Faculty of Science

Information about the Hellmuth Prizes for Advancement in Research

Research in the academic setting — the discovery and integration of new knowledge, the development of new theory and concepts, and the creative work of our artists — is one of the defining hallmarks of a university. The University of Western Ontario has many faculty members with outstanding international reputations for their contributions in research. Often, these kinds of contributions are not fully appreciated outside of the apparent boundaries of the discipline.

The Hellmuth Prizes for Achievement in Research provide a way for all members of the Western community to appreciate and celebrate research achievement of our most distinguished faculty members.

There are two such prizes offered annually, one in the area broadly defined as the natural sciences and engineering (research that would be supported by NSERC or MRC) and one in the social sciences and humanities (research that would in general fall under the mandate of SSHRC). There are roughly equal numbers of faculty members in each eligible group.

The Hellmuth Prizes are named in honour of Bishop Isaac Hellmuth (1817-1901), who can be regarded as the founder of The University of Western Ontario. Working with Bishop Benjamin Cronyn, Hellmuth founded Huron College in 1863, and his personal foresight and dedication led to the granting of the charter for “The Western University of London, Ontario" in 1878. Hellmuth later served as Western’s first Chancellor (1878-84). The Hellmuth Prizes (consisting of a plaque and a $1500 cash award) will be presented at a public ceremony in the spring, with each winner making a short address. The Hellmuth Prize Winners are introduced at the Spring Convocation of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Terms of Reference (revised June, 1998)

The Hellmuth Prizes are intended to recognize achievement over a substantial body of work. There are no restrictions as to age or rank, but the recipient will be currently active in research or scholarly work.

Each Faculty may submit no more than one candidate for each Prize. The Faculty may develop internal procedures for the selection of its nominee(s). While unsuccessful nominations are not automatically considered in subsequent years, the selection committee may specifically invite resubmission of certain nominations. These re-nominations shall be in addition to the normal quota of the Faculty.

The awards will be adjudicated by a selection committee chaired by the Vice-President (Research). The committee will have appropriate balance to enable adjudication across broad research disciplines. Six members will be named by the University Research Board. The Society of Graduate Students will be invited to name one member, and the Vice-President (Research) will invite one member of the external community to join the committee.

Nominations, in ten copies, will be received by the Office of the Vice-President (Research) until 4 p.m. on January 15, 2015. In all cases, it must be assumed that the nominations will be read and evaluated by persons who are not authorities in the particular field. It would be appropriate for nominations to include the following: