CMS Blair Spearman Doctoral Prize

The CMS Doctoral Prize was inaugurated to recognize outstanding performance by a doctoral student who graduated from a Canadian university in the preceding year (January 1st to December 31st).  The first award was presented in 1997. 

As of 2021, the award is renamed the CMS Blair Spearman Doctoral Prize in honour of the late mathematician, Dr. Blair Kenneth Spearman and thanks to the generous pledge to donate an endowment from the Spearman Family to the CMS to fund this prize.

Nominations are currently welcomed for the 2023 CMS Blair Spearman Doctoral Prize.

Deadline: January 31

Award presentation normally takes place at the CMS Winter Meeting and a prize lecture given by the recipient is customary.

The Prize

As of 2021, the CMS Blair Spearman Doctoral Prize consists of a framed certificate, an award of $2,000 (prior years was an amount of $500), a two-year membership with the CMS, and the opportunity to present a plenary lecture at a CMS meeting.



The CMS Blair Spearman Doctoral Prize recognizes outstanding performance by a doctoral student. The prize is awarded to one recipient of a Ph.D. from a Canadian university whose overall performance in graduate school is judged to be the most outstanding. Although the dissertation will be the most important criterion (the impact of the results, the creativity of the work, the quality of exposition, etc.) it will not be the only one. Other publications, activities in support of students and other accomplishments will also be considered.

Nominees must have their Ph.D. conferred by a Canadian university in the year (January 1st to December 31st) preceding the nomination deadline.

Nominations that were not successful in the first competition, will be kept active for a second year (with no possibility of updating the file) and will be considered by the Doctoral Prize Selection Committee in the following year’s competition.


Selection Committee

The recipient is chosen by the Doctoral Prize Selection Committee based on the strength and merit of the nominations.


CMS Blair Spearman Doctoral Prize is named in honour of:

Dr. Blair Spearman
Dr. Blair Spearman

Dr. Blair Kenneth Spearman (1951-2017) was born on September 29, 1951, in Ottawa, Ontario. Although he did not discover the divine beauty of Mathematics until he was a third-year student at Carleton University, once he did, he devoted his life to it, finishing his Ph.D. at Penn State University in record time. He was a professor at University of British Columbia – Okanagan, receiving UBC Okanagan’s first Teaching Excellence and Innovation Award, and consistently winning the same award year after year. He touched and changed so many of his students’ careers and lives with his tireless effort and devotion. He was not only an exceptionally talented, first-rate mathematician who published over 115 mathematical papers in well-known journals, but also an absolutely wonderful and humble human being. His legacy will live on in those he left behind and will inspire young mathematicians to follow in his footsteps, strive for excellence, and be humble human beings.