It's official: I am a Weston Family Northern Scientist.
Relaxing in an Airbnb in Whitehorse, YT, before the Thinhorn Sheep Summit III, I routinely checked my email, expecting to find the usual queries and subscription newsletters, but instead saw one lone, unread note:
Subject line: Weston Family Awards in Northern Research (Master's Level): Competition Results.
Message preview: Congratulations! I am pleased to inform you that...
Boy did my heart jump (and my body too - physically off the bed). A few cusses in disbelief poured of my mouth before my partner, alarmed by my jumping and swearing, was able coax out words I never thought I'd be saying, "I just won a Weston award"!
"Since 2007, the Weston Family Awards in Northern Research have provided unparalleled support to young scientists in Canada pursuing research in Canada’s North. Funded by the Weston Family Foundation, these annual awards are some of the most prestigious in the country for students pursuing a master’s degree, a doctoral degree or postdoctoral fellowship. Nearly 300 students have been selected to receive an award since the program’s inception, forming a community of Weston Family Northern Scientists who are at the forefront of northern scholarship and who are helping shape a better future for Canada and the world." (Weston Family Awards in Northern Research)
Applying for this award was a rigorous process, including submitting a detailed application form, outlining myself as a candidate plus my written research proposal with anticipated significance, and submitting referee reports and transcripts. The selection committee reviewed applications over a three-month period.
It is an incredible honour to have been selected for this award and it with the utmost gratitude and respect that I accept the offer. This award supports myself directly as a researcher, made possible by the generous offerings of the Weston Family Foundation and their partners & collaborators. Along with a monetary scholarship, the award comes with connections to other brilliant minds in northern research.
A sincere thank-you only begins to cover the appreciation I'd like to express, but that is where I'll start: thank you.