The Dr. Samarthji Lal Award is an annual award of $25,000 that is given to a researcher who is making an outstanding contribution in the field of mental health. GBF established the Dr. Samarthji Lal Award for mental health research in 2010 in honour of the late Dr. Lal, a distinguished psychiatrist and researcher.


The award is open to all Canadian researchers who are affiliated with a Canadian academic or clinical institution, who are in the mid-stage of their career, and are, therefore seven to 15 years from their initial appointment at the time of submission (note: exceptional circumstances may be considered). Nominees must demonstrate excellence in scientific rigor and promise in patient-oriented research outcomes.


Candidates must be nominated by a colleague or mentor who is familiar with the Nominee.


Recipients are selected on a competitive basis by an expert review panel composed of eminent scientists from across Canada and outside. The panel makes their recommendation based upon the award criteria.


Dr. Samarthji Lal

Samarthji Lal, LRCP (Lond) MRCS (England) MB, BS (Guy’s Hospital Medical School, University of London), Dip Psy (McGill) (with distinction), FRCPC, ABPN, was Staff Psychiatrist at the Douglas Institute, Senior Psychiatrist at the Montreal General Hospital, Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University and former Director of the McGill Centre for Research on Schizophrenia. In 1980, he set up Canada’s first brain bank at the Douglas Hospital Research Institute. He was a cofounder, with Dr. N.P.V. Nair, of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute Research Centre in 1979. Dr. Lal played a pivotal role in obtaining funds from the EJLB Foundation, to set up the McGill Centre for Research on Schizophrenia, and from the Boeckh Family Foundation, to establish the Graham Boeckh Chair in Schizophrenia at McGill.

Dr. Lal authored more than 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books. In recognition of his research contributions, Dr. Lal was the recipient of the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CCNP) Heinz Lehmann Award in 1986; the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Distinguished Scientist Award for Schizophrenia Research in 1997; and the CCNP Innovations in Neuropsychopharmacology Award in 2002.

Award Recipients

Dr. Rudolf Uher
2021 Recipient
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Dr. Christopher Bowie
2020 Recipient
Dr. Jehannine Austin
2019 Recipient
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Dr. Benjamin Goldstein
2018 Recipient
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Dr. Gabriella Gobbi
2017 Recipient
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Dr. Jitender Sareen
2016 Recipient
Dr. Jeffrey Meyer
2015 Recipient
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Dr. Gustavo Turecki
2014 Recipient
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Dr. Z. Jeff Daskalakis
2013 Recipient
Dr. Todd Woodward
2012 Recipient
Dr. Ridha Joober
2011 Recipient
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