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Exceptional Researchers Honoured With Polanyi Prize

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Exceptional Researchers Honoured With Polanyi Prize

Province Supporting Key Research at Ontario Universities

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

Ontario is recognizing the province's top university researchers for their valuable contributions to the fields of chemistry, economic science, literature, physics and physiology/medicine.

Each year, Polanyi Prizes are awarded to five researchers who are in the early stages of their careers and pursuing post-doctoral research at an Ontario university. Recipients of the Polanyi Prize represent Ontario's next generation of innovators, who are helping discover advances in areas like cancer treatment, advanced computing and the treatment of serious diseases like HIV and Parkinson's.

The 2014 recipients are:

  • Dr. William Bennett of the University of Waterloo for chemistry.
  • Dr. Rahul Deb of the University of Toronto for economic science.
  • Dr. Andrea Charise of the University of Toronto for literature.
  • Dr. Eduardo Martin-Martinez of the University of Waterloo for physics.
  • Dr. Jennifer Brunet of the University of Ottawa for physiology/medicine.

Supporting and celebrating exceptional research at Ontario's universities is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, appointed by the Council of Ontario Universities, establishes a panel to select the Polanyi Prize recipients each year.
  • The province established the Polanyi Prizes in 1987 to honour the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, a 1986 Nobel Prize Laureate in chemistry.
  • The 2014 Ontario Budget recommitted $250 million over three years for the Ontario Research Fund, which helps support the activities of world-class researchers.
  • In August 2014, the ministry signed strategic mandate agreements with all publicly funded colleges and universities in Ontario to help them build on their existing strengths and expand their most innovative programs.

Background Information


“By honouring this year’s Polanyi Prize recipients, we recognize the important research being done in universities across the province. Past recipients of this prestigious award have made significant contributions to Ontario’s innovation economy and to the everyday lives of the people of this great province. I am confident that this year’s recipients will do the same, and I’d like to congratulate these individuals for their outstanding work!”

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

“It’s my pleasure to honour this year’s recipients of the Polanyi Prize, who are wonderful ambassadors of the world-class research and innovation taking place at Ontario’s universities. By continuing to invest in our postsecondary institutions and in programs like the Ontario Research Fund, our province will continue to support and attract the kind of talented academics whose research results in very real benefits for Ontarians.”

Reza Moridi

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and Minister of Research and Innovation

“For 27 years, the Polanyi Prizes have recognized and showcased the brightest young researchers Ontario has to offer. I always look forward to meeting these scholars at the beginning of their promising academic careers and I am pleased that the Ontario government continues to recognize and support venturesome fundamental research across the province.”

Dr. John C. Polanyi

Nobel Laureate, Chemistry

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