The Principal's Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers 

The Office of the Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) created a new University-wide prize for outstanding emerging researchers in 2013 to encourage and celebrate our most outstanding early-career researchers.


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


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 is a cash prize. The monetary award for 2023-2024 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. The selection committee will also follow Assessment Procedures normative of other internal awards adjudication processes at McGill (e.g., those pertaining to Canada Research Chairs, see for detail.)

***Preference will be given to EMERGING nominees, that is, people who


Nominees must be no more than ten calendar years beyond their doctorate or other highest degree awarded (2014 or later, for the 2023-2024 competition), 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 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
  • Arts, up to two nominations
  • Science, up to two nominations


Members of the Selection Committee

  • Principal or delegate
  • Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) or delegate
  • Four previous recipients of this award or of other significant research awards
  • One graduate student
  • One undergraduate student

Nomination Procedures 2023-2024


Download Nomination Package: Principal's Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers 2023-2024.pdf


Each nomination dossier shall include the following documents:

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

  • The rationale for the nomination
  • The nominee’s research contributions and promise of future distinction
  • Why the nominee deserves an award as an outstanding emerging researcher (i.e., people who have not yet received a major non- discipline-specific external prize or award).
  • Career absences.
  • Confirmation that the nominee will keep their Faculty’s Spring Convocation date, between May 30 and June 7, 2024 (tentative) available until the selection committee has made its decisions, or explain why it is impossible for the nominee to do so.


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

  • Publications
  • Invited lectures
  • Prizes and awards received
  • Graduate students supervised


• Two letters of reference from individuals who are experts in the nominee’s field.

  • 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.)
  • Referees should be external to McGill University
  • A short biographical note should be included for each 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

  1. explain convincingly to a non-specialist audience the significance of the nominee’s discoveries and work, and
  2. 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 Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation, Meredith.chatman [at] (Meredith Chatman), no later than Tuesday, February 6, 2024.

In accordance with the usual practice for nomination-based prizes and awards, nominators and successful nominees (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 30 and June 7, 2024 (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 so.

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