Principal’s prize for public engagement through media

Every year, McGill University awards prizes for the dissemination and popularization of research through media or through public engagement. In creating this prize, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier wishes to recognize the efforts made by academic staff, post-doctoral fellows, research associates and graduate students who go beyond their studies and research to engage with the media or the public. By sharing the results of their research as well as their expertise with a broader audience, they extend the reach and influence of their scholarship and support McGill’s commitment to engage with the wider community.

Two prizes will be awarded each year: one to academic staff, the other to a graduate student, research associate or post-doctoral fellow. Each winner will receive a cheque for $5,000.

The deadline for applications for the 2018 prize is January 15, 2019


Download the application form for grad students, research associates or post-doctoral fellows:

Application form for grad student

Download the application form for academic staff:

Application form for academic staff

Submit your completed application in one file here

Application criteria:

  • Applicants will be judged for their activities in three different categories:

    • Presence in the traditional media – e.g. in articles, interviews in print, radio, TV, online, blogs, podcasts, op-eds, etc.

    • Engagement on social media – e.g. Instagram, FB, Twitter, Reddit, blogs or vlogs you create, YouTube, etc.

    • Direct public engagement – e.g. science outreach groups, sharing knowledge with the public in settings such as archaeological sites or in schools, creating informational websites for the public, etc.

  • Please list a minimum of five (5) and maximum of ten (10) examples of presence in traditional media, engagement on social media or direct public engagement from the period between January 1 and December 31, 2018.

  • Please include name of media outlet/website, title of article/video/ broadcast, web link where possible (if not possible attach PDF or JPEG, if newspaper article), date of publication/broadcast, dates of outreach events, etc. If media outreach interviews take place in languages other than English or French, please provide a translation of the title of the media outlet.

  • Attendance, presentation and publication in regular academic fora such as academic conferences, on ResearchGate, in all academic journals should NOT be included since these venues are not designed to reach non-academic audiences.

  • Examples of media involvement or public engagement for which the candidate receives financial compensation or academic credit should not be included.

  • There is no limit to the number of candidates each faculty may put forward. 

Academic staff: 

  • Applicants must include a letter of support and the signature of the Chair of their Department. One additional letter of support (from McGill faculty, staff or from external partners) may be submitted. Each letter of support should not exceed 1 page in length, and should include the sender’s contact information.
  • All applicants should be employed by the University for the calendar year for which they are applying for the award, as well as at the time they submit their application. Applications from Emeritus professors will be considered as long as their affiliation with McGill is mentioned in the media and/or public engagement.

Graduate Students, Research Associates and Post-Doctoral Fellows:

  • The application must include a letter of support and the signature of a faculty member (usually the supervisor). Two additional letters of support (from McGill faculty, staff, other graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or from external partners) may be submitted. Each letter of support should not exceed 1 page in length, and should include the sender’s contact information. 
  • All applicants must be enrolled and active in an academic program or research at the time they apply as well as for the year for which they are submitting their application.

If you have any questions, you can email them to: communications.prize [at]