2024 – Royal College Award for Early-Career Leadership

The Award for Early-Career Leadership honours new Royal College Fellows (with seven or fewer years of post-training full-time practice) who have shown outstanding leadership, initiative, service and/or innovation in areas aligned with one of three key areas of the Royal College mandate:

  • Medical Education and/or Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Health Policy / Health Systems
  • Professional Practice / Patient Care

Nominees for Medical Education / CPD category will have:

  • shown creativity, initiative and commitment to making a significant contribution within a post-graduate medical education and/or CPD context; and/or
  • conducted outstanding scholarly activities in specialty medicine education/CPD, such as through program or curriculum design, translation of medical education research into teaching/CPD, teaching, or mentorship.

Nominees for the Health Policy / Health Systems category will have:

  • exemplified health leadership behaviours of shared decision-making for the operation and ongoing evolution of the health care system, collaborative leadership and management within the health care system, and development and delivery of continuously improving health care; and will have created practice and/or learning environments to foster the development of these behaviours in others;
  • engaged in effective health policy development, policy implementation and/or health systems advocacy, for example for Indigenous or other traditionally underserved populations; and/or
  • conducted outstanding scholarly activities related to health policy, such as development of health systems-related educational curriculum, or conducting research relevant to health systems issues.

Nominees for the Professional Practice / Patient Care category will have:

  • exemplified professional and health advocate behaviours such as promotion of the public good, ethical standards and professional values, and supporting the mobilization of resources to effect change; and will have created practice and/or learning environments to foster the development of these behaviours in others;
  • contributed to the development of innovative patient care initiatives, for example in patient safety, inter- and intra-professional collaboration, or patient-centered technological innovation; and/or
  • contributed to improving the health outcomes and health care of rural, remote, Indigenous and other underserved populations of Canada.

Additionally, nominees for all categories will have:

  • been active and effective at the local (e.g., University, community), provincial/territorial and/or national level; and
  • acted as a positive and effective role model for peers and colleagues.

General Policies

  • Only one award recipient shall be named per category in any given year; however, an award may not necessarily be bestowed in all three categories annually.
  • The Awards Committee of the Royal College, which selects the recipients annually at their fall meeting, may add to the list of nominations.
  • The Awards Committee may also conduct its own research regarding the proposed nominees.


  • The nominee must currently be a Fellow of the Royal College, and has been so for at least one year;
  • Has been in full-time practice (clinical or academic) for not more than seven years post-training (not including any leaves of absence such as maternity leave);
  • Self-applications are ineligible;
  • Unsuccessful nominees may be re-submitted, however recipients are not eligible for future nomination.

Nomination Process

  • Nominations must be submitted by Fellows of the Royal College.

Nomination Requirements

  • A letter summarizing the reasons for your nomination. 
  • In addition to the nominator’s letter, two additional letters of support may be included – any additional letters (in excess of the three requested) will be automatically removed.
    • For the Medical Education / CPD category, it is strongly recommended that the nominator or one supporter be a Dean, Vice Dean/Postgraduate Dean/CPD Dean or Program Director of a Royal College accredited program, or representative of a National Specialty Society involved in the provision of CPD.
    • For the Health Systems and Professional Practice categories, a letter of support from a representative of a patient population, National Specialty Society, inter-professional colleague or other stakeholder external to the nominee’s immediate practice environment is strongly recommended. Nominations in the Professional Practice category are particularly encouraged for Fellows who are primarily in community practice.
  • Reference letters:
    • should be clear, succinct, intentional and one page in length (Calibri or Open Sans font, size 10 if possible). 
    • Furthermore, letters shouldn’t be provided by friends, relatives, or close relationships.
    • Letters shouldn’t have institutional logos.
    • Letters shouldn’t be endorsed or submitted by Royal College staff. 
  • Curriculum vitae, maximum 20 pages, without a profile photo.


  • The recipient in each category will be recognized at a Royal College event.
  • The recipient will also receive a suitably engraved recognition, and a monetary prize of $1,000.
  • Travel and related expenses of the award winner will be paid in accordance with Royal College guidelines.

Please submit your application via our online platform Royal College Award for Early-Career Leadership.

Submission deadline: September 6, 2023 – late submissions will not be considered.

Questions about this award, please contact us via email awards@royalcollege.ca