Call for the CSPC 2024 Trailblazer Award Nominations

Deadline: June 15th, 2024

The CSPC Trailblazer Awards recognize 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 2024 will present four Trailblazer Awards, one in each of the categories of Policy for Science, Science for Policy, Innovation Policy and finally, a new award as of this year: Science & Society.

CSPC encourages nominations from all disciplines of policy and science (natural sciences, engineering and technology, health and life sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities) 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.

Area(s) of Impact

The Nominee must have catalyzed change that has had a positive and significant impact on the Canadian Science, Technology, Innovation and Society 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 public policy, policy making for science, innovation and society, and/or the use of science in policy making.
  • Advancing research: has made bold contributions to research in science policy, innovation policy and/or the relationship between science and society.
  • 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, innovation and/or social policy, building a more cohesive and connected science, technology and innovation community.
  • Championing/advocating: has contributed in innovative and creative ways to promote and raise the profile of science policy, innovation policy and/or social policy.
  • Capacity-building: has contributed in training, mentoring, inspiring, or developing the next generation of scientists, science communicators and/or policymakers by spearheading change through an inclusive and collaborative approach.
  • Enhancing productivity/economic development: has enabled a culture of productivity, economic development, or entrepreneurship.
  • Enhancing social innovation: has made distinct and transformative impacts and contributions to making human and natural systems more adaptive, sustainable, and resilient. 
  • Public Engagement/Education: has contributed in encouraging public engagement with science enterprises and discussions, strengthening public understanding of science, public trust for science, citizen scientist, and science communication and journalism, or all other areas where science and society and public intersect.

Selection Criteria

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

  1. Impact Statement: Describe how the Nominee’s work has (1) catalyzed change, and (2) impacted Canadian Science, Technology, Innovation and Society. Please use quantitative and/or qualitative data to demonstrate the significance and transformation of the Nominee’s impact (No more than 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) (No more than 300 words for each Area of Impact).
  3. Role of Nominee in Impact: Elaborate on the role of the Nominee in contributing to the impact and results achieved (No more than 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 science, technology, innovation and society (No more than 400 words).

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

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

  • Nominees must be residents of Canada or Canadian citizens living abroad.
  • Nominees can be at any stage of their career.
  • Nominees can be from any sector, including industry, government, academia, not-for-profit organizations, media, 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 and CSPC website before, during, and after the event.
  • The CSPC and the Awards Selection Committee members will not release any confidential information from the nomination form.
  • The current CSPC Board, staff, Award Committee volunteers, and members of the Awards Selection Committee cannot nominate anyone nor be nominated.
  • Self-nominations are NOT accepted


The Trailblazer Award winner will be recognized prominently at the 16th Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC 2024), at the Gala Dinner which will be held during the conference in Ottawa. The Trailblazer Award winner will receive free admission to CSPC 2024 along with accommodation for two nights at the designated hotel for the conference. The award winner will also receive a trophy and certificate from CSPC. Please see the previous Trailblazer Winners ceremony here

How to Apply

Nomination forms must be submitted, in English or French, by 23:59 (Nominator’s local time) on Saturday June 15th, 2024.

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

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

2023 Trailblazer Award Winners:

Dr. Catherine Beaudry holding award

Exceptional Contribution to Innovation Policy

Dr. Catherine Beaudry

Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering

Polytechnique Montréal

Headshot of Dr. David Hammond

Exceptional Contribution to Science for Policy

Dr. David Hammond

Professor and University Research Chair in the School of Public Health Sciences

University of Waterloo

Hon. Kirsty Duncan holding award

Exceptional Contribution to Policy for Science

Hon. Kirsty Duncan

Deputy House Leader

Member of Parliament