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The CSPC Trailblazer Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated novelty and creativity through leadership, vision, courage, and commitment, and positively and significantly impacted the Canadian Science, Technology and Innovation ecosystem. These individuals have been instrumental in boldly spearheading change via one or more transformative initiatives, while blazing a trail and inspiring others to follow.

CSPC 2023 will present three Trailblazer Awards, one in each of the categories of Policy for Science, Science for Policy and Innovation Policy.

CSPC encourages nominations from all disciplines of policy and sciences (social and human sciences, mathematical, physical and life sciences, engineering and technology) and from all sectors (governments at all levels, academia, private and nonprofit sectors, media, and others). Please note that technological or scientific discoveries or inventions are not considered for this award.

Image of a leaf-shaped trophy on a blue background

2022 Trailblazer Award Winners:

Exceptional Contribution to Innovation Policy

Dr. Elicia Maine

Associate Vice-President, Knowledge Mobilization and Innovation

Simon Fraser University

Exceptional Contribution to Science for Policy

Dr. Gregory J. Smallwood

Principal Research Officer

National Research Council of Canada

Exceptional Contribution to Policy for Science

Dr. Imogen Coe


Toronto Metropolitan University

Area(s) of Impact

The Nominee must have innovated or catalyzed change that has had a positive and significant impact on the Canadian Science, Technology and Innovation ecosystem through at least one, and up to three, of the following areas:

  • 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 bold 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.
  • 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.

Please note: Statements made in the nomination form may be used to describe the winner during the awards ceremony.

Selection Criteria

  1. Impact Statement: Describe how the Nominee’s work has (1) innovated or catalyzed change, and (2) impacted on the Canadian Science, Technology, and Innovation ecosystem. Please use quantitative and/or qualitative data to demonstrate the significance and transformation of the Nominee’s impact (Maximum 800 words).
    Specifically describe:

    • The depth and breadth of the impact.
    • The novelty and creativity of the Nominee’s work.
  2. Relevance to Area(s) of Impact: Describe how the work and the impact of the Nominee’s contribution are relevant to each selected Area of Impact (see above) (Maximum 300 words for each Area of Impact).
  3. Role of Nominee in Impact: Elaborate on the role the Nominee played in contributing to the impact and results achieved (Maximum 300 words per Area of Impact referenced).
  4. Leadership and Dedication: Describe how the Nominee has shown leadership, dedication and sustained commitment to the overall advancement of the science and innovation policy ecosystem (Maximum 400 words).

Evaluation Criteria

Nominations will be evaluated by the t Awards Selection Committee, composed of leaders in the Science, Technology,Innovation and Policy ecosystem. Nominations are evaluated based on the responses to the questions below and the following criteria:

  1. Depth and breadth of the impact and the impact of the transformational change on the Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy ecosystem.
  2. Novelty and creativity of the Nominee’s work that has innovated or catalyzed change.
  3. Relevance to the Area(s) of Impact.
  4. Leadership and sustained commitment.

Rules and Eligibility

  • The Nominee must be an individual living in Canada.
  • Nominees may include individuals at any stage of their career.
  • Nominees can be from any sector, including industry, government, academia, not-for-profit organizations, etc.
  • All scores and feedback provided by the Awards Selection Committee will not be disclosed for any reason.
  • Upon Nominees’ consent, the CSPC reserves the right to profile any Impact Statement in all Conference materials before, during, and after the event.
  • The CSPC and the judges will not release any information in the nomination form that is specified as confidential (marked above with an *asterisk).
  • The current CSPC Board, staff, Award Committee volunteers, and members of the Awards Selection Committee, must not be nominated.

How to Apply

Nomination forms must be submitted, in English or French, by 23:59 (Nominator’s local time) on Friday, September 15th, 2023.

All the required elements for a successful nomination are listed in the nomination form. Upon submission, please ensure your nomination is fully completed and that it adheres to the stated word limits.

If you have any issues in submitting your proposal or any questions regarding the submission, please email awards.prix@sciencepolicy.ca.