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Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering

W. Richard Peltier
W. Richard Peltier


University of Toronto

Prize Backgrounder

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.

NSERC's Objectives

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.

The NSERC Herzberg Medal

In honour of the late Dr. Gerhard 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 guaranteed $1 million to use for personal university-based research or to direct in some related way, such as the establishment of research chairs in his or her name at Canadian universities. The monetary award is distributed over a five-year period.

If the winner already has an NSERC Discovery Grant, that grant is increased to $200,000 for each of the five years. If the grant is currently greater than $150,000, it is topped up by $50,000.

A winner who is not an NSERC Discovery Grant recipient may direct the full $200,000 to university research endeavours, such as scholarships.