Prestigious Honours and Awards

U of T Faculty Rank Among World’s Top Researchers

The receipt of prestigious national and international honours by U of T researchers is an important benchmark of excellence. Researchers at the University of Toronto are regularly recognized with national and international honours, awards and prizes for making significant contributions to research and innovation, either in a specific field or across disciplines. These recognitions often signal important advances that have benefited society in some meaningful way. Some of the prestigious awards our faculty members have received are listed below.

In most award and prize competitions, researchers are nominated by their peers for specific contributions, or for contributions over their careers. Opportunities for prestigious national and international honours, awards and prizes and information about nomination procedures, divisional supports and contacts are listed in our Honours and Awards Opportunities database.

Prestigious Honour and Award Recipients at U of T

Although U of T accounts for only 6% of Canada’s professorial faculty, the university amasses a dominant share of prestigious Canadian and international honours among Canadian faculty. The deep expertise of our faculty members is also reflected in the frequency with which they are appointed to national advisory bodies for scholarly and scientific matters in Canada and internationally.

The graph below shows the percentage of major international and national honours and awards recognizing U of T faculty between 2009-2018, as a proportion of all awards to Canadian university researchers during that period.

*CIHR Health Researcher of the Year includes the Michael Smith Prize in Health Research (renamed in 2011), the CIHR Health Researcher of the Year Prize (discontinued in 2014), and the CIHR Gold Leaf Prizes (first awarded in 2017).

Selected Prestigious Canadian Honours and Awards


Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
Election to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) signals significant merit and achievements in research and scholarship over an academic career. New Fellows are elected each year in three Academies spanning the sciences, the social sciences, and the arts and humanities. More than 370 University of Toronto researchers are Fellows of the RSC, comprising the single largest cohort of RSC Fellows in the country.

Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal in Science & Engineering
(Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada)

Canada’s most prestigious prize in natural sciences and engineering is awarded annually to an individual who has demonstrated sustained excellence and influence in research conducted in Canada that has substantially advanced the fields of natural sciences or engineering.

Gold Leaf Prizes / Health Researcher of the Year
(Canadian Institutes of Health Research)

CIHR’s biennial Gold Leaf Prizes for Discovery, Impact, Transformation, and Outstanding Achievements by an Early Career Investigator were first awarded in 2017. These prestigious awards replaced the annual Health Researcher of the Year award (formerly known as the Michael Smith Prize in Health Research), discontinued in 2014, which had honoured researchers who demonstrated excellence in their fields, recognizing innovation, creativity, leadership and dedication to health research.

Killam Prize
(Canada Council for the Arts)

Five Killam Prizes are awarded annually to eminent scholars actively engaged in research in Canada. One prize is awarded in each of five fields: health sciences, natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and the humanities.

Molson Prize
(Canada Council for the Arts)

Two prizes are awarded annually to distinguished Canadians – one in the arts and the other in the social sciences and humanities – who have made major contributions to Canada’s cultural and intellectual heritage.

SSHRC Impact Awards
(Social Sciences & Humanities Council of Canada)

The SSHRC Gold Medal, Insight Award, Connection Award, and Partnership Award are awarded annually to recognize outstanding Canadian researchers in the social sciences and humanities.

Steacie Prize
(E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fund)
The Steacie Prize is an annual award presented to a scientist or engineer of 40 years of age or less for outstanding scientific research in the natural sciences carried out in Canada.

Trudeau Fellowships
(Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation)
The Trudeau Fellowships support scholars in the social sciences and humanities who are recognized for their productivity, their commitment to communicating their findings to the public, and their ability to imagine innovative solutions to some of the major issues facing society.

Selected Prestigious International Honours and Awards


Albert Einstein World Award of Science (World Cultural Council, Mexico)
Geoffrey Ozin, 2011

Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award (Lasker Foundation, USA)
James Till & Ernest McCulloch, 2005
Yoshio Masui, 1998 (with Lee Hartwell and Paul Nurse)

Alexander Von Humboldt Research Award (Humboldt Foundation, Germany)
Cheryl Misak, 2015
Eugenia Kumacheva, 2012
Mark Lautens, 2009
John Sipe, 2009
Andreas Mandelis, 2002

A.M. Turing Award (Association for Computing Machinery, USA)
Geoffrey Hinton, 2018 (with Yann LeCun and Yoshua Bengio)
Stephen Cook, 1982

Balzan Prize (International Balzan Foundation, Italy)
Ian Hacking, 2014, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind

BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (BBVA Foundation, Spain)
Geoffrey Hinton, 2016, Information and Communication Technologies
Stephen Cook, 2015, Information and Communication Technologies

Bower Award for Achievement in Science (Franklin Institute, USA)
Richard Peltier, 2010, Earth Systems

Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (Breakthrough Prize, USA)
Harald Pfeiffer, 2016 (with LIGO founders and colleagues)

Canada Gairdner International Award (Gairdner Foundation, Canada)
Lewis Kay, 2017
Endel Tulving, 2005
Anthony Pawson, 1994
Yoshio Masui, 1992
David MacLennan, 1991
Victor Ling, John R. Riordan, Lap-Chee Tsui, 1990
Tak Mak, Ronald G. Worton, 1989
Harald Sonnenberg, 1986

Dan David Prize (Tel Aviv University, Israel)
Peter St George-Hyslop, 2014, Combatting Memory Loss (with John Hardy and Brenda Milner)

Dr. H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences)
Anthony Pawson, 1998

Eni Award (Eni, Italy)
Barbara Sherwood Lollar, 2012, Environmental Protection Prize

Grawemeyer Award for Education (University of Louisville, USA)
Michael Fullan, 2015
Keith Stanovich, 2010

Gruber Prize in Cosmology (Gruber Foundation, Yale University)
J. Richard Bond, Peter Martin, Barth Netterfield, 2018 (with the Planck Team)
Harald Pfeiffer, 2016 (with the LIGO Discovery Team)
Michael Nolta, 2012 (with Charles Bennett and the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe team)
Richard Bond, 2008

Holberg International Memorial Prize (University of Bergen, Norway)
Natalie Zemon Davis, 2010
Ian Hacking, 2009

Keio Medical Science Prize (Keio University Medical Science Fund, Japan)
John Dick, 2017

King Faisal International Prize (King Faisal Foundation, Saudi Arabia)
Sajeev John, 2001, Science (with Chen Ning Yang)
Tak Mak, 1995, Medicine (with Mark M. Davis and Sir Gregory P. Winter)

Kyoto Prize (Inamori Foundation, Japan)
Anthony Pawson, 2008, Life Sciences

José Vasconcelos World Award of Education (World Cultural Council, Mexico)
Marlene Scardamalia, 2006

Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts (World Cultural Council, Mexico)
Russell Hartenberger, 2017

L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Award (L’Oréal Foundation, France)
Janet Rossant, 2018, Life Sciences
Molly Shoichet, 2015, Physical Sciences
Eugenia Kumacheva, 2009, Physical Sciences

Nobel Prizes (Nobel Foundation, Sweden)
John Polanyi, 1986, Chemistry

Vetlesen Prize (G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation / Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, USA)
W. Richard Peltier, 2004

Wolf Prizes (Wolf Foundation, Israel)
James Arthur, 2015, Mathematics
Anthony Pawson, 2005, Medicine (with Anthony Hunter and Alexander Levitski)
John Polanyi, 1982, Chemistry (with George C. Pimentel)

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