Deans of the Graduate Schools in the Province of Ontario, and selected by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies.

Required Documentation

  • Completed application form
  • Curriculum vitae, including information concerning the application. Updates to the CV will not be accepted after submission
  • A brief summary of the doctoral thesis (1 page singled sided, written by the applicant)
  • A statement of research (or writing) to be undertaken during the period of the award (maximum of 2 pages single sided, plus an additional 1 page for diagrams, bibliography, etc., to be prepared by the applicant)
  • A non–technical summary (maximum 500 words, 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 Sandra Yiu at 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.

How to Apply

  • Assemble and submit a complete electronic application to Sandra Yiu at
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted under any circumstances

More Information

Award Information

Application Form


Melissa Dalgleish
Research Officer
Ext 44168
Contact regarding: adjudication and review process, pre–award information

Sandra Yiu
Scholarships and Awards Coordinator
Ext 33954
Contact regarding: application submission





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