CAP Medal Nomination Procedures

The outputs from scientific research are many and varied, including research articles reporting new knowledge, data, reagents, and software; intellectual property; and highly trained young scientists. Nomination packages should document the impact and quality of the candidate’s research, scholarship and/or innovation.

Nomination Procedures for CAP Medals

Nomination Procedures
Nomination Components
Nomination Selection and Notification

Any questions regarding the nomination process should be sent to


Unless otherwise noted:

  1. The nominator must be a member of the CAP or one of the other societies included on the CAP Council-approved list of Canadian professional science societies (see list below).
  2. The nominee must be a member in good standing of the CAP or a CAP Council-approved list of Canadian professional science societies (see list below).
  3. The nominee must have spent the major part (i.e. more than one-half) of their working career in Canada or must have made a major contribution to physics after returning to a permanent position in Canada.
  4. Self-nominations will be accepted.

Council-approved Canadian Professional Science Societies

  • Biophysical Society of Canada 
  • Canadian Association of Physicists
  • Canadian Astronomical Society
  • Canadian Geophysical Union
  • Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
  • Canadian Organization for Medical Physicists
  • Canadian Society for Chemistry

Nomination Procedures

  • The deadline for nominations will normally be December 15; Normally the nomination and selection cycle will be set such that selected nominees may be presented with their medal at the Recognition Dinner held at the CAP Annual Congress.
  • Nominations must be submitted using the CAP’s online nomination submission process.
  • Although the CAP’s nomination system currently has an English-only interface, nominations may be submitted in either English or French.  The CAP is committed to ensuring that applications submitted in either official language are treated equitably.
  • The CAP commits to ensuring that those evaluating awards will have a thorough understanding of the impact of bias to take it into account while reviewing nominations. Click here to view the CAP’s full EDI statement.
  • Supporting documents must be submitted as PDF files.
  • Nominations are confidential to the CAP.
  • Nominations are valid for three (3) nomination cycles.
  • Upon submission, and each year of the remaining two years of the cycle, nominators MUST verify/validate that the nomination package is complete and up-to-date for the nomination to be submitted to the selection committee for consideration.

Nomination Components

Unless otherwise noted, a complete application consists of:

  1. The nomination form, and a supporting letter from the nominator. 
  2. A curriculum vitae for the nominee of 20 pages maximum, including a list of awards, grants, and other evidence of significant impact on the field. Should the c.v. include a list of publications, the focus should be on the scientific content of the published papers, thereby strengthening the nomination by providing more than simply the publication metrics or the identity of the journals in which they are published.
    • Peter Kirkby Medal: c.v. has a maximum of 5 pages and should not include a list of research publications.
  3. A short description (1500 words or less) of the significance and impact of the candidate’s significant contributions related to the work for which they are being nominated.
  4. Three letters from referees to support the candidate’s nomination. Letters should particularly address the quality, originality, and significance of the candidate’s work.
    • Peter Kirkby Medal: references should be from those who have observed significant commitment to service to the Canadian physics community by the nominee
    • Medal for Undergraduate Teaching: the package should include three letters of support from students, colleagues, or others who have a close familiarity with the candidate’s contributions to teaching. Letters should particularly address the quality, originality, and significance of the candidate’s achievements in teaching.
  5. A citation of 300 words or less, suitable for publication if the nominee is selected as the medal recipient, starting with a paragraph of 25-50 words explaining the reason why the candidate was selected which can be used in the CAP’s announcement of winners. NOTE: The citation must be submitted in plain text format using cut and paste into the online nomination form.

Note to Nominators and References.  When drafting your letter of support, please consider the following best practices (adapted from the Canada Research Chair’s Guidelines and Best Practices for Letter Writers):

  • Be accurate, fair, clear, and balanced
  • Support your points by providing specific examples of accomplishments where possible
  • Avoid revealing personal information or referring to the private life of the nominee
  • Be aware of implicit bias and avoid the use of biased language (more information on Limiting Unconscious Bias)
  • Avoid making the letters overly personal by using formal and professional titles

Nomination Selection and Notification

Following the submission date, the nomination will be reviewed to determine if the eligibility criteria and nomination requirements have been satisfied. If the nomination package is not in accordance with these requirements, the CAP will inform the nominator and allow them to modify or provide additional information within 5 business days. If the requested information is not provided, incomplete or not in adherence to the requirements, the nomination will not be taken into consideration.

Selection committees are formed by CAP’s Recognition Committee. The selection committees recommend recipients to the CAP Board of Directors. If approved, recipients will be contacted by the President of the CAP or designate.

Under normal circumstances, each medal recipient will be invited to give a plenary talk during the CAP Congress, with the medals presented by the President of the CAP during the Congress Medalists and Fellows Recognition Dinner.  During any year when this is not possible, the medal recipients will be invited to give a talk during a virtual Medals Day and the medals will be shipped to them.

  • Peter Kirkby Medal: the recipient does not normally give a plenary talk but is awarded their medal during the recognition dinner and invited to say a few words at that time as this award recognizes service to the Canadian Physics Community.