Recognizing Outstanding Contributions to the Canadian Cancer Research Community

The CCRA Awards, initiated in 2011, recognize and celebrate on a biennial basis the outstanding contributions of individuals who have had a remarkable impact on cancer research and the cancer research community. Our 2023 winners will be announced in the fall. Stay tuned!

There are four award categories as follows:

Exceptional Leadership in Cancer Research

Awarded to an individual whose work has had a transformative impact on the cancer research landscape in Canada in one or more of the following ways:

  • provided leadership/strategic direction to strengthen cancer research across the continuum
  • reduced systemic discrimination within the research enterprise
  • facilitated collaborative research opportunities and initiatives (multi-sectoral, multi-jurisdictional)
  • built researcher capacity and strengthened career paths for early career investigators
  • worked to diversify the cancer researcher workforce
  • supported/strengthened key infrastructure for cancer research

Outstanding Achievements in Cancer Research

Awarded to a cancer researcher whose impactful and paradigm-shifting research—fundamental, translational, clinical, and/or applied—has achieved one or more of the following:

  • greatly advanced our understanding of cancer through excellence in biomedical, clinical, health services, or population health research
  • designed, improved and/or accelerated the adoption of new methodological, statistical, technical, technological, and/or other research approaches
  • demonstrated impact to prevent cancer, improve cancer outcomes, and/or reduce cancer-related morbidity
  • enhanced cancer care delivery/systems
  • addressed health disparities through study design, participant recruitment, data reporting, and/or other approaches

Distinguished Service to Cancer Research

Awarded to an individual whose work has elevated the profile of cancer research and control in one or more of the following ways:

  • advanced public discourse, education, and/or policy on cancer control and/or cancer research within Canada and/or internationally
  • facilitated science literacy and helped dispel misinformation/disinformation and/or misinterpretation of research on cancer prevention, treatment, cancer survivorship, and supportive and end-of-life care
  • promoted research-informed best practice cancer control
  • helped raise the importance of a cancer system that addresses the needs of diverse populations within a province or territory, across Canada, and/or internationally
  • developed/promoted culturally grounded approaches to knowledge translation

Exceptional Leadership in Patient Involvement in Cancer Research

Awarded to an individual who has demonstrated and contributed to advancing patient* involvement in cancer research in one or more of the following ways:

  • helped raise the profile of patient partners within the cancer research enterprise through advocacy efforts and/or network involvement
  • contributed to the knowledge base of patient engagement in research
  • helped embed patient engagement throughout the cancer research process through resource development and/or education
  • built capacity for patient-oriented research among cancer researchers and/or patient partners
  • developed strategies to ensure those with lived and living experience engaged in cancer research are representative of a wide range of people across Canada

*As per CIHR, patient is “an overarching term inclusive of individuals with personal experience of a health issue and informal caregivers, including family and friends.”

Nominations and Adjudication Process

For 2023, the Nominations Form must be completed by a nominator or a nominee. Due date for completed nominations was February 6, 2023.

The composition of the award panelists will vary based on the award category. Each panel will have five members. Panelists will rate nominees individually and then meet to discuss top-rated candidates and determine the awardee.

There are three assessment criteria (alignment (appropriateness of nominee’s achievements to award category), achievement, and impact), and these are rated using a 3-point scale. In recognition of systemic barriers and inequities, up to 2 points will be added to the scores of nominees who are from groups traditionally under-represented in cancer research/leadership positions (this is done with the consent of the nominee – as above). More details are provided in our downloadable nomination form 2023 CCRA Awards Nomination Form

Should you have any questions or require further information, please contact us at

Learn more about previous CCRA Awards recipients: