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NSERC Prizes - Herzberg

Call for Nominations

Nomination deadline: March 1, 2019

The NSERC Herzberg Medal will be awarded for both the sustained excellence and overall influence of a body of work conducted in Canada in the natural sciences or engineering.


Candidates may be nominated by any individual or group; however, the nominators must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Posthumous or self-nominations will not be accepted. Current NSERC Council members are not eligible for nomination.

As of the deadline, the nominee must be a scientist or engineer employed at a Canadian university, Canadian federal or provincial government lab or private firm active in Canada whose research is primarily based in the fields of the natural sciences and/or engineering. NSERC reserves the right to rule on the eligibility of nominees.

An individual may win the NSERC Herzberg Medal only once. An individual may be nominated for the NSERC Herzberg Medal and other major NSERC prizes in the same year, but can receive only one such prize in a given year.

Selection Criteria and Evaluation

The nominee's work must demonstrate a high degree of expertise, creativity, imagination, leadership, perseverance and dedication. The nominations will be reviewed on the basis of contributions to the areas of the natural sciences or engineering served by NSERC.

A selection committee of distinguished university, government and corporate research representatives, from a variety of disciplines, will review the nominations and recommend the award winner to NSERC. 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.

NSERC is acting on the evidence that equity, diversity and inclusion strengthen the scientific and engineering communities and the quality, social relevance and impact of research. Increasing diversity and gender equity in the research enterprise are key priorities in our current strategic plan, NSERC 2020, and are highlighted in the strategic goal of “Building a Diversified and Competitive Research Base.”

NSERC is in the process of integrating equity, diversity and inclusion considerations into its evaluation criteria. Our community will be informed of changes and effective dates in advance of application deadlines. Applicants should refer to the Guide for Applicants: Considering equity, diversity and inclusion in your application for more information.

Nomination Process

Nominations must include:

  1. a brief one-paragraph description of the nominator including confirmation of Canadian citizenship or permanent resident of Canada status and background;

  2. a letter or document of up to four pages that clearly describes:
    1. the nominee's achievements and how they relate to one or more of these categories:
      1. contributions to knowledge;
      2. the use of existing knowledge to develop novel solutions to practical problems;
      3. the successful promotion or management of research activities;
      4. leadership in the transfer of knowledge;
      5. the training of highly qualified personnel;
      6. other appropriate contributions;
    2. the significance, benefit or impact of the nominee's achievements on society and industry;
    3. the role of the nominee in bringing about the achievements.
      The letter should clearly highlight the nominee’s most significant scientific and engineering contributions by referring to the list included with the curriculum vitae (CV) (see item 3);
  3. the nominee's up-to-date NSERC Personal Data Form (Form 100) or This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV or an up-to-date CV in another format including detailed information about the contributions and achievements described in the above categories (e.g., lists of works published and highly qualified personnel trained). The CV should contain relevant information over the entire career of the nominee;
  4. the names and addresses (mail and email) of the six most important people in the nominee's field from whom NSERC may request objective assessments of the nominee's suitability for the award. The majority of these proposed referees should be from outside Canada, and none should be 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). Applicants must not contact suggested external reviewers in advance. A brief one-paragraph description of each person's background and the rationale for the person's suitability as a referee must be supplied. Please note that NSERC reserves the right to select all or none of the suggested referees;
  5. a Terms and Conditions Form for Nominees signed by the nominee;
  6. a Terms and Conditions Form for Nominators signed by each nominator.

For nominations in engineering or the applied sciences, nominators should consult the NSERC's Guidelines for the Preparation and Review of Applications in Engineering and the Applied Sciences, and prepare the nominations accordingly.

The nominators are responsible for assembling the required documentation, which must adhere to the 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 presentation 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, preferably, include the names of some individuals not included in a previous nomination.

Nominations must be submitted electronically via Secure Submissions for NSERC’s Innovative Collaborations and Science Promotion Programs. Documents must be submitted in Portable Document Format (PDF) as a single document.



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 NSERC Herzberg Medal winner will be asked to confirm, by email or letter, their acceptance of the prize and their ability to use the full value of the accompanying research grant.

At the end of the funding period, the winning individual will be asked to report on the impact that the award and the accompanying research grant has had on their research activities.


The name of the winner will be officially announced at a public ceremony in the next year.