John Charles Polanyi Prizes

2022 Polanyi Prizes Honour Ontario University Researchers

The innovative and ground-breaking work of five Ontario university researchers is being recognized with the 2022 Polanyi Prizes. Their award-winning research ranges from exploring the relationship between Indigenous artwork and resource extraction, understanding how public policy supports low-income Canadians, improving access to palliative care supports, providing new insights into the Milky Way and designing nanomaterials that support the early detection of disease.

“Ontario is home to a world-class postsecondary, research and innovation system producing discoveries that advance knowledge, drive progress and create a better and brighter future,” said the Honourable Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Recipients of the John C. Polanyi Prizes and the critical work they’ve undertaken, represent the lifeblood of our innovation ecosystem that is creating jobs, opportunity and growth across Ontario.”

“These award winners are trailblazers in their fields and demonstrate the exceptional depth and breadth of the research taking place at Ontario’s universities,” said Steve Orsini, President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities. “This research is helping create the kinds of Ontario-made solutions the province needs to address complex challenges across industries and create a brighter future for all Ontarians.”

The prestigious Polanyi Prizes are awarded annually in honour of Ontario’s Nobel Prize winner, John C. Polanyi, who won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research in chemical kinetics. The prizes are awarded to early-career researchers who are either continuing postdoctoral work or have recently gained a faculty appointment. Each of the five winners receives $20,000 in recognition of their exceptional research in the fields of chemistry, literature, physics, economic science and physiology/medicine.

Learn more about 2022 Polanyi Prize winners by reading their research summaries below.

For more information about how the awards are administered, click the link below.

Learn More

Polanyi Prize in Literature
  • Dr. Isabella Huberman, University of Toronto
Polanyi Prize in Chemistry
  • Dr. Alana Ogata, University of Toronto
Polanyi Prize in Physiology and Medicine
  • Dr. Kieran Quinn, University of Toronto
Polanyi Prize in Physics
  • Dr. Joshua Speagle, University of Toronto
Polanyi Prize in Economics
  • Dr. Michael Stepner, University of Toronto