Information for applicants

The objective of the H.L. Holmes Award is to enhance Canadian research in areas of strategic importance through post-doctoral studies at world famous graduate schools or research institutes under outstanding researchers, and in fields related to medical and biological processes. Recipients must acknowledge the H.L. Holmes Award when submitting research papers to journals for work accomplished while receiving support from the Awards.


Recipients will be chosen according to the following eligibility criteria:

  • the candidate must be a Canadian citizen;
  • the candidate must have graduated from a recognized Canadian university;
  • the candidate must hold a doctoral degree from either a Canadian university or an outstanding foreign university, received within five years immediately before to the application deadline;
  • the candidate's proposed research must pertain to chemistry, physics, biology or mathematics as they relate to medical and biological processes;
  • the candidate must have demonstrated research ability.

Selection criteria

In evaluating applications, the H.L. Holmes Award Selection Committee will consider the following criteria:

  • the candidate's demonstrated research experience;
  • the scientific merit of the proposed research;
  • the assessments of the candidate by persons familiar with the candidate's work;
  • the acceptance and support of the host organization.


Applications are now being accepted. Interested individuals may apply directly. Candidates can also be nominated by Canadian universities or other research organizations willing to support the candidate in carrying out their proposed research. Applications must include:

  • a detailed description of the proposed research project including the duration of the project and budget details (maximum 10 pages total);
  • the proposed location of research;
  • candidate's CV confirming the above eligibility criteria;
  • three letters assessing the candidate's research ability from persons under whom the candidate has trained or worked;
  • a letter from the host organization confirming its willingness to accept the candidate, administer the Award funds and describing the level of support the organization will provide to the candidate.

The call for applications for the 2017 Award is now closed. The next call for applications will open in late 2018.


The monetary value and number of awards granted will be established by the Selection Committee on an individual basis. Each award will cover a one- or two-year period, depending on available funding and the research proposal. An award can have a monetary value of up to $100,000 per year.

The award will support all costs directly related to the approved research, except travel expenses. Host organizations must also provide support to the candidate. NRC employees are eligible for the H.L. Holmes Award, provided they meet the Selection Criteria.

Research reports

Recipients of the H.L. Holmes Award will be asked to submit annual research reports to the Selection Committee for review and evaluation. The Selection Committee reserves the right to terminate an Award at any time if the recipient does not remain at the host organization.

Method of payment

The host organization will establish a separate account for the purposes of administering the Award funds. The host organization will receive the funds for each year based on a payment plan established by the host organization in consultation with the Award recipient. The Award recipient will be allocated those funds by the host organization in accordance with this payment plan.

Past recipients

  • 2015 - Sun HaoSheng
  • 2013 - Arneet L. Saltzman
  • 2011 - Adam Shlien
  • 2009 - Bryan Davies
  • 2007 - Jennifer Estall
  • 2005 - Michael Cowan
  • 2003 - Alison Allan
  • 1997 - Suzanne Demczuk
  • 1994 - Carol Dallaire

Contact information

For additional information, please contact:

Holmes Award Secretariat
Vice-President’s Office, Life Sciences
National Research Council Canada

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