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,  2021.  The application deadline is  January 31, 2022 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.  Prize winners and runners-up typically engage and excel in at least  two (2)  of the following  four (4)  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 may not apply again in the same category. 

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 public engagement highlights 

  • A  short essay   

  • A  photo   

  • Letter(s)  of support *

*A  maximum of two (2)  letters of support is permitted.  

List of media and public engagement highlights

All work included in the application, whether media work, direct public engagement, or work with stakeholders should be tied to sharing knowledge related to your fields of research and/or expertise

Excellence in  media  and/or public  engagement  spans  a broad range of audiences and types of activity. Applicants are encouraged to include a curated list of diverse media and engagement activities in their submissions (one (1) page maximum).

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,  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 explaining why you care about working with the media, stakeholders or the public and what you have learned from doing it. (500 words maximum – the essay sent to jurors will be cut at word 500).  


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 writers.   

  • 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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