The Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, NSERC’s highest honour, recognizes research contributions characterized by both excellence and influence—two qualities that defined Dr. Herzberg's illustrious career. It is awarded annually to an individual who has demonstrated sustained excellence and influence in research for a body of work conducted in Canada that has substantially advanced the fields of natural sciences or engineering.
The award celebrates Canada's most outstanding scientists and engineers, raising public awareness about the major contributions that Canada's top researchers make to international science and technology, and to improving the lives of Canadians.
In honour of the late Dr. Herzberg, Canada's 1971 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, NSERC has dedicated its highest award to his memory.
In addition to the medal, the winner is awarded a grant of up to $1 million to use for personal university-based research or to direct in some related way, such as the establishment of scholarships or research Chairs in his or her name at Canadian universities. The monetary award is distributed over a five-year period. Research grant funds paid to winners of this prize are subject to the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.
If the winner already has an NSERC Discovery Grant, that grant is increased up to a maximum of $200,000 for each of the five years. The value of the Herzberg award is added to funds already scheduled through the DG program. In cases where the grant is currently greater than $150,000, the winner will receive an additional $50,000 top-up to the grant for the five years of the Herzberg award.
A winner who is not an NSERC Discovery Grant recipient may direct the full $200,000 to university research endeavours, such as scholarships.