Tilden Prizes

The Tilden Prizes are awarded for advances in chemistry.

2016 Winners

Professor Véronique Gouverneur

Tilden Prize 2016 Winner

Professor Véronique Gouverneur, University of Oxford

Professor Dermot O'Hare

Tilden Prize 2016 Winner

Professor Dermot O'Hare, University of Oxford

Professor Ivan Parkin

Tilden Prize 2016 Winner

Professor Ivan Parkin, University College London

General information

  • Run annually
  • Up to three prizes are available 
  • Winners receive £5000, a medal and certificate
  • The winners will complete UK lecture tours
  • Prize winners are chosen by the RSC Awards Working Group           

Guidelines for Nominators

  • Nominations open on 01 October
  • Nominations close on 16 January 
  • Only RSC Members can nominate for this prize
  • Nominees may NOT nominate themselves
  • Nominees should be 55 or under on 31 January. Consideration will also be given to those who have taken career breaks or followed different study paths
  • The prize is open to nominees working in the UK or Republic of Ireland only 
  • When nominating previous RSC prize or 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 nominee'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 webpage 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 Prizes

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 Prizes 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      

Awards Working Group

  • Nicholas Westwood, University of St Andrews (Chair)
  • Melissa Hanna-Brown, Pfizer Global R+D
  • Tom Brown, University of Oxford 
  • Emma Raven, University of Leicester
  • Gareth Price, University of Bath  
  • Brendan Keely, University of York 
  • Eleanor Campbell, University of Edinburgh
  • Bryan Hanley, KTN
  • Mark Weller, University of Bath
  • Alison Hulme, University of Edinburgh

Previous Winners

Tilden Prizes Previous Winners

1939 - present

History of the Prize

William Augustus Tilden
The Tilden Prize, founded in 1939, commemorates Sir William Augustus Tilden, British chemist and pioneer in the teaching of science.

Born in 1842 Tilden studied at the School of the Pharmaceutical Society and won the first Bell Scholarship.  In 1863 Tilden became demonstrator in chemistry at the Pharmaceutical Society where he went on to gain his BSc and subsequent DSc.  He spent an eight year period as senior science master at Clifton College before becoming Chair of Chemistry at Mason College (now the University of Birmingham) and a fellow of the Royal Society.  At the age of 52 Tilden became Professor of Chemistry at the Royal College of Science, a position he held until retirement in 1909.  Appointment as Emeritus Professor at Imperial College soon followed.

Tilden's research activities ranged from determining the relationship between the specific heat of metals and their atomic weight, to investigating the nature of terpenes and hydrocarbons.  In 1884 during his study of terpenes he demonstrated that the synthetic conversion of isopropene into rubber was possible, however he never managed to develop a commercially viable route to rubber synthesis.

Arguably one of Tilden's most significant legacies was his support of the younger universities of Great Britain as shown in 1889 when he, with Sir William Ramsay and others, secured a government grant of £15,000 for university colleges.  He also aimed much of his published work at students and teachers, such as "Hints on Teaching Chemistry" (1895).

Esteemed posts held by Tilden included President of the Chemical Section of the British Association, President of the Institute of Chemistry, and treasurer and then President of the Chemical Society.  He received the honour of knighthood in 1909.

Submit your nomination

Related Links

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Deadline for nominations is 16 January 2017. Your nomination can be saved and completed at any time.

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Contact and Further Information

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