The CSPC Trailblazer Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated novelty, creativity and impact through leadership, vision, courage, and commitment to the overall advancement of the science and innovation policy ecosystem. These individuals have been instrumental in the Canadian policy environment by boldly spearheading change via one or more transformative initiatives, all while blazing a trail and inspiring others to follow.

CSPC 2022 will present two Trailblazer Awards, one in each of the categories of Science Policy and Innovation Policy.

CSPC encourages nominations from all disciplines of science (natural sciences and engineering, social and human sciences, and health sciences) and policy, and from all sectors (governments at all levels, academia, private and nonprofit sectors, media, and others).

It should be noted that the Trailblazer Award is not meant to celebrate a long-standing commitment to science policy as celebrated in the Life Time Achievement Award.

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2021 Trailblazer Award Winners:

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Exceptional Contribution to Innovation Policy

Josephine Etowa


Senior Investigator, Centre for Research on Health and Nursing

Professor, current holder of the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) and past holder of the Loyer-DaSilva Research Chair in Public Health Nursing (2012-2019) at the University of Ottawa.

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Exceptional Contribution to Science Policy

Yann Joly

Ph.D. (DCL), FCAHS, Ad.E

Research Director, Centre of Genomics and Policy

Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and health sciences, Department of Human Genetics cross-appointed at the Biomedical Ethics Unit, at McGill University.

Selection Criteria

The nominee must have innovated or catalyzed change that has positively and significantly impacted the Canadian Sciences, Technology and Innovation ecosystem through (at least) one of the following:

  • Policy making: has demonstrated novelty and creativity leading to a significant impact on policy making in general, policy making for science and innovation, and/or the use of science in policy making.
  • Advancing research: has made significant contributions to research in science policy and/or innovation policy.
  • Mobilizing knowledge: has made significant contributions to mobilizing and disseminating knowledge to communities across the country and internationally.
  • Community-building: has made a transformative impact in bridging the various stakeholders of science and/or innovation policy, building a more cohesive and connected science and innovation community.
  • Championing/advocating: has contributed in innovative and creative ways to promote and raise the profile of science policy and/or innovation policy.
  • Capacity-building: has contributed to training, mentoring, inspiring, or developing the next generation of scientists and policy makers by spearheading change through an inclusive and collaborative approach.
  • Enhancing productivity/development: has enabled a culture of productivity, economic development, or entrepreneurship.
  • Enhancing social innovation: has made distinct and transformative impact and contributions to making human and natural systems more adaptive, sustainable, and resilient.

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation of applications or applicants is based on the justification for the following three sections:

  1. An Impact Statement ( 700 words) outlining how the nominee has impacted Science and Innovation Policy in Canada and internationally through selected criteria. The statement should provide comprehensive justification on why the nominee deserves to be awarded.
  2. Providing the evidence for each of the selection criteria (listed above) that is check marked. (400 words for each section that is selected).
  3. Demonstration of leadership and dedication: describe how the Nominee has shown leadership and sustained commitment in blazing the trail. (500 words)

NOTE: It should be noted that the Trailblazer Award is not meant to celebrate a long-standing commitment to science policy as celebrated in the Life Time Achievement Award.

Rules and Eligibility

  • Nomination must be for an individual living in Canada.
  • Nominations are encouraged from any and all sectors, for individuals at any stage of their career, including but not limited to industry, government, academia, and not-for-profit.
  • All scores and feedback provided by the judges will not be disclosed for any reason.
  • All applicants give the right to the CSPC to profile their Impact Statement in all Conference materials before, during, and after the event.
  • The CSPC and the judges will not release any information in the application that is specified as confidential (marked above with an *asterisk).
  • The current CSPC Board, staff, volunteers, and members of the Awards Selection Committee, must not be nominated.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted, in English or French, by 23:59 (applicant’s local time) on Friday, August 19th, 2022.

The required elements for a successful nomination are listed below. Upon submission, please ensure your nomination is fully completed and that it adheres to the stated word limit.

If you have any issues in submitting your proposal or any questions regarding the submission, please email