Public Release: 

Fewer Canadians winning major health research prizes

Canadian Medical Association Journal

An analysis of major health research prizes, including the Canada Gairdner International Award, found that few Canadian-based scientists are winning these prestigious prizes. The article is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The prestigious Gairdner award, which is often called the "pre-Nobel," has seen numbers of Canadian-based researchers decline over time since its inception in 1959 from 35 winners in the first three decades to 12 in the last 30 years. For other major prizes, only 11% were awarded to Canadian-based scientists.

Authors Dr. David Naylor, University of Toronto, and Robert Redelmeier, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, suggest that the decline is due not to chance but to a "home-ice edge" in the early years of the Gairdner and a more thorough selection process in later decades. Funding patterns could also be a factor as government funding has been inconsistent.

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