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Fessenden Prizes


 

Deadline

- Undergraduate and Graduate Prizes - November 7, 2014

- Professor Prizes - February 2, 2015


Eligibility

Only candidates who are members of the Faculty of Science are eligible for the Fessenden Prizes.

Students must be registered full-time in a Science program. Professors must hold an appointment in a department formally affiliated with the Faculty of Science. A candidacy must be based on a research project that the candidate has been actively involved in and that was performed in the course of the three years preceding the application date.


How to apply

The application is free-form. Application dossiers must include the components common to all candidacies, as well as the detailed content described below for each Prize category. Follow the Presentation Guidelines listed at the end of this section.

Common content

Identification: An application must clearly indicate the Prize being sought. The proposer’s name and department must be included in cases where the candidate is not self-nominated. Each page of the application must indicate the candidate’s name and department.

Personal Information: For students, the academic record and an up-to-date curriculum vitae must accompany the application. The CV should provide information on contributions to publications (including patents) and collaborative research activities. The CV should also include the mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address where the nominee can be contacted. Professors must provide an up-to-date NSERC Personal Data Form 100.

Content for each Prize category

Undergraduate Students - On a maximum of 2 pages, describe:

  1. the innovation or discovery and explain why it is novel and non-obvious. Describe and discuss the problem which it addresses or solves. Describe how this innovation would be useful and for whom.
  2. the context in which the discovery was made and how it is related to your academic program. Indicate the research project that the application is based on, including the time period when it was performed. List others who may have contributed to the project and indicate their role. Include at least one of the following:
    • course name
    • supervisor name
    • picture of existing prototype
  3. the steps required for translation from innovation to product. Indicate how the existing results could be used to create a product or process of benefit to the population at large. Describe the steps that would be necessary in order to make existing results into a useful product. Describe the competitive landscape and indicate who else is working on such a problem. Describe the impact which could be anticipated should this product be successfully brought to market.

Graduate Students - On maximum 6 pages, include the following:

  1. A one-page summary of the research describing its purpose, significance and impact of the results obtained.
  2. Explain why the innovation or discovery is novel and non-obvious. Describe and discuss the unmet need which is addressed. Describe the primary commercial product or service that could be implemented or developed through application of the research results, including reference to other applications of the product or service. Indicate the potential economic and other benefits which could be realized.
  3. Describe the context in which the discovery was made and how it relates to your academic program. Indicate the research project that the application is based on, including the time period when it was performed. List others who may have contributed to the project indicating their role. Include at least one of the following:
    • course name
    • supervisor name
    • picture of existing prototype
  4. Describe the process of translation from innovation to product, detailing the steps that would be necessary in order to develop existing results into a useful product. Describe the envisaged client base and summarize the unique value the customer or end-user would receive from this proposed product or service. Identify emerging trends in the marketplace that will support the acceptance of the proposed innovation. Survey the competitive landscape and indicate the principal competitors; indicate how your innovation is different and preferable. Describe and justify the assumptions you have made. Describe potential risks associated with bringing the envisaged product to market.
  5. Describe the three most important technical steps in the innovation as well as obstacles that must be overcome before the product or service would be in a marketable form.
  6. Describe how to best prototype or simulate the usability, utility and feasibility of the proposed product or service under market conditions.

NOTE: For graduate students in their final year, or recently graduated, an application for a Fessenden prize may also be appropriate for consideration for an NSERC Innovation Challenge Award.

Professors - On a maximum of 6 pages, include the following:

  1. A one-page summary of the research describing its purpose, significance and impact of the results obtained.
  2. Explain why the innovation or discovery is novel and non-obvious. Describe and discuss the unmet need which is addressed. Describe the primary commercial product or service that could be implemented or developed through application of the research results, including reference to other applications of the product or service. Indicate the potential economic and other benefits which could be realized.
  3. Describe the context in which the discovery was made and how it relates to your research program. List others who may have contributed to the project and indicate their role.
  4. Describe the process of translation from innovation to product, detailing the steps that would be necessary in order to develop existing results into a useful product. Describe the envisaged client base and summarize the unique value the customer or end-user would receive from this proposed product or service. Identify emerging trends in the marketplace that will support the acceptance of the proposed innovation. Survey the competitive landscape and indicate the principal competitors; indicate how your innovation is different and preferable. Describe and justify the assumptions you have made. Consider potential risks associated with bringing the envisaged product to market.
  5. Describe the collaboration with industry, if appropriate. Describe the objective of the partnership and how the university and industrial partners worked together to achieve that objective. Highlight the effective use of human, technical and financial resources, and discuss whether this has constituted a lasting partnership between university and industrial collaborators, with tangible commercial results.

NOTE: If a professor's innovation occurred in the context of collaboration with a Canadian-based company (or several), an application for a Fessenden prize may also be appropriate for consideration for an NSERC Synergy Award.

Presentation Guidelines:

  • Text must be single-spaced, with no more than six lines per inch.
  • Font should be Times New Roman regular 12 pts.
  • Set margins at 3/4 of an inch (1.9 cm) (minimum) all around.
  • Number your pages sequentially.

Submission

Submit the completed application josie [dot] damico [at] mcgill [dot] ca (electronically), in pdf format. 


Adjudication and Awards

Candidacies shall be reviewed by the Dean and members of the Dean's Advisory Board for Research Innovation. Submissions will be ranked using the following weighting:

  • The innovation - 40%
  • The context - 20%
  • The translation to product - 40%

Student prizes will awarded at the end of the Fall term, and professor prizes at the end of the Winter term.

Selected applications for a Fessenden Prize may be nominated by the Dean for consideration in external competitions for innovation awards, such as

Past Awards - Student categories
 

2014 - Undergraduate, Graduate
  • Undergraduate Prize - Bojing Jia [A New Versatile Platform for Mechanical Perturbation of Cells]
  • Graduate Prize - James Renaud [Graphite Probe Calorimeter: The first absolute dosimeter for clinical radiation therapy]
2013 - Graduate            
  • Etienne Low-Decarie [BioFert: Biological assay for the measurement of soil nutrient status and fertilization requirements]
  • Audrey MacLeod [A Novel Imaging Detector for the Localization of Radiation]
2012 - Graduate            
  • Gang Li [Design of a Centrifugal Cryogenic Pump]

2011 - Undergraduate, Graduate

  • Undergraduate Prize - Volodymyr Kuleshov [Pricing mechanisms for bandwidth and electricity markets]
  • Graduate, 1st Prize - Fabiano Pandozzi [Portable, non-invasive instrument for the analysis of the brain and surrounding fluids]
  • Graduate, 2nd Prize - Aleksander Labuda [A user-friendly optical beam deflection system]
  • Graduate, 3rd Prize - Gregor Lucic [A crowd-sourced CO2 assay for the Montreal urban environment]

2010  - Graduate

  • Aleksander Labuda [Optimizing the signal-to-noise ratio in atomic force microscopes]
  • Theresa Dankovich [Paper filters for sustainable water filtration]
  • Andrew McCann [Alignment tool for distributed mirror systems]

2009  - Graduate

  • Josiane Lafleur [Centrifugal microfluidics devices: a novel versatile tool for the environmental analytical chemist's toolbox]
  • David Duford [Centrifugal magnetic pulverizer: the future of on-site environmental monitoring]

Past awards - Professor category

2013                  
  • Margaret Kalacska [Remote Detection of Clandestine Mass Graves]
2012
  • Pat Kambhampati [Quantum dot LED Solutions for Energy Efficient Lighting]
2009
  • Gregory Dudek [Underwater robotics vehicle system]
  • Hong Guo [Atomistic modeling method and software for application in nanostructures]