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NSERC prizes - Brockhouse

Call for nominations

The new dates for the call for nominations for this prize will be announced later in the year.

NSERC is seeking nominations of research teams for the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering. This prize recognizes highly collaborative Canadian teams of researchers from different disciplines who have combined their expertise to produce achievements of outstanding significance in the natural sciences and engineering.

NSERC is acting on the evidence that achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding, and to respond to local, national and global challenges. This principle informs the commitments described in the Tri-agency statement on equity, diversity and inclusion.


Candidates may be nominated by any individual or group. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Current NSERC Council members are not eligible for nomination.

NSERC strongly encourages nominators and university officials to consider equity, diversity and inclusion in their nomination processes.

Research teams nominated for the Brockhouse Canada Prize must have at least two members who are independent researchers, one of whom must hold an NSERC research grant. The team can be part of an international effort, but the majority of the nominated team members must be employed at a Canadian university or public or private organization. NSERC recognizes that teams may change between the time of the specific research achievements and the time of nomination. Nominations will be accepted when changes have occurred, but only where the core of the team remains intact. Contributions must be primarily in the natural sciences and engineering, and of an interdisciplinary and collaborative nature (consult NSERC's Guidelines for the preparation and review of applications in interdisciplinary research for a definition of interdisciplinary research).

NSERC reserves the right to rule on the eligibility of nominations.
A team may be nominated for the NSERC Brockhouse Canada Prize and other NSERC prizes (Herzberg, Polanyi, McDonald, Synergy or Strickland) in the same year, but can only receive one prize in a given year.

Selection criteria and evaluation

Nominations will be reviewed on the basis of contributions to the areas of the natural sciences or engineering supported by NSERC, according to the following selection criteria:

  • Significance, novelty and impact of the achievements
  • Quality of the contribution to the training and mentoring of highly qualified personnel in a collaborative and interdisciplinary setting, including consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion in their training and mentoring
  • Excellence of the interdisciplinary team, including the complementarities of the members' expertise

A diverse selection committee of academic, government and industry research representatives from a variety of disciplines will review the nominations and recommend the successful candidates to NSERC. Members are selected according to NSERC’s Guidelines governing membership of selection committees. Since the selection committee is multidisciplinary, the nomination material should be written for non-specialists.

The committee may recommend not to award the prize in a given year if there is no outstanding nomination.

Nomination process

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the prize, nominators should consult NSERC's Guidelines for the preparation and review of applications in interdisciplinary research when preparing the nomination package. Nominators should also consult NSERC's Guidelines for the preparation and review of applications in engineering and the applied sciences, if appropriate.

The nomination package must include

  1. a letter (four pages maximum; use the following points as headings) that clearly describes

    1. the team’s achievements built on

      1. contributions to research, highlighting their significance, novelty and impact; contributions may include advancing knowledge, using existing knowledge to develop novel solutions to practical problems, transferring knowledge, communicating research to non-specialist audiences and engaging in public outreach activities, among other things (refer to Contributions to research and their impact below for additional examples)

      2. contributions to the training and mentoring of highly qualified personnel in a collaborative, interdisciplinary setting, emphasizing their impact, extent and importance; also describe the co-supervision provided by the various members of the team, and how equity, diversity and inclusion were considered in the training and mentoring of highly qualified personnel

        Note: The achievements must have been made jointly by the members of the nominated team and not realized before joining the team, or as individual researchers separate from the team's activities.

    2. the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of the team and its achievements, including the complementarities of expertise between members of the group; the interdisciplinary nature of the team must be clearly defined, particularly in cases where it may not be immediately obvious—if the interdisciplinary nature of a team is not evident, the nomination may be ruled ineligible

  2. a description of the team's five most important joint contributions; provide bibliographic information where relevant (maximum one page).

  3. the names and email addresses of six researchers who, in the opinion of the nominators, could be approached by NSERC to conduct an impartial review of the nomination, and who are not in conflict of interest (see This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of interest and confidentiality policy of the federal research funding organizations)

    1. NSERC strongly recommends that nominators suggest a cross-section of reviewers with expertise in the nominee’s area of research (i.e., Canadian and/or international researchers; from a range of career stages; members of under-represented and marginalized groups, including women; researchers at a variety of academic and non-academic institutions)

    2. Nominees must not contact suggested external reviewers in advance; please note that NSERC reserves the right to select all or none of the suggested reviewers

  4. a brief letter from the team identifying one of the members as the spokesperson of the group; this spokesperson must be eligible to hold an NSERC grant and will be the contact person for NSERC on any matter related to the outcome of the competition (refer to NSERC's Eligibility criteria for faculty)

  5. a one-page demonstration of the team’s eligibility for this prize, addressing the items included under Eligibility.  

  6. a terms and conditions form for nominees signed by each nominee

  7. a terms and conditions form for nominators signed by each nominator

Contributions to research, and their impact

As a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), NSERC recognizes that scholarly contributions are not limited to published journal articles but can also include, amongst other contributions, article preprints, datasets, software, protocols, well-trained researchers, societal outcomes and policy changes resulting from research. Some contributions that are often overlooked, such as communication and knowledge translation with the public, community service such as membership on committees, journal editorships and/or advisory boards, and work done by nominees to advance equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in the research ecosystem, are also important scholarly contributions.

Surrogate measures of quality and impact, such as the prestige of a publication venue or citation-based metrics (e.g., journal impact factor or h-index), must not be used as they introduce bias in the merit review process. Indicators of the impact of research contributions include influence on the direction of thought and/or activity of other researchers, in the specific field, in the discipline as a whole or in other disciplines, or beyond academia. Impact can be seen as advancing knowledge, developing technology, addressing socio-economic or environmental needs, or increases to equitable and inclusive participation in the research ecosystem, among other things. The relevance of such considerations may differ depending on the discipline and the nature of the research being conducted.

The nominator should clearly describe the quality and impact of contributions within this larger context for the multidisciplinary selection committee members.

Nominators are responsible for preparing the required documentation, which must adhere to NSERC’s General presentation guidelines. Documents that do not meet the presentation standards may be rejected or at a disadvantage in comparison with those that meet the standards. Only the documents requested by NSERC will be made available to the selection committee.

For re-nominations, nominators are asked to submit a complete and updated nomination package. The list of suggested referees should also be updated to include new individuals.
Compile your documents into a single portable document format (PDF) and submit your nomination electronically via the ICSP Secure Submission Site.

The program collects self-identification data from all nominees. This data provides information on the diversity of the population applying for and receiving agency funds. This information increases NSERC’s capacity to monitor its progress on increasing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in its programs, to recognize and remove barriers, and to design new measures to achieve greater EDI in the research enterprise. If you do not want to self-identify, you have the option to choose “I prefer not to answer” for each question, but you are required to select a response for the questionnaire to be marked as complete. Self-identification information is not part of the nomination and will be neither accessible to, nor shared with, external reviewers and/or selection committee members.



Before you, as a nominee, can submit your documents to the nominator, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions form for nominees. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records.


Before you, as a nominator, can submit your documents to NSERC, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions form for nominators. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records.

Conditions and reporting

The spokesperson will be asked to confirm, by email or letter, their team’s acceptance of the award and ability to use the full value of the accompanying research grant. Because the grant may be distributed in either one payment or several instalments, the spokesperson will also be asked to submit a payment schedule.

The team will be asked to report on the impact that the award has had on its research activities.


The names of the award recipients will be announced at a public ceremony.