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NSERC prizes - Brockhouse

Call for nominations

Nomination deadline: April 1, 2021, 8 p.m. (ET)

NSERC is seeking nominations of research teams for the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering. This prize recognizes outstanding Canadian teams of researchers from different disciplines who have combined their expertise to produce achievements of outstanding international significance in the natural sciences and engineering in the last six years.

NSERC is acting on the evidence that achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding, and to respond to local, national and global challenges. This principle informs the commitments described in the Tri-agency statement on equity, diversity and inclusion.


Candidates may be nominated by any individual or group; however, the nominators must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Current NSERC council members are not eligible for nomination.

NSERC strongly encourages nominators and university officials to consider equity, diversity and inclusion in their nomination processes.

Research teams nominated for the Brockhouse Canada Prize must have at least two members who are independent researchers, one of whom must hold an NSERC research grant. The team can be part of an international effort, but the majority of the nominated team members must be employed at a Canadian university or public or private organization. NSERC recognizes that teams may change between the time of the specific research achievements and the time of nomination. Nominations will be accepted when changes have occurred, but only where the core of the team remains intact. Contributions must be primarily in the natural sciences and engineering, and of an interdisciplinary and collaborative nature. NSERC reserves the right to rule on the eligibility of nominations.

A team may be nominated for the NSERC Brockhouse Canada Prize and other NSERC prizes (Herzberg, Polanyi, McDonald, Synergy or Strickland) in the same year, but can only win one prize in a given year.

Selection criteria and evaluation

The nominations will be reviewed on the basis of contributions to the areas of the natural sciences or engineering supported by NSERC, according to the following selection criteria:

  • Significance, novelty and impact of the achievements
  • Excellence of the interdisciplinary team, including the complementarities of the members' expertise
  • Quality of the contribution to the training of highly qualified personnel in a collaborative and interdisciplinary setting, including consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion in their training

A selection committee of distinguished academic, government and industry research representatives, from a variety of disciplines, will review the nominations and recommend the successful candidates to NSERC. Members are selected according to NSERC’s Guidelines governing membership of selection committees. Since the selection committee is multidisciplinary, the nomination material should be written for non-specialists.

The committee may recommend not to award the prize in a given year if there is no outstanding nomination.

Nomination process

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the prize, nominators should consult NSERC's Guidelines for the preparation and review of applications in interdisciplinary research when preparing the nomination package. Nominators should also consult NSERC's Guidelines for the preparation and review of applications in engineering and the applied sciences, if appropriate.

The nomination package must include

  1. a letter (four pages maximum) that clearly describes
    1. the team’s achievements in one or more of the following categories:
      1. Contributions to knowledge
      2. Use of existing knowledge to develop novel solutions to practical problems
      3. Leadership in the transfer of knowledge, communication of research to non-specialist audiences, and/or public outreach activities
      4. Other appropriate contributions
        Note: The achievements must have been made jointly by the members of the nominated team and not realized before joining the team, or as individual researchers separate from the team's activities
    2. the significance, novelty and impact of the team's achievements over the last six years for which the nomination is being put forward
    3. the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of the team and its achievements, including the complementarities of expertise between members of the group; the interdisciplinary nature of the team must be clearly defined, particularly in cases where it may not be immediately obvious—if the interdisciplinary nature of a team is not evident, the nomination may be ruled ineligible
    4. the quality, extent and importance of the team's contribution to the training and mentoring of highly qualified personnel in a collaborative, interdisciplinary setting; the description of the team's contribution to the training and mentoring of highly qualified personnel must also describe the co-supervision provided by the various members of the team, and how equity, diversity and inclusion were considered in the training and mentoring of highly qualified personnel
  2. a description of the team's five most important joint contributions over the last six years, together with relevant bibliographic information, including URLs (maximum one page)
  3. a description of the team's plans for future research that will build on its previous successes (maximum one page)
  4. an up-to-date NSERC personal data form (form 100) or This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV, or an up-to-date CV in another format (up to 10 pages) for each member of the team
  5. the names and addresses (mail and email) of six Canadian and/or international researchers who, in the opinion of the nominators, could be approached by NSERC to conduct an impartial review of the nomination; the majority of these proposed referees should be from outside Canada, and none should be in conflict of interest (see This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations)
    1. NSERC strongly recommends that nominees suggest a cross-section of reviewers with expertise in their area of research (i.e., from early career to established researchers, including women and other under-represented groups, researchers at a variety of academic and non-academic institutions)
    2. applicants must not contact suggested external reviewers in advance; please note that NSERC reserves the right to select all or none of the suggested referees
  6. a brief one-paragraph description of the nominator including confirmation of Canadian citizenship or permanent resident of Canada status and background
  7. a brief letter from the team identifying one of the members as the spokesperson of the group; this spokesperson must be eligible to hold an NSERC grant and will be the contact person for NSERC on any matter related to the outcome of the competition
  8. a terms and conditions form for nominees signed by each nominee
  9. a terms and conditions form for nominators signed by each nominator

The nominators are responsible for assembling the required documentation, which must adhere to the General presentation guidelines. Documents that do not meet the presentation standards may be rejected or at a disadvantage in comparison with those that meet the presentation standards. Only the documents requested by NSERC will be made available to the selection committee.

For re-nominations, nominators are asked to submit a complete and updated nomination package. The list of suggested referees should also be updated to include new individuals.

Nominations must be submitted electronically via NSERC’s Innovative Collaborations and Science Promotion (ICSP) Programs Secure Submissions Site. Documents must be submitted in portable document format (PDF) as a single document.

The program collects self-identification data from all nominees. Self-identification data provides information on the diversity of the population applying for and receiving agency funds. This data is important for monitoring the fairness of our programs and informing future measures to increase equity, diversity and inclusion among all those involved in the research enterprise. The questionnaire covers age, gender, Indigenous identity and/or identity as a member of a visible minority group and/or as a person with a disability. Completion of the questionnaire is mandatory, but each question includes the option “prefer not to answer.” Self-identification data will not be seen or used by NSERC peer reviewers.



Before you, as a nominee, can submit your documents to the nominator, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions form for nominees. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records.


Before you, as a nominator, can submit your documents to NSERC, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions form for nominators. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records.

Conditions and reporting

The winning team must designate one of its members to be responsible for the administration of the award. This member must be eligible to hold an NSERC grant. Refer to NSERC's Eligibility criteria for faculty for this matter.

The winning team will be asked to confirm, by email or letter, its acceptance of the award and ability to use the full value of the accompanying research grant. Because the grant may be distributed in either one payment or several instalments, the winning team will also be asked to submit a payment schedule.

The team will be asked to report on the impact that the award has had on its research activities.


The names of the award recipients will be announced at a public ceremony in 2022.