de Gennes Prize


The RSC de Gennes Prize is for outstanding and exceptional work in the field of materials chemistry.


2015 Winner

Professor Mercouri Kanatzidis

De Gennes Prize 2015 Winner

Professor Mercouri Kanatzidis, Northwestern University


General information


  • Run biennially - OPEN for 2017 nominations 
  • The winner receives 5000, a medal and a certificate
  • The winner will complete a UK lecture tour
  • Prize winners are chosen by the Materials Chemistry Division Awards Committee 

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
  • The prize is open to nominees based in the UK or internationally
  • There are no age restrictions associated with this prize
  • 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 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 prize 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      

Materials Chemistry Division Awards Committee


  • Mark Weller (Chair), University of Bath 
  • Sandie Dann, Loughborough University
  • Mark Goulding, Merck Chemicals Ltd
  • Martin Heeney, Imperial College London
  • Rachel O'Reilly, University of Warwick   

Previous Winners

de Gennes Prize Previous Winners

2009 - present

History of the Prize


Established in 2008 the de Gennes Prize, formerly the Prize for Materials Chemistry, honours the work of Nobel laureate Pierre-Gilles de Gennes.

Born in Paris in 1932 de Gennes went on to become a research engineer at the Atomic Energy Centre, Saclay, where he received his PhD in magnetism in 1957.  After completing his postdoctoral training in California he returned to France as an assistant professor at the University of Paris in Orsay.  During this time he completed highly influential work in the area of surface superconductivity and wrote the classic book Superconductivity of metals and alloys.

His later research interests included liquid crystals, polymer physics, and the physical chemistry of adhesion.  He even went on to his investigate the dynamics of wetting to help improve the growing of grapes for wine, demonstrating his keen sense of humour as applied to his work.

In 1991 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for "discovering that methods for studying order phenomena in simple systems can be generalised to more complex forms of matter, in particular to liquid crystals and polymers".  His peers considered him to be one of 'the giants in physics and a beacon to the field of liquid crystals'.

After receiving this accolade De Gennes shared his enthusiasm for his subject and visited an impressive 200 schools between 1992 and 1994 to teach students about science, innovation and common sense!


Submit your nomination

Related Links

Link icon Submit your nomination online
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

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