Fessenden Professorship in Science Innovation Award

Fessenden Professorship in Science Innovation Award

Application deadline:

24 March 2021, 12:00 PM

McGill’s Faculty of Science is a strong promoter of the discovery–to-innovation continuum. However, the transformation of a discovery into a sound technology requires considerable resources and expertise not commonly available to researchers. The Faculty is very fortunate to muster such resources through the vision and generosity of one of its most devoted benefactors, Dr. John Blachford, B.Eng.’57; PhD(Chemistry)’60.

The Fessenden Professorship in Science Innovation Award was established to accelerate the validation and technology transfer of promising concepts (technology, method, material, design) that are in the early- or mid-stages of development, and bring them closer to a commercial product and market. The award provides researchers in the Faculty of Science with the financial resources to: (i) enable further exploration or proof-of-principle of a novel concept within the university, thereby adding value and definition to the concept being explored; (ii) articulate the most promising concepts in the form of intellectual property (inventions); and (iii) promote the transfer of the intellectual property to a new or an established company to generate benefits for Canada. 

Since 2007, the awards, coupled with technology transfer expertise, have served as entry points to government innovation programs such as the NSERC Idea to Innovation (I2I) program, NSERC-CIHR Collaborative Health Research Projects program, and Government of Quebec MDEIE Industry Partnership programs.

Areas of interest

Every discipline in the Faculty of Science is considered an area of interest for the award. The competition seeks to identify and support projects for a proof-of-principle, prototyping, or process validation, and which will position it to be effectively transferred to the many innovation/pre-commercialization vehicles available outside the university sector. Applicants whose research is well positioned for prototyping or proof-of-principle demonstrations are encouraged to apply.


Applicants must hold a tenure track faculty position in the Faculty of Science.

Application format

Applicants must use the template provided to submit their proposal, accompanied by NSERC Personal Data Form 100, NSERC CCV, or equivalent.

Specific information on what to include in the proposal is provided in the proposal template.


Applicants submitting a proposal are to include a budget request up to $90k. A text-based justification for the funding requested is required. Only 1 or possibly 2 proposals may be awarded, depending on overall budget requests.

Awards may be used to pay all or in part of: research personnel, travel, materials and supplies, market intelligence reports, patent filing, and teaching relief, for example.

Note: The proposed teaching relief must have been approved by the Department Chair or Director prior to submitting a full application.  Teaching relief may be a TA to assist in the delivery of a course or markers for a course.  Teaching relief is not however teaching release, as in a “buy out” from a teaching assignment.

Duration of Award

Up to 2 years.


Proposals are reviewed by a Selection Committee. The Committee will present its recommendations to the Dean of Science, who will make the final decision.


Questions about the award or application process? Contact eduardo.ganemcuenca [at] mcgill.ca (Eduardo Ganem Cuenca )or by phone: 514-398-4982.

Submit an Application

Download the application guidelines

Download the proposal template


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