John Charles Polanyi Prizes from the Council of Ontario Universities - 2016

The John Charles Polanyi Prizes from the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) are five prestigious research grants given annually to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their careers – beginning postdoctoral studies or new appointment as a faculty member at an Ontario university – to aid in research and professional development. The prizes have a value of $20,000 each and may be held along with any other financial support or research funds. They are awarded in the categories of physics, chemistry, literature, physiology or medicine, and economic science.


  • Applicants are normally residents in Ontario and have completed or are near completion of doctoral studies in any recognized university in the world, or have completed are nearing completion of doctoral studies in an Ontario university; and
  • Applicants must have received their doctoral degree between September 1, 2012 and April 30, 2016, or will have completed all the requirements for the doctoral degree by April 30, 2016.
  • Applicants holding faculty appointments within these time limits may apply

Application Process

The complete application process consists of:

  • An online application form
  • CV
  • Brief summary of doctoral thesis (one page)
  • 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)
  • Confidential letters from four assessors. These should focus on an evaluation of the applicant’s research (or writing) to date, and the research (or writing) being undertaken. Letters muct be sent electronically directly to  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.
  • A letter from the Vice-Provost (Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies) indicating, at the very least, the nature of the position to be held and the candidate’s suitability for the prize.


Only three applications per category may be submitted by Western. Prescreening may therefore be necessary. Faculty candidates should contact Julaine Hall ( at Research Development & Services before applying.

Completed applications must be submitted internally.


The nomination submission deadline to the School of Gradaute & Postdoctoral Studies is December 1, 2015


Interested parties are encouraged to consult with Julaine Hall ( at Research Development & Services regarding this awards and the application processes.

Further details can also be found at: