Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

NSERC Prizes – Science Promotion

Call for nominations

Nomination deadline: November 25 before 8:00 p.m. (ET). If the deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, your nomination must reach NSERC before 8:00 p.m. (ET) the following working day.

The NSERC Awards for Science Promotion focus on individuals and groups who are inspirational in the way they promote science to the general public.

Science promotion activities with award potential could include activities such as:

  • organizing science camps, fairs, clubs or mentorship programs with youth organizations
  • enhancing equity, diversity and inclusion in existing programming
  • creating new learning materials
  • sharing best practices for outreach in science and engineering
  • developing science and engineering-related co-op programs or job- shadowing initiatives
  • arranging demonstrations, visits and lectures
  • writing books and articles
  • creating radio or television programs
  • generating public involvement through multi-media programs

Eligibility

Nominators must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. NSERC strongly encourages nominators to consider equity, diversity and inclusion in their nomination process.* Nominators may be colleagues or people who have benefited from the nominee’s contributions, such as teachers, parents, community members or administrators. Note: For nominations within post-secondary institutions, nominations can be from senior administrators within the institution as long as the award does not directly benefit the nominators.

Nominees for the individual award must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Nominees for the organization award can be any registered non-profit organization, post-secondary institution, non-federal museum, science centre or company within Canada. Posthumous or self-nominations will not be accepted. Current NSERC Council members are not eligible for nomination.

All nominees must have made a successful and sustained effort to encourage public interest in, and an understanding of, the natural sciences and engineering (including math and technology) in Canada. As a guideline, nominees have typically been involved in science promotion over the course of at least five years, and their endeavours must be outside the formal education system.

Past winners of an NSERC Award (or a Michael Smith Award) for Science Promotion are not eligible to be nominated a second time. Exceptions may be made for organizations or individuals who are, or were, linked with an organization that has won a previous NSERC Award (or a Michael Smith Award) for Science Promotion. In order to qualify, the achievements of any nominee (group or individual) must be distinct from those of the previous award winner. Such nominations must include a letter from the organization confirming the distinct nature of the activities. Furthermore, no consideration will be given to any aspect of the organization or its activities during the review process.

* 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.

Nomination process and selection criteria

If you are nominating an individual or group, your nomination package must include:

  1. a completed, printed and signed NSERC Award for Science Promotion nomination form
  2. a document (three pages maximum) that describes:
      • the nominee’s efforts and involvement in inspiring public understanding, and developing abilities in, science and engineering in Canada
      • the impact and duration of the nominee’s activities
        (Note: Nominators are encouraged to include specific measures of impact.)
      • the content, originality and scope of the nominee’s activities  
  3. three signed letters of recommendation dated within six months of the application deadline
    (Note: Letters from individuals with first-hand knowledge of the nominee’s activities and impact are strongly encouraged.)
  4. supporting documentation such as promotional material, participant feedback, media coverage, publications, awards (four pages maximum)
  5. a Terms and conditions form for nominees signed by the nominee
  6. a Terms and conditions form for nominators signed by the nominator

Documents described in 2 and 3 above must not include links to websites. Committee members will ignore any links that are provided.

You 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 be 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.

You must submit your nominations electronically using NSERC’s ICSP secure submission site. All the parts of the nomination must be combined into a single document in Portable Document Format (PDF).

Make a copy of the submission confirmation generated by the secure site and/or the automatically generated confirmation email for your records. Note that the secure site cannot distinguish between a complete and an incomplete nomination. NSERC will not contact nominators for missing information.

Your submission and any support material become the property of NSERC and will not be returned.

The program collects self-identification data from all individual 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 identity as a member of a visible minority group and/or as a person with a disability. You must complete the questionnaire, but each question includes the option “prefer not to answer.” Self-identification data will not be seen or used by NSERC peer reviewers.

Signatures

Nominees (or representative of the nominated group)

Before you, as a nominee (or representative of the nominated group), can submit your documents to the nominator, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions listed on the Terms and conditions form for nominees. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records.

Nominators

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

Selection committee

Nominations are reviewed by the PromoScience/NSERC Awards for Science Promotion selection committee. Members are chosen from the science and engineering promotion community and the education community based on their stature and expertise and according to NSERC’s Guidelines governing membership of selection committees.

Notification of results

NSERC will inform all nominators and nominees of the results of the annual competition electronically. The names of the award recipients will be announced at a public ceremony.