NSERC Donna Strickland Prize for Societal Impact of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada


Donna Strickland Prize for Societal Impact of Natural Sciences and Engineering Impact


The NSERC Donna Strickland Prize for Societal Impact of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research is awarded annually to an individual or team whose outstanding research, conducted in Canada in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE), has led to exceptional benefits for Canadian society, environment and/or economy.

Exceptional benefits can be demonstrated in one or more interacting spheres of Canadian life. Examples include:

  • improvements to specific procedures in society (e.g., laws, regulations, protocols)
  • stimulation of new approaches to social issues
  • improvements to quality of life
  • informing public debate
  • improvements to policy making
  • reduction of waste and pollution
  • protection of species
  • reduction of the impact of pollutants on ecosystems and humans
  • improvements in the sustainable use of resources
  • protection of ecosystems
  • reduction in the impacts of climate change
  • contributions to economic growth and wealth creation
  • introduction of a disruptive technology
  • creation of a new industrial sector


All researchers in the NSE, regardless of their career stage, can be nominated for this award for their research conducted in Canada. The outstanding research that led to the exceptional benefits described in the nomination must have been supported, at least partially, by NSERC, and the research must be primarily in the NSE. Self-nominations will not be accepted, and current NSERC Council members are not eligible for nomination.

In order to be nominated as an individual, you must hold an NSERC research grant.  

In order to be nominated as a team, at least one of your team members must hold an NSERC research grant. The majority of your team members must be employed at a Canadian university, Canadian federal or provincial government lab, or private firm active in Canada.


If your nomination is successful, you will receive a $250,000 research grant, paid in instalments in April of each year. Grant Funds should support continued research and knowledge dissemination.

Special Notes

Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page


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

Internal Deadline

If you wish to be considered for VPR nomination, please submit your Expression of Interest (see How to Apply)  to research.honours@uoguelph.ca

External Deadline

If your nomination will be submitted by a nominator other than the VPR, please submit directly to the sponsor by the external deadline. Please also submit a copy of the full nomination and OR-5 to research.services@uoguelph.ca.

How to Apply

The Vice-President (Research) encourages nominations for this prestigious award, and will serve as nominator for those nominees recommended by the Research Honours and Awards Advisory Committee. If you wish to nominate a colleague or to be considered for VPR nomination, please submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to research.honours@uoguelph.ca by the internal deadline. 

  • A draft letter (two-three pages) addressed to the VPR, signed by your ADR, which outlines how you/your nominee meets the criteria outlined on the NSERC Donna Strickland prize website
  • An up-to-date CV for nominee (and each member of the team, if applicable)

If your nomination will be submitted by a different nominee, and therefore does not require the Vice-President's endorsement, please submit a complete nomination and OR-5 to research.services@uoguelph.ca by the external deadline.

For More Information

For more information, contact research.honours@uoguelph.ca or see the NSERC Donna Strickland Prize website

Alert Classifications
Honours and Awards

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