About The Gairdner Awards

Annually, seven awards are given: five Canada Gairdner International Awards for biomedical research, the John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, specifically for impact on global health issues, and the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award, reserved for a Canadian scientist showcasing scientific excellence and leadership.

Laureates each receive $100,000 CDN that can be put towards anything the laureate wishes. Past laureates have used their winnings to support their labs, their research or even paid for their niece to attend medical school.

The Awards


The Canada Gairdner International Awards

5 Awarded Annually

Awarded to outstanding biomedical scientists who have made original contributions to medicine resulting in an increased understanding of human biology and disease.



The Canada Gairdner Global Health Award

1 Awarded Annually (Can be shared)

Awarded for scientifically based research that has improved the health and well-being of those facing health inequities worldwide.



The Canada Gairdner Wightman Award

1 Awarded Annually

Awarded to a Canadian health researcher who demonstrates extraordinary leadership paired with exceptional science.



The Canada Gairdner Momentum Award

2 Awarded Annually (As of 2023)

Awarded to mid-career researchers working in Canada who in their last 6 active years have produced exceptional scientific research contributions with continued potential for impact on human health.


“Great research has no borders. The Gairdners …Canada’s only major international scientific prize, inspire medical research, present and future. They are ours, but they belong to the world.”

By The Numbers


Since 1957, The Gairdner Foundation has distributed 402 awards for outstanding scientific research.


The number of countries that Gairdner awardees come from.


The number Gairdner awardees who have gone on to win the prestigious Nobel Prize.