Jonas Salk Award

With the release of the life saving polio vaccine in 1955, Dr. Jonas Salk established a worldwide reputation as a scientist and a humanitarian.

The Jonas Salk Award is presented annually to a Canadian scientist, physician or researcher who has made a new and outstanding contribution in science or medicine to prevent, alleviate or eliminate a physical disability.

The lifetime achievement award of $10,000, is presented annually by March of Dimes Canada. For many years it was jointly presented by Sanofi Pasteur (formerly known as Connaught Laboratories).

Listen to world-renowned researchers speak about the history and significance of the Jonas Salk Award:

To nominate a scientist, physician or researcher, please read eligibility criteria below:

Eligibility Criteria

Award nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident residing in Canada.
  • Have made a significant contribution to science or medicine.
  • Research conducted must have resulted in a significant advancement in scientific knowledge, prevention, treatment or cure of a physically disabling condition.
  • Research findings must have been published in referenced journals.


The Jonas Salk Award Committee accepts applications each year by November 15. A decision is made by February 15 of the following year and the recipient and his/her nominator are notified.

Download the nomination form:

Submit the completed nomination form to You will receive instructions on how to submit the remaining required documents electronically. Note: all components of the application must be submitted electronically (PDF preferred). No mailed submissions will be accepted. All submissions become the property of March of Dimes Canada. Candidates must be available for some media exposure. Include the following in the application:

  • One copy of the nominee’s current CV.
  • One copy each of the nominee’s publications or other relevant evidence.
  • Three letters of reference from practitioners/researchers in the field qualified to comment on the contributions of the nominee. Letters should include the following information:
    • the referee’s knowledge of the nominee and the nominee’s work;
    • the significance of the nominee’s work and it’s relevance to alleviating, preventing or curing physically disabling conditions;
    • any additional information indicating the substantial contribution the candidate has made to the research community and/or the community of people with physical disabilities;
    • any international, national or local honours bestowed on the nominee for research accomplishments.

For more information, please contact:

Jonas Salk Awards Committee
c/o Manager Quality and Research
March of Dimes Canada
10 Overlea Blvd.
Toronto, ON  M4H 1A4
Tel: 416-425-3463
Toll-free: 1-800-263-3463
Fax: 416-425-1920


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