The Canadian Science Policy Centre is pleased to announce that the competition for the CSPC 2021 Youth Award, is now open. CSPC is committed to building capacity and empowering a young generation of scientists and policy makers, to develop their expertise and be able to showcase their talent. We encourage all of you below 35 years of age from any discipline, any sector and at any stage of your profession, to apply for this award.

Image of a leaf-shaped trophy on a blue background


This award recognizes an individual (student, postdoctoral fellow, researcher, entrepreneur, knowledge keeper, practitioner, etc.) under the age of 35 who proposes an innovative and compelling evidence-based policy that will make a positive difference to Canadians. Proposals should be connected to one or more of the themes for the 2021 CSPC Conference listed below:

Overarching Theme- CSPC 2021: Building Forward Better Grand Challenges

  1. Science and Society
  2. Science and Policy
  3. Science, Innovation and Economic Development
  4. Science, International Affairs and Security
  5. Science and the Next Generation.
  6. Grand Challenges

For a detailed description of each theme, please visit here

This award is designed not only to highlight innovative, evidence-driven policy ideas by policy students and young professionals, but also to encourage young people not currently studying, or working on public policy to share their policy ideas. Eligible recipients include all young Canadian residents under 35, regardless of their field of study or work. The CSPC is fully committed to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion and encourages all qualified participants to apply.


The winner of the award will be recognized prominently at the CSPC 2021 virtual conference, during a plenary session in November 2021 and will receive free admission to the CSPC 2021 and CSPC 2022 conferences, along with shared accommodation for two nights at the designated hotel for CSPC 2022. The award winner will also have the opportunity to present their policy proposal at the virtual conference and will receive a trophy and a certificate from CSPC. 

Two runners-up will also be selected, and they will be entitled to free admission to CSPC 2021 and CSPC 2022, and will have a chance to present their proposals as a 10 min presentation at the CSPC 2021 short talk session.  

Selection Criteria

Applications will be scored on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Effective use of evidence – 25%
  • Expected impact of the proposal – 25%
  • Novelty and creativity – 25%
  • Presentation and clarity of writing – ability to be understood by a general public audience – 25%

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted, in English or French, by 23:59 (applicant’s local time) on September 10th.

The required elements for a successful application are listed below.  Upon submission, please ensure your application is fully completed and that it adheres to the stated word limit. Accompanying videos (of not more than 10 minutes), posters or presentations (in PowerPoint or Prezi) are also welcome in addition to the completed web form. Files must be less than 8 MB and any of the following file types is acceptable (gif jpg jpeg png pdf doc docx ppt pptx). 

Proposals will be anonymized and subjected to blind review by the award selection committee. 

Citations for sources of evidence should follow IEEE style with square brackets for in-text citations. Citations are not included in the word count.

Application Elements

  1. Name.
  2. *Date of Birth.
  3. *Contact Information (phone, address, email).
  4. Brief Biography (no more than 150 words).
  5. Inspiration (in 150 words or less, describe what inspired you to tackle this particular issue).
  6. Connected Conference Theme(s)
  7. Short title of Policy Proposal 
  8. Describe the Challenge/Issue (600 words or less)

Describe the nature of the problem that the proposal seeks to solve. Supported by evidence, describe why it is important, and what current actions/policies are being taken, or not, by the government. 

  1. Proposed Solution/Policy Change (600 words or less)

Describe the proposed policy/program that should be adopted by the governments at any level (Federal, Provincial/Territorial, Municipal) to address the challenge. This can include partnership with other organizations. Please describe the rationale and include the evidence.

  1. Lay Abstract

(in 200 words or less, provide a brief summary of the issue and proposed policy for the general public audience).

Rules and Eligibility

  1. Applications must be made by an individual under the age of 35 at the time of submission.
  2. Applicants must be living in Canada.
  3. All scores and feedback provided by the judges will not be disclosed for any reason.
  4. All applicants give the right to the CSPC to profile their submission in all Conference materials before, during, and after the event.
  5. The CSPC and the judges will not release any information in the application that is specified as confidential (marked above with an *asterisk).
  6. The current CSPC Board, management, staff, volunteers and members of the Awards Selection Committee, may not apply for the Science Policy Award of Excellence – Youth Category. 

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

Previous Winners: