Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal


Opportunity type:



Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Award amount and duration:

Up to $1 million





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

As of the deadline, the nominee must be a scientist or engineer employed at a Canadian university, Canadian federal or provincial government lab or private firm active in Canada whose research is primarily based in the fields of the natural sciences and/or engineering. NSERC reserves the right to rule on the eligibility of nominees.

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

An individual may win the NSERC Herzberg Medal only once. An individual may be nominated for the NSERC Herzberg Medal and other NSERC prizes (Brockhouse, Polanyi, McDonald, Synergy or Strickland) in the same year, but can only win one prize in a given year.


The Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, NSERC's highest honour, recognizes research contributions characterized by both excellence and influence‚ two qualities that defined Dr. Herzberg's illustrious career. It is awarded annually to an individual who has demonstrated sustained excellence and influence in research for a body of work conducted in Canada that has substantially advanced the fields of natural sciences or engineering. The winner of the medal is also awarded a grant of up to $1 million to use for personal university-based research or to direct in some related way, such as the establishment of scholarships of research chairs at Canadian universities. The grant is distributed over a five-year period. If the winner already has an NSERC Discovery Grant, that grant is increased up to a maximum of $200,000 for each of the five years. If the grant is currently greater than $150,000, it is topped-up by $50,000. A winner who is not an NSERC Discovery Grant recipient may direct the full $200,000 to university research endeavours, such as scholarships.


Application deadlines

Program application deadline

November 28, 2023 - 9:59 PM

Additional Information

Institutional Nominations (Optional)

Candidates may be nominated by any individual or group (Canadian citizens or permanent residents). Candidates may also be nominated by the President of the University of Calgary.

Candidates seeking an institutional nomination must submit a request for consideration by the Vice-President (Research) and President that includes:

a 1-page abstract of the proposed nomination, demonstrating how the candidate meets the criteria for the Herzberg Medal, OR, in the case of re-nominations, a copy of the previous nomination; and the candidate's CV (NSERC Common CV or Form 100).

The Faculty's lead for awards (e.g., chair of awards committee) or Associate Dean (Research) must submit both documents to the Research Services Office ( by August 28, 2023.

SUPPORT: Research Awards Committee

The SUPPORT: Research Awards Committee is now available to review and provide feedback to strengthen nominations for major research prizes and awards and advise on the suitability of award nominations. SUPPORT will also review the CV of a potential nominee and advise on their suitability for nomination at this time.

If you wish for the SUPPORT: Research Awards committee to review and provide feedback on a nomination package, please include at minimum:

  1. Draft letter from the nominator (see item 1, below)
  2. The nominee's up-to-date CV (see item 2, below)

If additional components of the nomination package are available by the SUPPORT deadline, the committee would be pleased to review all available materials.

SUPPORT Nomination Review Deadline: August 28, 2023

SUPPORT Candidate Review: anytime


The nomination package must include

  1. a letter (four pages maximum; use the following points as headings) that clearly describes
    1. the nominee's achievements and how they relate to one or more of these categories:
      1. Contributions to knowledge
      2. Use of existing knowledge to develop novel solutions to practical problems
      3. Successful promotion or management of research activities
      4. Transfer of knowledge, communication of research to non-specialist audiences, and/or public outreach activities
      5. Training and mentoring of highly qualified personnel (HQP)—considering equity, diversity and inclusion in HQP training and mentoring is an asset
      6. Other appropriate contributions (refer to Contributions to research and their impact below for additional examples)
    2. the significance, benefit or impact of the nominee's achievements on society and industry
    3. the role of the nominee in bringing about the achievements
    4. the nominee’s most significant scientific and engineering contributions, by referring to the list included with the curriculum vitae (CV) (see item 2)
  2. the nominee's up-to-date NSERC personal data form (form 100) or  Canadian Common CV or an up-to-date CV in another format including detailed information about the achievements and contributions to research and training; the CV should contain relevant information over the entire career of the nominee
  3. the names and email addresses of six researchers at the forefront of the nominee's field, who, in the opinion of the nominators, could be approached by NSERC to conduct an impartial review of the nominee's suitability for the award, and who are not in conflict of interest (see  Conflict of interest and confidentiality policy of the federal research funding organizations)
    1. NSERC strongly recommends that nominators suggest a cross-section of reviewers with expertise in the nominee’s area of research (i.e., Canadian and/or international researchers; from a range of career stages; members of under-represented and marginalized groups, including women; researchers at a variety of academic and non-academic institutions)
    2. Nominees must not contact suggested external reviewers in advance; please note that NSERC reserves the right to select all or none of the suggested reviewers
    3. A brief one-paragraph description of each person's background and the rationale for the person's suitability as a referee must be supplied
  4. identification of any eligible leaves of absence (optional one-page) in consultation with NSERC’s Interruptions in research, training and mentoring webpage. In the case of medical leave, it is not necessary to explain the illness or the treatment but rather its impact on your research activity. Please:
    1. provide the duration of the circumstances
    2. include the impact of the interruption(s)
  5. terms and conditions form for nominees signed by the nominee
  6. terms and conditions form for nominators signed by each nominator

Contact Details


Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal