John Charles Polanyi Prizes

To honour the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Ontario Government established a fund to award John Charles Polanyi Prizes annually to up to five outstanding researchers or scholars who are in the early stages of their careers and at Ontario universities. The prizes are available in the areas of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Economic Science, broadly defined.




December 1, 2020

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for an award, an applicant must:

  • be normally resident in Ontario;
  • have received their doctoral degree from any recognized university in the world on or after September 1, 2017, or, if the doctoral degree has not yet been awarded, be confident that they will have completed all degree requirements by May 31, 2021 (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);
  • either be planning to continue to post-doctoral studies, or hold a faculty appointment, in a recognized publicly assisted university in Ontario.

Selection Criteria

John Charles Polanyi prizes recognize truly outstanding researchers and scholars for their work during their doctoral program and, where relevant, in their research and scholarship after doctoral study. The Selection Committee, when it makes its decisions about the applicants to be awarded the prizes, reviews both the record of research and publications and the description of planned research; neither, alone, is sufficient for recognition with a Polanyi Prize.


2021 Annual Announcement
2021 Application

The application must be sent to the University of Ottawa Financial Aid and Awards Service by email at


* The information on this page is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment from the University of Ottawa.

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