FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions




What are the Canada Gairdner Awards?

The Canada Gairdner Awards are $100,000 awards given for breakthrough discoveries in biomedical science.

Who can nominate someone for an award?

Candidates are nominated by their peers. Self-nominations are not accepted, nor are posthumous nominations.

Who wins Gairdner Awards?

Biomedical scientists from any country who have made breakthrough discoveries that can lead to improvements in the practice of medicine and the alleviation of human suffering receive the Canada Gairdner International Award. The Canada Gairdner Global Health Award goes to a person from any country whose scientific advances have made, or have the potential to make, a significant impact on health outcomes in the developing world. The Canada Gairdner Wightman Award goes to an accomplished scientist who has been a leader in medicine in Canada.

Why are Canada Gairdner Awards important?

The findings of Canada Gairdner Award recipients are the backbone of many medical and pharmaceutical advances that are saving lives and improving human health. Their discoveries have led to CT scans, MRI imaging, PET scanning (all modern imaging technologies), drugs to permit organ transplants, the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer, Herceptin (an effective treatment for Her2 breast cancer), the ability to make stem cells from skin cells, the use of zinc to prevent deaths from childhood diarrhea and other major scientific advances.

Who selects the recipients?

The five Canada Gairdner International Awards are selected through two separate adjudication committees (The Medical Review Panel and the Medical Advisory Board) made up of leading Canadian and international scientists.

The Canada Gairdner Global Health Award is selected by a committee of international leaders in the field of global health.

The Wightman Award is selected by a committee composed of Canadian medical leaders.

How is Gairdner funded?

The seven awards are funded by the federal government and the Gairdner programs are supported by the Alberta and Ontario Governments, corporate sponsors and individual donations.

Who can attend the Gairdner Lectures?

Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend, and all lectures are free.

Still haven’t found what you are looking for?

Email us at thegairdner@gairdner.org and we will try to answer your question as quickly as possible.