The Gairdner reputation rests squarely on the outstanding quality of its adjudication process.

The model for adjudication that James Gairdner outlined in 1959 remains essentially intact. However, under the guidance of President & Scientific Director John Dirks, it has become significantly more international in scope. 

The nominations for the Canada Gairdner International Awards go through a two-stage adjudication process. The first assessment is done by The Medical Review Panel (MRP), a group of 30 leading scientists from across Canada. They select a short list of approximately 20 candidates, which is given to The Medical Advisory Board (MAB), composed of 25 Canadian and international scientists (seven of whom have won a Nobel Prize). The MAB selects the winners by secret ballot.

The Canada Gairdner Global Health Award was initiated in 2009 – when Gairdner received a $20 million allocation from the Government of Canada –  and it quickly became the most important award in the field. The winners are selected by the Global Health Advisory Committee, a group of 15 international scientists.

The Canada Gairdner Wightman Award recipient is selected by the Wightman Committee, a group of 15 recognized leaders in Canadian medicine.

Nominations for 2016 are now closed. Nominations for 2017 must be received by October 1, 2016. This is a strict deadline. Nominations received after this date will be considered the following year.