Governor General's Innovation Awards

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences has been invited to nominate outstanding candidates from our community for the 2021 Governor General’s Innovation Awards, and we welcome recommendations from all our members, including you. The objectives of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards are to celebrate excellence in innovation across all sectors of Canadian society and inspire Canadians, particularly Canadian youth, to be entrepreneurial innovators.

Since 2016, we have had the privilege of being a nominating partner for these awards, and we were thrilled to see some of our nominees selected as winners in 2017 and again in 2019. I encourage you to read more about our most recent winner, the SmartICE team.

When considering whom we might nominate as an innovator, it’s important to note that there are some differences between innovation and research excellence. For these awards, innovation is understood as addressing a pressing problem with a solution that’s based on new thinking, and putting that solution into action. For more information, please see the description at

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences respects, appreciates and values diversity, and encourages you to recommend candidates from underrepresented groups, including women, visible minorities/racialized groups, Indigenous peoples, and people with disabilities.

To recommend an individual candidate or team, please complete the application form at by September 25, 2020. The form will ask you about the following:

  • Summary. A short description of the nature, significance and impact of the innovation or innovative activities.
  • Inspiration. How does the process leading to this innovation, its implementation and its developer(s) inspire future innovators in Canada?
  • Leadership. How did the innovator(s) demonstrate leadership in their work? Discuss evidence of initiative, collaboration, risk-taking and problem-solving in the process of developing and implementing the innovation.
  • Impact. Is the innovation in question having a positive effect in the world? Describe the successful implementation of the innovation in the sector, economy, society or culture, and the role of the nominee(s) in that implementation. If possible, please quantify the impact.

Any questions about this program can be directed to Kristin Bourassa, Program Officer (

Agency Name: 
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Contact Name: 
Emma Dering
Grant Location: 
External Deadline: 
Friday, September 25, 2020
Internal Deadline: 
Friday, September 25, 2020
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Social Science
Grant Eligibility: