Arthur B. McDonald Fellowships - 2021


The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada funds visionaries, explorers and innovators who are searching for the scientific and technical breakthroughs that will benefit our country.

NSERC Website

The Arthur B. McDonald Fellowships are prestigious, $250,000 grants awarded over two years to recognize early-stage academic researchers in the natural sciences and engineering and support them to enhance their research capacity so that they can become leaders in their field and inspire others. Six fellowships are awarded annually to scientists or engineers earning a strong, international reputation for original research. Fellows are relieved of teaching and administrative duties for two years to devote their time and energy to research.

The Fellowship normally also includes a contribution of $90,000 per year to the institution toward the Fellow's salary. As part of the Fellowship agreement, the university is expected to fund a replacement for the fellow's teaching and administrative responsibilities or to enhance the research environment of the Fellow's department.

More program information


Please note the following:

  • candidates must have held an independent academic position for 10 years or less as of June 1, 2021. Eligibility calculations may incorporate career interruptions;
  • Candidates must self-nominate, however, Western must certify each nomination and can only certify six.

 An independent academic position is a position that:

  • is a university faculty appointment (tenured or non-tenured);
  • requires that the researcher engages in research that is not under the direction of another individual;
  • authorizes the researcher to supervise or co-supervise the research of students registered in an undergraduate or graduate degree program, or postdoctoral fellows.

The 10-year eligibility window is adjusted to take into account eligible delays in research or periods of inactivity (for example, due to parental leave, bereavement, illness, delays related to COVID-19). 

As an eligible candidate, you may self-nominate by preparing the nomination materials listed below.

Nomination Process


Notice of Intent to Self-Nominate: April 6, 2021 (via email to

Internal Adjudication submission deadline: April 27, 2021.

Note: Western must certify its support for your nomination. The institution confirms that you are eligible and explains how the institution will fully relieve you of teaching and administrative responsibilities while you hold the award.

Expression of Interest:

Western may submit up to six nominations for the 2021 competition. As such, please send an email to Julaine Hall ( by the end of the day on April 6, 2021expressing your intention to submit a self-nomination. This will allow time to manage the quota and prepare for internal adjudication, if necessary.  

Internal Adjudication:

Should more than six EOI’s be received an internal adjudication process will be used to determine which six nominations will be certified by the institution.  Applicants must submit the following by April 27, 2021:

  • a completed NSERC Personal Data Form (Form 100).
  • a draft of the three-page summary of the research that would be pursued during the tenure of the Fellowship (see details below)

NSERC Nomination Process

The successful internal candidates can move forward with self-nomination and must prepare the following materials:

  1. Nomination letter with two sections:
    1. Rationale for the nomination (max. three pages) that describes why you are a candidate for the Fellowship and addresses your research achievement and impacts, and outreach, mentorship, and leadership
    2. Description of your future research directions (max. three pages) that describes the original or innovative aspects of your research, your proposed research for the duration of the Fellowship with an explanation of how EDI will be addressed in your research design, and your approach to training and mentoring HQP and ensuring EDI in your training environment.
  2. Completed NSERC Personal Data Form (Form 100, including a complete list of research contributions. Ensure that the section Most significant contributions to research and/or to practical applications is completed. You do not need to limit contributions to those in the last six years (no page limit - additional pages to be manually appended);
  3. Form 101 part 1 (“Application for a Grant”). Note: signatures are not required;
  4. Environmental Information Form (Appendix A), if required;
  5. Names and contact information of 5-7 internationally recognized experts (Canadian or international) in your field who can provide an assessment of your work;
  6. a signed Terms and Conditions Form for Nominees;
  7. Self-identification data questionnaire - to be completed at the time of submission.


The complete Western nominations will be endorsed by the institution. They are submitted to NSERC Electronically via Secure Submissions for NSERC’s Innovative Collaborations and Science Promotion Programs.


Notice of Intent to Self-Nominate: April 6, 2021 (via email to

Internal Adjudication submission deadline: April 27, 2021.

Final submission deadline to NSERC: June 7, 2021.


Julaine Hall
Research Development Consultant, Awards & Distinctions
Telephone: 519-661-2111 (ext. 87970)