The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research

The prestigious Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research is awarded each year to an outstanding rising star researcher in the field of mental health, to recognize, encourage and support them as they pursue their research interests and goals. 

The annual national prize provides $100,000 in funding to Canadian early-career researchers with a demonstrated track record in research; excellence in scientific rigor, innovative thinking, imagination and originality; and a clear ability to work in partnership with other disciplines and/or research teams external to the institution with which they are affiliated.

The award was jointly established in 2015 by The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research and the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada.

Watch the 2022 prize ceremony recording.

Award Competition

The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research is funded by a generous donation from the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation, building upon the wishes of its founders, Mr. Vaclav Mach and Dr. Hanni Gaensslen, to support mental health research. 

Each year for ten years, $100,000 will be available to be awarded to one person (or a research team of up to three persons) per competition. The Prize is awarded with the expectation that the recipient(s) will continue to demonstrate excellence in their field of work. If no appropriate candidate is found, the Prize will be deferred for one year.

Eligible candidates are exceptional rising star researchers who are 45 years of age or younger at the application date, are Canadian citizens or have landed immigrant status in Canada, and are currently residing in Canada or are residing abroad but are committed to return to Canada within six months from the date of being awarded the Prize. In addition, candidates must be affiliated with a Canadian academic or clinical institution and their research shall be in a mental health discipline. 

Please refer to the Prize Guidelines for full eligibility requirements and additional application details.


The deadline to submit entries for the 2022 competition has passed. Please check back next year for the 2023 competition!

Review the award guidelines and complete the application form

Dr. Sheri Madigan

2022 Recipient: Dr. Sheri Madigan

Dr. Simone Vigod

2021 Recipient: Dr. Simone Vigod

Dr. Nick Carleton standing and looking straight ahead while smiling

2020 Recipient: Dr. Nicholas Carleton

Dr. James MacKillop looking straight ahead

2019 Recipient: Dr. James MacKillop

2018 Recipient: Dr. Tracie O. Afifi

2017 Recipient: Dr. Benjamin Goldstein

2016 Recipient: Dr. Rudolf Uher

2015 Recipient: Dr. Jean Martin Beaulieu