Centenary Prizes

The Centenary Prizes are awarded to outstanding chemists, who are also exceptional communicators, from overseas to give lectures in the British Isles.

NOTICE: Between 2015 and 2018 inclusive, 8% of those nominated for this prize were women

2019 Winners

Professor Laura Kiessling

2019 Centenary Prize Winner

Professor Laura Kiessling, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor David MacMillan

2019 Centenary Prize Winner

Professor David MacMillan, Princeton University

Professor Roberta Sessoli

2019 Centenary Prize Winner

Professor Roberta Sessoli, Università degli Studi di Firenze

General information

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

Guidelines for Nominators

  • Nominations open on 01 October
  • Nominations close on 15 January
  • Only RSC Members can nominate for this prize
  • Nominees may NOT nominate themselves
  • This prize is open to nominees working outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland only
  • This prize requires winners to be exceptional communicators; therefore in addition to the general criteria, the judging panel will be looking for evidence that nominees have been able to demonstrate outstanding lecturing ability 
  • There are no age restrictions associated with this prize
  • 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 nominee’s name and contact details 
  • An up to date CV for the candidate (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       

In addition to these general criteria, this prize requires nominees to have exceptional communication skills.

Awards Working Group

  • Duncan Bruce, University of York (Chair)
  • Duncan Graham, University of Strathclyde 
  • Rob Field, John Innes Centre
  • Emma Raven, University of Leicester
  • Simon Lancaster, University of East Anglia
  • Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Heriot-Watt University
  • Claire Vallance, University of Oxford
  • Roy Sandbach, North East Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Milo Shaffer, Imperial College London
  • Chris Willis, University of Bristol    

Previous Winners

Centenary Prize Previous Winners

1949 - present

History of the Prize

The Centenary prize was founded in 1947 to commemorate the centenary of the Chemical Society in 1841.

In 1980, the Chemical Society and the Royal Institute of Chemistry, together with the Faraday Society and the Society for Analytical Chemistry, became the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Submit your nomination

Related Links

Link icon Submit your nomination online
Deadline for nominations is 15 January 2019. 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