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NSERC Prizes – Science Promotion

Call for nominations

Nomination deadline: November 15 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 recognize individuals and groups who are inspirational in the way they promote science to the general public.

Science promotion activities with award potential could include

  • organizing science camps, fairs, clubs or mentorship programs with youth organizations
  • enhancing equity, diversity and inclusion in existing programming
  • creating new learning materials
  • sharing best practices for outreach in science and engineering
  • 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 multimedia programs


Candidates must be nominated by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada; posthumous or self-nominations will not be accepted. Nominators may be colleagues or people who have benefited from the nominee’s contributions, such as teachers, parents, community members or administrators. Note: For nominations within postsecondary institutions, senior administrators within the institution can nominate an individual or group, as long as the award does not directly benefit the nominators. NSERC strongly encourages nominators to consider equity, diversity and inclusion in their nomination process.*

Nominees for the individual award must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Nominees for the group award can be any registered non-profit organization, postsecondary institution, non-federal museum, science centre or company within Canada. Current NSERC Council members are not eligible for nomination.

All nominees must have made a successful and sustained effort to encourage public interest in, and an understanding of, the natural sciences and engineering (including math and technology). As a guideline, nominees have typically been involved in science promotion over the course of at least five years, and their endeavours must be outside the formal education system.

Past winners of an NSERC Award for Science Promotion are eligible for re-nomination if a period of at least 10 years has passed since their previous award. Exceptions may be made for individuals or groups who are, or were, linked with an organization that has previously won an NSERC Award for Science Promotion within the last 10 years. In order to qualify, the achievements of any nominee (group or individual) must be distinct from those of the previous award winner. Such nominations must include a letter from the organization confirming the distinct nature of the activities.

*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.

Nomination process and selection criteria

If you are nominating an individual or group, your nomination package must include

  1. a completed NSERC Award for Science Promotion  nomination form
  2. a document (three pages maximum) that describes
    • the nominee’s sustained efforts and involvement in inspiring public understanding and developing abilities in science and engineering in Canada
    • the impact and duration of the nominee’s activities
      (Note: Nominators are encouraged to include specific measures of impact.)
    • the content, originality and target audience 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, particularly participants in the outreach activity, are strongly encouraged. Letters must demonstrate the impact of the activities.)
  4. supporting documentation, such as promotional material, participant feedback, media coverage, publications, awards (four pages maximum)
  5. Terms and conditions form for nominees, signed by the nominee or the representative of the nominated group
  6. Terms and conditions form for nominators, signed by the nominator

The documents described in points 2 and 3 above should not include links to websites. Pertinent information must be included within the nomination documents. Committee members will ignore any links that are provided.

You, as a nominator, 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 be at a disadvantage in comparison with those that do meet the standards. Only the documents requested by NSERC will be made available to the selection committee.

Nominations must be submitted electronically via NSERC’s ICSP secure submission site. All parts of the nomination package must be combined into a single portable document format (PDF) file. Do not upload PDF portfolios.

Save a copy of the submission confirmation 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 or incomplete nomination, and NSERC will not contact nominators for missing information.

Your nomination package and any support material become the property of NSERC upon submission and will not be returned.

NSERC collects self-identification data from all individual nominees, which provides information on the diversity of the population applying for and receiving agency funds. This data is important for monitoring the fairness of our programs and informing future measures to increase equity, diversity and inclusion among all those involved in the research enterprise. The questionnaire covers age, gender, Indigenous identity, and identity as a member of a visible minority group and/or as a person with a disability. Nominees will be asked to complete the questionnaire, but each question includes the option “prefer not to answer.” Self-identification data will not be seen or used by NSERC peer reviewers.


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. Note: For the NSERC Awards for Science Promotion, only the representative of a nominated group is required to complete the Terms and conditions form.


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 a sub-committee of the PromoScience/NSERC Awards for Science Promotion Selection Committee. Members are chosen from both the science and engineering promotion community and the education community based on their stature and expertise, and according to NSERC’s Guidelines governing membership of selection committees.

Notification of results

NSERC will inform all nominators and nominees of the results of the annual competition electronically by the end of February, and the names of the award recipients will be announced publicly.