The Principal’s Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers


Recognizing early-career researchers

Research of the highest calibre is central to McGill’s mission, and McGill is globally renowned for the excellence of its research and its researchers. In order to encourage and celebrate our most outstanding early-career researchers, as well as to provide them with an advantage for external awards with a prestigious internal distinction, the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) has created a University-wide prize for outstanding emerging researchers.

2018 Recipients

2017 Recipients

2016 Recipients

2015 Recipients

2014 Recipients


Up to three Principal’s Prizes for Outstanding Emerging Researchers will be presented yearly to early-career faculty members (no more than ten years beyond the doctorate or other highest degree*) who have distinguished themselves by their exceptional contributions to research.  The Principal’s Prizes for Outstanding Emerging Researchers includes a cash prize. The monetary award for 2017-18 is $5,000.

The selection committee will endeavour to ensure that the group of individuals honoured in a given year represents a diversity of research foci and disciplinary or interdisciplinary approaches. Preference will be given to nominees who have not yet received a major non- discipline-specific external prize or award.


Nominees must be no more than ten calendar years beyond their doctorate or other highest degree awarded, be autonomous regarding their research activities and have an academic appointment at McGill University which allows the individual to supervise students and to publish research results.*

*Career interruptions such as maternity or paternity leave, extended sick or disability leave, clinical training or family care can be excluded from the ten-year limit and must be explained in the nomination letter.  In the case of nominees holding more than one doctorate, the ten-year limit is calculated from the first doctorate awarded. 


Each Faculty Dean is invited to make one nomination per year for the Principal’s Prizes, with the following exceptions for McGill’s largest Faculties:

  • Medicine, up to three nominations per year
  • Arts, up to two nominations per year
  • Science, up to two nominations per year


Nomination Procedure 2017-2018


Download nomination package 

Each nomination dossier shall include the following documents:

• A letter of nomination (maximum three pages) from the Dean of the researcher’s Faculty outlining:

o   The rationale for the nomination

o   The nominee’s research contributions and promise of future distinction

o   Why the nominee deserves an award as an outstanding emerging researcher

• The nominee’s full curriculum vitae (maximum 20 pages), including the following information:

o   Publications

o   Invited lectures

o   Prizes and awards received

o   Graduate students supervised

• At least one letter of reference from an individual who is an expert in the nominee’s field.

Note: the selection committee will not read more than three letters per nominee.

o   Referees should not be present or former collaborators of the nominee. (Note: anyone with whom the nominee has co-authored publications or who has supervised the nominee is considered a collaborator of the nominee.)

o   Referees should be external to McGill University

o   A short biographical note should be included for each referee.

o   At least one letter of reference must be from an international referee.

Note: Persuasive letters of nomination and of reference, rather than merely summarizing factual information about the nominee’s scholarly output and publication record, will

a)       explain convincingly to a non-specialist audience the significance of the nominee’s discoveries and work, and

b)      make clear in what way(s) the nominee’s work is especially original, creative, or path-breaking

Nomination dossiers must be received by the Prizes and Awards Officer in the Office of Sponsored Research, Meredith.chatman [at] (Meredith Chatman), no later than Tuesday, February 13, 2018.

In accordance with the usual practice for nomination-based prizes and awards, nominators (but not unsuccessful nominees) will be informed of the selection committee’s decisions.

Note: nominees are expected to be available to attend their Faculty’s Spring Convocation between May 29 and June 6, 2018 (tentative dates). The letter of nomination must confirm that the nominee will keep these dates available until the selection committee has made its decisions, or explain why it is impossible for the nominee to do this.


Members of the Selection Committee

  • Principal or delegate
  • Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) or delegate
  • One graduate student
  • One undergraduate student


For more information on the Principal’s Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers, please contact meredith.chatman [at] (Meredith Chatman), Prizes and Awards Officer in the Office of Sponsored Research.