Conceptual illustration of radiating lines

CAIMS/PIMS Early Career Award

The prize is to be awarded to a researcher less than ten years past the date of Ph.D. at the time of nomination (i.e. 2009 or later for 2019 prize). This time frame will be extended in case of leaves of absences, for example parental leave, or illnesses. The prize recognizes exceptional research in any branch of applied mathematics, interpreted broadly. The nominee’s research should have been conducted primarily in Canada or in affiliation with a Canadian university.

The award will consist of a cash prize of $1,000 and a commemorative plaque that will be presented at the CAIMS Annual Meeting. The recipient will be invited to deliver a plenary lecture at the CAIMS Annual Meeting in the year of the award. A travel allowance will be provided.

Nominations shall consist of:
  1. a cover letter explaining the basis of the nomination
  2. up to three additional letters of support, at least two of which should be from references who are neither former PhD/postdoc mentors nor collaborators. In the case of very interdisciplinary research, the support letters should address the nominee’s contributions in both applied mathematics and the area of application.
  3. a curriculum vitae
  4. a publication list if not included in the CV
  5. a brief discussion of why there is a strong relationship to Canada. Examples of such a relationship include:
    • The nominee is a member of CAIMS-SCMAI
    • The nominee holds a position at a Canadian institution
    • The research for which the prize is being given was conducted primarily
      in Canada

Unsuccessful nominations for candidates who continue to meet the eligibility criteria may be renominated the following year with an updated CV, publication list, and if desired, letters of support.  The committee may, at its discretion, choose to recommend that applications which remain eligible be considered in the next year.

To submit an application for this award, go to Open Nominations page.


CAIMS Early Career Award Evaluation Rubric

The following criteria should be considered relative to the career stage, accounting for career stage, career interruptions, and non-traditional career trajectories.


Score10 to 54 to 10
Publication QualityExceptional quality of publications. Significant impact in applied mathematics and/or in the area of application.Above average quality of publications, most in high-impact journalsAverage or below average quality of publications in peer reviewed journals
ImpactHigh impact through talks, patents, awards, HQP, leadership. Evidence should be independent from above measures of publication quality.Solid impact through talks, patents, awards, HQP, leadership.Minor impact through talks, patents, awards, HQP, leadership.
InnovationOverall, the work of the candidate is highly innovative with the potential to create a new field or change an existing field.The work of the candidate has some innovative aspects.The innovative aspects of the candidate’s work are marginal.
IndependenceStrong evidence of independent research activity, including (but not limited to), single-authored papers, effective supervisory experience, principal grant recipientSome evidence.Little evidence.
TOTAL: 0-40

2022 Prize Winner:  Elina Robeva

Prof. Elina Robeva of the University of British Columbia is awarded the 2022 CAIMS/PIMS Early Career Award in recognition of her deep contributions in the intersections of mathematical statistics, applied algebraic geometry, and machine learning, and for novelty and breadth of applications in tensor decompositions, density estimation, and the study of diffraction-limited superresolutions.

Award Winners

Brendan Pass

Jun Liu

Bahman Gharesifard

Alexander Bihlo

Ben Adcock

Hau-Tieng Wu

Jean-Philippe Lessard

Jane Heffernan

Geoff Wild

Serdar Yüksel

Theodore Kolokolnikov

Adam Oberman

Daniel Coombs

Elina Robeva