Northern Science Award 2023


Polar Knowledge Canada


The Northern Science Award is presented annually to an individual or a group who has made a significant contribution to meritorious knowledge and understanding of the Canadian North. In the spirit of the last International Polar Year (2007-2008) the Northern Science Award recognizes the transformation of knowledge into action.


Until 1997, the award was presented to an individual who made distinguished contributions to northern Canada through scientific work. In recognition of the contribution of indigenous knowledge to the scientific understanding of the North, the eligibility requirements for the award were then expanded to include indigenous groups who possess and share indigenous knowledge.

For the purpose of this award, “northern” is defined as that part of Canada that lies north of the southern limit of discontinuous permafrost and “science” refers to all fields of inquiry, including those based upon indigenous knowledge, that advance our understanding of the natural world and society.

Anyone can make a nomination. The term "candidate" includes either an individual or a group.

The Northern Science Award selection committee will assess each candidate on the following combination of achievements:

  • wide recognition of the quality and significance of the knowledge created;
  • significant contribution to advancement of northern knowledge;
  • relevance to northern societies or communities, with an emphasis on transforming knowledge into action; and
  • training or participation of Northerners in the work.


The Northern Science Award comprises the Centenary Medal, which commemorates the hundredth anniversary of the first International Polar Year (1882-1883), and a cash prize of $10,000.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

External Deadline

Please submit the nomination directly to by the external deadline. Please also submit a copy of the full nomination and an OR-5 to

How to Apply

The nominator should provide to the Northern Science Award selection committee:

  • A letter of nomination clearly demonstrating the merit of the accomplishment of the candidate (in 500 words or less);
  • Supporting documentation includes:
    • the candidate’s curriculum vitae
    • evidence of the candidate's scientific achievements in northern science (research activities, publications, other awards and distinctions, professional and public services, sharing of indigenous knowledge)
    • evidence of the application of the new knowledge and its impacts
  • Three letters of support highlighting the candidate's achievement(s).

Nominations must be submitted electronically (in .pdf format) to by the external deadline. Please also submit a copy of the full nomination and an OR-5 to by the external deadline.

For More Information

For more information please contact or visit the Northern Science Award website.

Alert Classifications
Honours and Awards

Health and Life Sciences
Information and Communications Technology
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Social Sciences