Charles Rees Award


The Charles Rees Award is to reward excellence in the field of heterocyclic chemistry.  The award covers the synthesis, properties and applications of all types of heterocyclic compounds.


2016 Winner

Professor John Murphy

Charles Rees Award 2016 Winner

Professor John Murphy, University of Strathclyde


General information


  • Run biennially - NOT OPEN for 2017 nominations 
  • The winner receives £2000, a medal and a certificate
  • The winner will deliver a lecture at the Lakeland Symposium, Grasmere, UK
  • The winner will be chosen by a committee of the Heterocyclic and Synthesis Group and overseen by the Organic Division Awards Committee          

Guidelines for Nominators


  • Nominations open on 01 October
  • Nominations close on 15 January 
  • Only RSC Members can nominate for this award
  • Nominees may NOT nominate themselves
  • This award is open to nominees based in the UK or internationally
  • There are no age restrictions associated with this award 
  • When nominating previous RSC Prize and Award winners, please remember that a person cannot be awarded twice for substantially the same body of work              

To make a nomination please use our online awards nominations system to submit the following:

  • Your name, contact details, and membership number (please contact the RSC Membership team if you do not know your membership details)
  • The candidate's name and contact details 
  • An up to date CV for the nominee (no longer than one A4 side, 11pt text) which should include their date of birth, summary of education and career, a list of 5 relevant publications, total numbers of publications and patents (if appropriate) and website URL if relevant
  • A supporting statement (up to 4500 characters, not including spaces) addressing the selection criteria 
  • A short citation describing what the nominee should be awarded for. This must be no longer than 250 characters (not including spaces) and ideally no longer than one sentence 
  • References are not required for this award and will not be accepted

Selection Criteria for RSC Awards


Our selection committees base their evaluations primarily on the overall quality of relevant contributions made by nominees and not simply on quantitative measures.

The selection committee(s) will consider the following aspects of all nominations for scientific research Awards as appropriate:

  • Originality of research
  • Impact of research
  • Quality of publications and/or patents and/or software
  • Innovation
  • Professional standing
  • Collaborations and teamwork
  • Other indicators of esteem indicated by the nominee/nominator   

Charles Rees Award Sub-Committee


  • Chris Willis (Chair), University of Bristol
  • Adrian Dobbs, University of Greenwich
  • Robin Attrill, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Susannah Coote, University of Lancaster
  • Richard Grainger, University of Birmingham
  • Sharon Rossiter, University of Hertfordshire
  • Andrew Williams, Eli Lilly 

Organic Division Awards Committee


  • Alison Hulme, University of Edinburgh (Chair) 
  • Debra Wallace, Merck
  • Stephen Clark, University of Glasgow
  • Ed Anderson, University of Oxford
  • Gonçalo Bernardes, University of Cambridge
  • Vipul Patel, GSK 

Previous Winners

Charles Rees Award Previous Winners

2008 - present

History of the Award


Charles Rees
The Charles Rees Award, established in 2008, commemorates Charles Wayne Rees (1927-2006), a renowned synthetic chemist who devoted his career to heterocyclic chemistry. From 1992-94 he was President of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Born in Cairo, Rees was educated in at Farnham Grammar School in Aldershot, and then worked as a laboratory technician at RAE Farnborough, studying for his higher school certificate at night school. He gained entrance to University College Southampton, and there he succeeded in obtaining a first class degree in chemistry.

His work included research into reactive intermediates, extended aromatic systems and sulfur-nitrogen heterocycles. Having first worked at Birkbeck University, Rees moved to King's College London in 1957, where he published a classic paper detailing a brilliantly conceived oxidation of a heterocyclic amine to generate a highly reactive species in 1965. Around this time he also produced a seminal paper describing novel method to produce benzyne, in collaboration with C. D. Campbell.

From King's College London, Rees then took his first professorship at Leicester in 1965, before moving to Liverpool and finally to Imperial College London, where he remained from 1970 until his retirement. In his later career, Rees focused on aromatic ring systems, discovering tricylic-[10]-annulenes and undertaking ground-breaking work on nitrogen- and sulfur-rich heterocycles.

Thoughout his career Rees published over 500 papers, and won several awards, including being awarded a CBE in 1995. He was very involved with the Royal Society of Chemistry, both as President of the Perkin Division and Chair of the Publication and Information Board, before becoming President in 1992.  In the words of Christopher J. Moody, "Charles Rees had enormous charm. He was a great raconteur with a razor-sharp wit. Nobody who attended a scientific conference at which he delivered the after-dinner address will ever forget him."  (The Independent Newspaper, 12 December 2006)


Further Information

Professor Charles Rees

Former RSC President Professor Charles Rees dies, aged 78

22 September 2006

The Royal Society of Chemistry was saddened to hear of the death of former RSC President Professor Charles Rees


Contact and Further Information

Awards
Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF
Tel: +44 (0)1223 420066
Fax: +44 (0)1223 432359