Canada Gairdner Awards

The Gairdner Foundation was established in 1957 with the main goal of recognizing and rewarding international excellence in fundamental research impacting human health. Seven awards are given each year: five Canada Gairdner International Awards for biomedical research, one John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, for impact on global health issues, and one Canada Gairdner Wightman Award, for a Canadian scientific leader.

Annually, seven awards are given: five Canada Gairdner International Awards for biomedical research, the John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, specifically for impact on global health issues, and the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award, reserved for a Canadian scientist showcasing scientific excellence and leadership.

Each laureate receives $100,000 CDN that they can put towards anything they wish. Laureates have put their winnings towards their labs, their research or even paid for their niece to attend medical school.

The Gairdner Foundation is committed to increasing the diversity and gender equity of our awards.

The Canada Gairdner International Awards (5 Awarded Annually)
The Canada Gairdner International Award recognizes outstanding biomedical scientists who have made original contributions to medicine with the goal of contributing through research to increased understanding of human biology and disease. Nominees should be individuals whose “seminal discoveries and major scientific contributions constitute an original and significant achievement in biomedical science.” Nominations in the field of translational research are welcome. The award does not recognize a lifetime of work. Gairdner invites the scientific community to nominate qualified scientists from any branch of biomedicine. The evaluation of the contributions of the nominees depends heavily on the quality of information supplied. Therefore, nominations should be accurate, detailed, current, complete, and with supporting letters reflecting the nominee’s accomplishments.

The Canada Gairdner Global Health Award (1 Awarded Annually)
The John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award recognizes the world’s top scientists who have made outstanding achievements in Global Health Research.  Since its inception eight years ago, the Global Health Award has grown significantly to become one of the world’s most prestigious awards recognizing excellence in global health research.

Nominees should be individuals who have made major scientific advances with a significant impact on health outcomes in the developing world. The award is science-focused, and is not intended for those with primarily leadership and administrative accomplishments.

Gairdner invites the scientific community to nominate qualified scientists from any branch of global health. The evaluation of the contributions of the nominees depends heavily on the quality of information supplied. Therefore, nominations should be accurate, detailed, current, complete, and with supporting letters reflecting the nominee’s accomplishments.

The Canada Gairdner Wightman Award (1 Awarded Annually)
The Canada Gairdner Wightman Award recognizes exceptional leadership in Canadian medical science. Nominees should also have a high level sustained research career in a biomedical discipline. It is awarded for:
  • Individual accomplishment and leadership in a specific field of biomedical sciences (basic, clinical, population health) in Canada and/or original and sustained contributions to that field at an internationally recognized level.
  • Institutional academic and scientific leadership in Canada leading to the establishment and development of biomedical research in Canada and internationally
The evaluation of the contributions of the nominees depends heavily on the quality of information supplied. Therefore, nominations should be accurate, detailed, current, complete, and with supporting letters reflecting the nominee’s accomplishments.


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