Prestigious Awards & Honours

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 awards for making significant contributions to research, either in a specific field or across disciplines. These awards 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 2012, with the guidance of the newly established University of Toronto Research Awards & Honours Committee, we formulated the UofT Awards & Honours Strategy. The Strategy identifies research A&H as a priority for the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and sets out the practices by which activities are coordinated between the OVPRI and academic divisions. Since then, we have continued to refine our strategy, especially to foster a culture of recognizing and celebrating excellence.

Finding Awards Opportunities

In most awards competitions, a researcher is nominated by his or her peers for a specific contribution, or for contributions over his or her career.

Opportunities for prestigious national and international prizes are listed in our Research Funding Opportunities database. To browse this list, filter the Opportunity Type for “Awards & Honours.”

The Pivot database of research funding opportunities also provides a global listing of awards and honours spanning all stages of the career and all disciplines. Researchers are encouraged to use Pivot as a primary resource for identifying discipline-specific awards opportunities.

Prestigious Award Winners at U of T

Although comprising only 6% of Canada’s professorial faculty, U of T researchers secure a dominant share of prestigious honours. The graph below shows the percentage of major international and national awards and honours awarded to U of T faculty (2008-2017), as a proportion of all awards to Canadian university researchers.

*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 Awards & Honours


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.

  • 2017 John Dick, Gold Leaf Prize for Discovery
  • 2014 Arthur Slutsky, Health Researcher of the Year
  • 2007 Peter Singer, Michael Smith Prize in 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 Gold Medal (Social Sciences & Humanities Council of Canada)
SSHRC’s highest research honour, the Gold Medal is awarded to an individual whose achievements in research have significantly advanced understanding in their research fields 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.

Selected Prestigious International Awards & Honours


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 & John Sipe, 2009
Andreas Mandelis, 2002

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 Medicine (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)
Harald Pfeiffer, 2016 (as a member of 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

Wolf Prizes (Wolf Foundation, Israel)
James Arthur, 2015, Mathematics
Anthony Pawson, 2005, Medicine (with Anthony Hunter and Alexander Levitski)

Back to Top ↑

© 2018 Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. All rights reserved. | Site map | Accessibility | Log in