The information contained on this web page pertains to the Fall 2016 John Charles Polanyi Prize competition. The applications are first adjudicated by the Faculty Graduate offices and then by the University of Waterloo Graduate Studies Office. Highly competitive applicants are then sent forward for a provincial level competition.
What are the John Charles Polanyi Prizes?
In honour of the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Government of the Province of Ontario has established a fund to provide up to five prizes annually to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their career who are continuing to postdoctoral studies or have recently started a faculty appointment at an Ontario university.
What is the value, duration and deadline?
These tax-exempt prizes are valued at $20,000 each and are for a duration of one year. The prize is awarded directly to the recipient who has discretion over the use of the funding. The Polanyi Prize has no restrictions regarding any other concurrent financial support or research funds held by the recipient.
Waterloo's deadline by which all application materials for Faculty-endorsed applicants must be uploaded to SharePoint is January 6, 2017 @ 4:00 p.m. EST. *NOTE: Faculty Graduate offices are responsible for uploading the application materials.
How do applicants get considered?
*NOTE: applicants MUST receive endorsement from the proposed Faculty Graduate office prior to submitting an application
Each applicant must submit their completed application and required documentation to the Faculty Administrative Assistant at the institution where they propose to undertake postdoctoral research. Confidential letters from the assessors must be sent directly to the Administrative Assistant in the Faculty Graduate office, either by mail or email. The deadline by which applicants must submit their material, and assessors must submit their letters to the appropriate Faculty Graduate office is December 1st, 2016.
What are the critical steps in the application process?
1. Applicants confirm eligibility
Any person who is planning to continue to postdoctoral studies (or has a faculty appointment) in a recognized Ontario publicly assisted university who meets the following criteria may apply for one of the prizes:
- is normally resident in Ontario and has completed or is near completion of doctoral studies in any recognized university in the world, or has completed or is nearing completion of doctoral studies in an Ontario university; and
- has received the doctoral degree between September 1, 2013 and April 30, 2017, or if the doctoral degree has not yet been awarded, will have completed all the requirements for the doctoral degree by April 30, 2017. Applicants holding faculty appointments within these time limits may apply.
Candidates must submit a complete application package to the Graduate office in the Faculty they are proposing to hold the prize, if successful, by December 1st, 2016.
Application materials to be submitted by the candidate include the following:
- The completed application form from the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) website.
- Curriculum vitae, including information concerning the application. Updates to curriculum vitae will not be accepted after submission.
- A brief summary of the doctoral thesis (1 page, to be written by the applicant).
- A statement of research (or writing) to be undertaken during the period of the award (maximum of 2 pages, plus an additional 1 page for diagrams, bibliography, etc., to be prepared by the applicant).
- A non-technical summary (maximum 500 words, to be written by the applicant).
3. Assessors submit their reference letters
Each applicant requires reference letters from four assessors. Two of the assessors must not have been associated with the candidate as either a supervisor, or a member of the applicant’s supervisory committee, or a co-author and should preferably be from another university.
Assessments should focus on an evaluation of the applicant’s research (or writing) to date, and the research (or writing) being undertaken and provide commentary on why the research is prize-worthy. Reference letters must be transmitted electronically directly to the appropriate Faculty Administrative Assistant in the Faculty Graduate Office by December 1st, 2016.
Waterloo's administrative review process
- Faculty Graduate offices receive and review the application packages and reference letters submitted by December 1st, 2016.
- Faculty Graduate offices upload application packages, reference letters and endorsement letter to the Graduate Studies Office SharePoint site, for Faculty-endorsed applicants only by January 6, 2017. There is a limit of three applications per prize area (Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Economic Science) that can be endorsed per Faculty.
- Institutional selection committee reviews applications and determines which applicants will receive institutional endorsement.
- Graduate Studies Office communicates with applicants to advise on status of application and submits endorsed applications to Council of Ontario Universities by January 31, 2017.
Questions about the John Charles Polanyi Prizes can be directed to Heidi Mussar in the GSO.