Application Guidelines

Application Guidelines

Scope of the prize

All applications should be underpinned by an aspiration to better connect the work and research of McGill University with the larger society. Activities should be linked to field of study, expertise, research and/or teaching carried out at McGill University.   

All activities included should have been carried out during the period from January 1 to December 31, 2020.  The application deadline is January 18, 2021 at midnight

The applicants should apply for this prize themselves. There is no need to be nominated.  


Applications will be judged by an interdisciplinary committee that includes professional communications staff, academics, and representatives from the student body.  

Applications will be judged in four (4) different areas. Competition winners and runners-up typically engage and excel in at least two (2) of the following four (4) following areas of activity:   

  • Sharing knowledge through traditional media   
  • Sharing knowledge through social media   
  • Direct public engagement   
  • Activities that have an impact on society   

Please note:  

If you have previously won the prize, you are ineligible to reapply for the following five (5) years.  

Application details

Applications should not be larger than 5 MB.  

Please ensure that your name and the prize category are at the top of all documents submitted.  

Completed applications must contain the following four (4) elements:  

  • A list of media and/or public engagements  
  • A short essay  
  • A photo  
  • Letter(s) of support   *A maximum of two (2) letters of support is permitted. 

List of media and public engagements  

  • Excellence in media and/or public engagement spans a broad range of audiences and types of activity. Applicants are encouraged to include a wide range of media and engagement activities in their submissions.  
  • Media and public engagement activities to include in your list:  
  • Knowledge sharing through traditional media – e.g. in articles, interviews in print, radio, TV, online, blogs, podcasts, op-eds, etc. Please include links wherever possible. If you have been interviewed in languages other than English or French, please provide a translation of the name of the media outlet.   
  • Knowledge sharing through social media – e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, blogs or vlogs you create,  etc. Please include engagement info, e.g. numbers of followers, reach, etc.  
  • Public engagement activities - e.g. activities typically involving sharing knowledge directly with the public and stakeholders. They may consist of activities such as lectures to parent groups, involvement with patient groups, or community organizations of various kinds. In the past, applicants have described being engaged in science outreach groups, the publication of educational comic books, creating groups to respond to specific needs, participation in festivals or museum exhibitions, workshops at science fairs, etc. Please include approximate numbers of people reached through engagement activities.  
  • Activities that have an impact on society – e.g. activities that lead to changes in policies or laws, result in the creation of film festivals or art exhibits, lead to new environmental or health guidelines, etc. These may include engagement with policymakers, non-academic stakeholder groups including the educational sector and schools, local government, government agencies and other public bodies where there is the potential for social, educational or cultural impact.  

Short essay  

Please submit a short essay on what you have taken away or learned from your work with the media, stakeholders and public over the past year? (200 words maximum).  


Please include a picture of yourself that conveys the essence of your work or speaks about a particular aspect of it. Examples include work in the field, in the lab, etc. For example, a photo of a geologist on location preparing a specimen for transport would work well.  

Letter(s) of support  

  • Letters of support will be submitted directly by their authors.  
  • Please forward guidelines for the letters of support, which you will find here to those who will be writing on your behalf.  

What not to include: 

  • Attendance, presentation and publication in regular academic fora such as academic conferences, on ResearchGate, in all academic journals, since these venues are designed to reach academic audiences and not the general public.  
  • Examples of public engagement or work with the media for which you receive academic credit or regular compensation. e.g. for a weekly or monthly column. Occasional freelance media work can be included. Please indicate in your application which media engagements were paid.  

If you have any questions, please consult our FAQ page.  For additional questions, please contact communications.prize [at] 



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