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Internal Awards

This page features awards designated by McMaster University that recognize the consistently outstanding scholarly and creative productivity of its faculty. The University Scholar and Distinguished University Professor are bestowed on those who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within his or her discipline. The Senator William McMaster Chairs are awarded to individuals whose scholarship has put them in the upper echelon of academic achievement. Finally, the Petro-Canada-McMaster University Young Innovator Award celebrates the achievements of an outstanding faculty innovator.

Distinguished University Professors

"High accomplishment is prized here; thus it is not surprising that our professoriate includes individuals whose achievements are extraordinary."

The title of Distinguished University Professor, created in 1996, is conferred only on faculty members who have demonstrated distinction and impact well beyond McMaster.

Those awarded the title must have demonstrated an outstanding and sustained research record that demonstrates international impact and recognition.

He or she should also be able to demonstrate excellence in teaching and learning and a history of service that has had an impact on the community. The title is meant to recognize a “complete scholar.” No more than two per cent of all full-time faculty members can hold the title. 

McMaster's Distinguished University Professors (Active as of June 2017) 
McMaster's Distinguished University Professors (Retired) 

(The DUP is administered by the Office of the Provost. The complete Distinguished University Professor Senate policy (Nov. 12, 2014) can be found hereA document with related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be found hereIf you have any further questions not addressed in the FAQs please contact the University Secretariat

University Scholars

This award is intended to help to elevate the stature of faculty members in mid-career, defined as colleagues within 5 years of promotion to Associate Professor or 15 years of the completion of their PhD. The title is intended to recognize faculty members in mid-career who have already distinguished themselves as international scholars.

Recipients are considered global leaders in a number of diverse research areas and academic disciplines.

Each University Scholar will be awarded for a period of four years and will receive $15,000 per year provided by McMaster's Provost  and the applicable faculty dean.

 McMaster's University Scholars

(Administered by the Office of the Provost , more information about University Scholars can be found here)

Senator William McMaster Chairs


Established in May 2004, as part of its ongoing commitment to research and education, McMaster University created five prestigious endowed research chairs in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Named for McMaster's founder and namesake, a Senator William McMaster Chair is awarded to individuals whose scholarship has put them in the upper echelon of academic achievement. Research excellence, distinguished and sustained scholarly work, and a commitment to education are the main criteria for appointment to a Senator William McMaster Chair.


Our Senator William McMaster Chairs are: 

John Connolly Senator William McMaster Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience of Language,  Department of Linguistics & Languages

Jeffrey Racine Senator William McMaster Chair in Econometrics, Department of Economics

Eileen Schuller (Professor Emeritus), Senator William McMaster Chair in the Study of Religion, Department of Religious Studies

Wil Waluchow, Senator William McMaster Chair in Constitutional Studies, Department of Philosophy

Lorraine York, Senator William McMaster Chair in Canadian Literature and Culture, Department of English & Cultural Studies

Petro-Canada - McMaster University Young Innovator Award 

Petro-Canada and McMaster University are pleased to join together in celebrating the achievements of an outstanding faculty innovator. The Award provides an opportunity to build on the connection between research and teaching by engaging undergraduate students in research. The Award is financed through a $250,000 endowment provided by Petro-Canada, and a matching annual contribution by McMaster University’s Office of the Vice-President Research.


This Award is unique because it:

  • recognizes the research achievements of an innovative scholar within the first eight years of his or her research career;
  • provides funding support to the scholar to enable the active participation of undergraduates in the research endeavour.

This award is administered by the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching. More information can be found here

Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award Recipients 

Distinguished University Professors (Active as of June 2017)


