The mission of the Gairdner Foundation is to celebrate, inform and inspire scientific excellence around the globe.

The Gairdner Foundation was established in 1957 with the main goal of recognizing and rewarding international excellence in fundamental research that impacts human health. Annually, eight awards are given: five Canada Gairdner International Awards for biomedical research, one John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, specifically for impact on global health issues, and two Canada Gairdner Momentum Awards, recognizing mid-career Canadian investigators.

The Gairdner Foundation believes in coming together to openly discuss science to better engage the public, understand the problems we face, and work together to find solutions. Since its founding, a number of outreach events and programs have been developed with the goal of inspiring the next generation of scientific innovators and fostering an informed society. By engaging in outreach programs across Canada, The Gairdner Foundation acts as a convener with the public, policymakers and other stakeholders on the impact of science on our everyday lives.

By the numbers

The Canada Gairdner Awards recognize the world’s most creative and accomplished biomedical scientists who are advancing humanity and the world.

418Since 1957, The Gairdner Foundation has distributed 418 awards for outstanding scientific research.

40The number of countries that Gairdner awardees come from.

98The number of Gairdner awardees who have gone on to win the prestigious Nobel Prize.

Impact of your support


We celebrate excellence through our Canada Gairdner Awards

Learn more about our winners

We convene leaders through our international events

Learn more about our events


We inspire the next generation of scientists

Learn more about supporting Gairdner

Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA)

The Gairdner Foundation is strongly committed to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA). Through this commitment, Gairdner is able to advance its mission of celebrating and inspiring the world’s best in scientific excellence, as meaningful inclusion does not detract from merit and innovation, but rather promotes them.

The foundation of the Canada Gairdner Awards program is the recognition of the highest standards of scientific excellence globally. In this pursuit, we recognize the importance of having a comprehensive and diverse field of candidates who are evaluated and selected on the quality and impact of their research. We proactively seek to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion within our nomination pool and invite the community to join us in this effort by nominating outstanding scientists of diverse backgrounds, including groups underrepresented in scientific awards and in the research community at large.

A large part of our core mission is inspiring current and future generations through programming made for, and tailored to, empowering individuals from all backgrounds and abilities to engage with science and be equipped with the tools they need to be informed citizens. Scientific excellence and impact require diversity of thought, opinion, knowledge, and life experiences. Therefore, through our programming, we strive to create a space where the full potential of the scientific community is realized and thrives.

Our commitment to EDIA extends beyond our Awards and outreach programs and begins internally with the people behind Gairdner, the driving forces of our mission. We value and aim to foster a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment within our workplace, Board of Directors and committees.