Ontario Celebrates Research Excellence with Polanyi Prizes
Ontario Celebrates Research Excellence with Polanyi Prizes
December 15, 2020
The Ontario government is recognizing excellence among the province's leading researchers for their contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, economic science and physiology/medicine.

The John Charles Polanyi Prizes are awarded annually to five researchers who are in the early stages of their careers and pursuing post-doctoral research at an Ontario university. The recipients represent the province's next generation of world-class researchers and will build on Ontario's proud legacy of advancements in science, technology, healthcare and more. The Polanyi Prizes are the highest award researchers can receive from the province of Ontario.

"Ontario's researchers represent some of the best and brightest minds in the world," said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities.  "As Ontario continues to respond to the impacts of COVID-19, our research partners are crucial to the economic development and prosperity of Ontario. Recipients of the John C. Polanyi Prizes are tackling some of most challenging issues facing our society, and in turn, continue to position Ontario as an international leader in research."

This year's winners are conducting research on new technologies to support sustainable chemistry and clean energy, seeking to understand the universe and advance astrophysics in Canada, and looking for ways to improve the care of patients who suffer from treatment resistant depression, among others.

The 2020 Polanyi Prize winners are:
  • Dr. Graeme W. Howe, Queen's University, Chemistry
  • Dr. Marcus W. Drover, University of Windsor, Chemistry
  • Dr. Miriam Diamond, University of Toronto, Physics
  • Dr. Roy Allen, Western University, Economic Science
  • Dr. Daphne Voineskos, University of Toronto, Physiology/Medicine

"For 33 years, through thick and thin, successive governments of Ontario have encouraged outstanding scholars to pursue their academic careers here," said Dr. John Charles Polanyi, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. "This year the province does so in the face of a pandemic. The effect of this recognition is to be seen in the continued strength of our postsecondary institutions; congratulations to our prizewinners and to our province."

Quick Facts

  • Ontario established the Polanyi Prizes in 1987 to honour the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, a 1986 Nobel Prize Laureate in chemistry.
  • Over the past 33 years, over 160 young researchers have received this honour.
  • Each winner receives $20,000 in recognition of their exceptional research in the fields of chemistry, literature, physics, economic science and physiology/medicine.
  • A panel directed by the executive heads of the Council of Ontario Universities selects the recipients from a collection of nominees each year.

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