  • Eric Brown (Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences) 2018
  • Harriet MacMillan (Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, and Pediatrics) 2018
  • Barry Allen (Philosophy) 2017
  • Narayanaswamy Balakrishnan (Mathematics & Statistics) 2014 
  • Andrea Baumann (School of Nursing) 2016 
  • Mike Brook (Chemistry & Chemical Biology) 2017
  • Stephen Collins (Medicine) 2002 
  • Deborah Cook (Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics) 2015 
  • Walter Craig (Mathematics & Statistics)2016 
  • Jamal Deen (Electrical & Computer Engineering) 2015 
  • Bruce Gaulin (Physics) 2017
  • Gordon Guyatt (Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics/ Medicine) 2010 
  • John Kelton (Medicine) 2017
  • Paul O’Byrne (Medicine) 2015 
  • Laurel Trainor (Psychology) 2017
  • John C. Weaver (History) 2005 
  • David Wilkinson (Materials Science & Engineering) 2008 
  • Christine Wilson (Physics & Astronomy) 2015 
  • Gerard Wright (Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences) 2016 
  • Lorraine York (English & Cultural Studies) 2016 
  • Salim Yusuf (Medicine) 2016 
  • Shiping Zhu (Chemical Engineering) 2015 

Retired Distinguished University Professors


  • John Bienenstock (Pathology) Appointed 1997, Retired 1998
  • John Brash (Chemical Engineering) Appointment 2001, Retired 2002
  • Martin Browning (Economics) Appointment 1997, Retired 2000*Resigned
  • Jules Carbotte (Physics & Astronomy) Appointment 1996, Retired 1998
  • William Coleman (Political Science) Appointed 2003, Retired 2009
  • David Embury (Materials Science & Engineering) Appointed 1997, Retired 1998
  • John Eyles (Geography/Geology) Appointed 2000, Retired 2016
  • Jack Gauldie (Pathology) Appointed 1999, Retired 2009
  • Frank Graham (Biology/Pathology) Appointed 1998, Retired 2003
  • Simon Haykin (Electrical & Computer Engineering) Appointed 1996, Retired 1996
  • John MacGregor (Chemical Engineering) Appointed 2003, Retired 2008
  • Daphne Maurer (Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour) Appointed 2010, Retired 2013
  • Gary Purdy (Materials Science & Engineering) Appointed 1998, Retired 2002
  • Henry Schwarcz (Geology) Appointed 1996, Retired 1999
  • Shepard Siegel (Psychology) Appointed 1999, Retired 2005
  • Christopher M. Wood (Biology) Appointed 2005, Retired 2016

University Scholars

  • Sonia Anand (Medicine) July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020
  • Paul Ayers (Chemistry & Chemical Biology)July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2019
  • Christina Baade (Communication Studies and Multimedia)July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2019
  • Mohit Bhandari  (Surgery) July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2019
  • Dawn Bowdish (Pathology and Molecular Medicine) July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022
  • Chandrima Chakraborty (English and Cultural Studies) July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021 
  • Brian Coombes (Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences) July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020
  • Katherine Cuff (Economics) July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2019
  • Philip Devereaux (Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics) July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2019
  • Wael El-Dakhakhni (Civil Engineering) July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021
  • Marie Elliot (Biology) July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2019
  • Steve Hranilovic (Electrical & Computer Engineering)July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020
  • Todd Hoare (Chemical Engineering)July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2019
  • Justin Jin (Accounting & Financial Services) July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2019
  • Daniel Machiela (Religious Studies) July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022
  • Prashant Mhaskar (Chemical Engineering) July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022
  • Paul McNicholas (Mathematics & Statistics) July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021
  •  Peter Nyers (Political Science) July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021
  • Guillaume Paré (Pathology and Molecular Medicine) July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022
  • Maikel Rheinstadter (Physics and Astronomy)July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020
  •  Sheila Singh (Surgery) July 1 2017 - June 30, 2021
  • Gregory Steinberg (Medicine) July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2019

Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award Recipients


  • 2017 Kathryn Grandfield, Materials Science and Engineering
  • 2016 Jennifer Heisz, Kinesiology
  • 2015 Ayse Turak, Engineering Physics
  • 2014 Michael Schutz, Music
  • 2013 Laura Parker, Astronomy
  • 2012 Michael Egan, History
  • 2011 Not offered
  • 2009 Marshall Beier, Political Science
  • 2008 Alan Chen, Physics and Astronomy
  • 2007 Phillip Britz-McKibbin, Chemistry
  • 2006 Alexandre Sevigny, Communication Studies and Multimedia, French
  • 2005 Alison Sills, Physics and Astronomy
  • 2004 Hendrick Poinar, Anthropology
  • 2003 Imre Szeman, English