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NSERC Prizes – Science Promotion

Call for nominations

Nomination deadline: November 25 before 8:00 p.m. (ET). If the deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, your nomination must reach NSERC before 8:00 p.m. (ET) the following working day.

The NSERC Awards for Science Promotion focus on people and groups who are inspirational in the way they promote science to the general public.

Science promotion activities with award potential could include activities such as:

  • organizing science camps, fairs, clubs or programs with youth organizations;
  • creating new learning materials;
  • developing science and engineering-related co-op programs or job shadowing initiatives;
  • arranging demonstrations, visits and lectures;
  • writing books and articles;
  • creating radio or television programs;
  • generating public involvement through multi-media programs.


Any individual, registered non-profit organization, postsecondary institution, non-federal museum, science centre or company within Canada may be nominated for the award. Nominees will have made a successful and sustained effort (as a guideline, typically over the course of at least 5 years) to encourage public interest in, and an understanding of, the natural sciences and engineering (including math and technology) outside the formal education system. Posthumous or self-nominations will not be accepted. Current NSERC Council members are not eligible for nomination.

Past winners of an NSERC Award (or a Michael Smith Award) for Science Promotion are not eligible to be nominated a second time. Exceptions may be made for organizations or individuals who are, or were, linked with an NSERC Award (or a Michael Smith Award) for Science Promotion winning organization. In order to qualify, the achievements of any nominee (group or individual) must be distinct from the organization as a whole. Such nominations must include a letter from the organization confirming the distinct nature of the activities. Furthermore, no consideration will be given to any aspect of the organization or its activities during the review process.

Nomination process and selection criteria

Anyone with direct knowledge of an individual’s or group's contribution to science and engineering promotion may nominate that candidate for an NSERC Award for Science Promotion. Nominators may be colleagues or people who have benefited from the nominee’s contributions, such as teachers, parents, community members or administrators.

The nomination package must include:

  1. a completed, printed and signed NSERC Award for Science Promotion Nomination Form;
  2. a letter or document (three pages maximum) that describes:
      • the nominee’s efforts and involvement in inspiring public understanding, and developing abilities in, science and engineering;
      • the impact and duration of the nominee’s activities;
        Note: Nominators are encouraged to include specific measures of impact.
      • the content, originality and scope of the nominee’s activities;  
  3. three signed letters of recommendation dated within six months of the application deadline;
    Note: letters from individuals with first-hand knowledge of the nominee’s activities and impact are strongly encouraged.
  4. supporting documentation (such as promotional material, participant feedback, media coverage, publications, awards) (four pages maximum);
  5. a Terms and Conditions Form for Nominees signed by the nominee;
  6. a Terms and Conditions Form for Nominators signed by the nominator.

Documents described in 2 and 3 above must not include links to websites. Committee members will ignore any links that are provided.

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.

Nominations must be submitted electronically using the Secure Submissions for NSERC's Innovative Collaborations and Science Promotion Programs. All the parts of the nomination must be combined into a single document in Portable Document Format (PDF).

Make a copy of the submission confirmation receipt generated by the secure site and/or the automatically generated confirmation email for your records. Note that the secure site cannot distinguish between a complete and an incomplete nomination. NSERC may not acknowledge receipt of nominations or contact nominators for missing information.

Submissions and support material become the property of NSERC and will not be returned.


Nominees (or representative of the nominated group)

Before you, as a nominee (or representative of the nominated group), can submit your documents to the nominator, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions listed on 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 listed on the Terms and Conditions Form for Nominators. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records.

Selection committee

Nominations are reviewed by the PromoScience/NSERC Awards for Science Promotion Selection Committee. Members are chosen from the science and engineering promotion community and the education community based on their stature and expertise.

Notification of decision

NSERC will inform all nominators and nominees of the results of the annual competition electronically. The names of the award recipients will be announced at a public ceremony.