Learn more about prize winner Myriam Denov (pictured)

Denov is recognized for her outstanding research on children and families affected by war.

University Prizes and Awards Committee

New Terms of Reference, 2013

Research and Innovation recently led the restructuring of the University Prizes and Awards Committee (UPAC). As a result, a new prizes and awards committee structure has been implemented with the goal of re-energizing prizes and awards programs across McGill.

The Prizes and Awards Steering Committee for Deans and other senior administrators met for the first time in November 2013, to begin working on McGill’s multi-tiered approach and overall strategy toward national and international prizes. A separate Coordinating Committee, which will take a hands-on approach to developing applications, began its work in December 2013.

UPAC Mandate

To support the nomination of members of the McGill academic community for prestigious international, national and provincial non-discipline-specific prizes, awards and public recognition memberships. The new University Prizes and Awards Committee will fulfill this mandate through the establishment of:

  • A Steering Committee;
  • A Coordinating Committee;
  • Peer Review Working Group(s). 


Steering Committee


Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Provides overall strategic advice and makes recommendations to the Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation on priorities in nomination for prestigious prizes and awards
  • Advises on new or emerging research themes and opportunities for Prizes and Awards
  • Advises on strategies to promote prizes and awards
  • Is available to advise on members for all of the working groups and activities of the Coordinating Committee
  • Shall meet at least once per year


The Steering Committee shall be composed of:

  • The Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) [RI], or designate, as chair;
  • Associate Vice-Principals (RI), as appointed by the VPRI;
  • A senior representative of the Office of Sponsored Research (RI);
  • The Dean, the Associate Dean Research or a professor designated by the Dean, from each Faculty;
  • Associate Provost (Academic Staff and Priority Initiatives);
  • The Administrator, Prizes and Awards, Office of Sponsored Research (OSR);
  • The Chairperson shall have the authority to invite other staff members of the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) to join the committee, as required.

Members 2017-2018

Martha Crago, VP-RI (Chair)

Nancy Ross, AVP-RI

Antonia Maioni, Dean, Arts

Paul Allison, Dean, Dentistry

Dilson Rassier, Dean, Education

Jim Nicell, Dean, Engineering (represented by ADR Benoît Boulet)

Anja Geitmann Dean, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Robert Leckey, Dean, Law

Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, Dean, Management

David Eidelman, Dean, Medicine (represented by ADR Shari Baum)

Julie Cumming, Interim Dean, Music

Bruce Lennox, Dean, Science

Ghyslaine McClure, Associate Provost

Olga Naiberguer, Office of Sponsored Research

Meredith Chatman, Office of Sponsored Research 

Coordinating Committee


Roles and Responsibilties

  • Works under the guidance of the Prizes and Awards Steering Committee
  • Advises the VPRI on, and assists with, internal University-wide research awards for faculty
  • Identifies prizes and award opportunities
  • Works with the Faculties to identify appropriate individuals to nominate for prizes and awards
  • Advises the VPRI on the institutional strategy to promote Prizes and Awards on both a University-wide level and on a prize-specific level (e.g. US academies, Royal Society (UK))
  • Assists the Office of the Vice-Principal (RI) in meeting its targeted number of nominations by acting as an ambassador for the prizes and awards portfolio and encouraging nominations of meritorious individuals for prizes and awards
  • Identifies prizes and awards competitions that would benefit from peer review services (e.g. Killam Fellowship, Killam Prize, NSERC Steacie Fellowship, Prix d’excellence FQRNT, Sloan Fellowship, SSHRC Impact Awards)
  • Consults with the Faculties to identify members of the McGill community to serve on the Peer Review Working Groups
  • Identifies members of the McGill community to serve on selection committees for NSERC prize committees  and other prize-granting organizations when possible
  • Consults with the Faculties to identify members to serve on selection committees for prize-granting organizations, including, for example, Prize Committees of the Federal Tri-Councils and the Fonds de recherche du Québec
  • Shall meet approximately every 2 months
  • The Chair and the Administrator, Prizes and Awards shall meet monthly


The Coordinating Committee shall be composed of:

  • An Associate Vice-Principal (RI) as Chair, as appointed by the VPRI;
  • The Chair, or a representative appointed by the Dean, of each Faculty and Departmental Prizes and Awards Committee;
  • An academic representative from each Faculty which does not have a Prizes and Awards Committee, appointed by the Dean;
  • The Administrator, Prizes and Awards, Office of Sponsored Research (RI).

Members 2017-2018

Nancy Ross, AVP-RI (Chair)

Jean Barrette, Physics, Science

Dorothy Bray, English

Marie-Hélène Boudrias, SPOT, Medicine

Benoît Boulet, Engineering

Meredith Chatman, Office of Sponsored Research

Allison Christians, Law

Jim Engle-Warnick, Arts

Vihang Errunza, Management

Alyson Fournier, MNI

Ichiro Fujinaga Music

Abraham Fuks, Medicine

Nancy Heath, Education

Salwa Karboune, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Patricia Kirkpatrick, Religious Studies

Paul Lasko, Biology

Olga Naiberguer, Office of Sponsored Research

Doina Precup, Science

Vijaya Raghavan, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Lloyd Whitesell, Music

Ji Zhang, Dentistry

Peer Working Group


Roles and Responsibilites

  • Peer review will be voluntary on the part of the nominee and the reviewer.
  • Meetings shall be convened as needed for targeted prizes and awards; the work of the group can also be carried out offsite.

 The Peer Review Working Group shall:

  • Review nomination documents to improve quality and increase chance of success;
  • Provide constructive feedback and recommendations to the nominees and nominators;
  • Act as a mentor to nominees and their nominators, Deans and/or Associate Deans Research, in developing prizes and awards portfolios.


The (Ad Hoc) Peer Review Working Groups shall be composed of:

  • Individuals suggested by the Coordinating Committee in accordance with the particular prizes and awards under discussion;
  • The membership shall include but not be limited to current and emeritus members of the McGill community and McGill alumni as well as members of the Federal Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC).  Members will:
    • Have expertise and experience in adjudicating prizes and awards through juried competitions via participation on award selection committees; and/or
    • Themselves be past recipients of prestigious prizes and awards; and/or
    • Have a history of mentoring academics and researchers in prizes and awards.
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