Corday-Morgan Prizes

The Corday-Morgan Prizes are awarded for the most meritorious contributions to chemistry.

2019 Winners

Professor Roel Dullens

2019 Corday-Morgan Prize Winner

Professor Roel Dullens, University of Oxford

Professor Igor Larrosa

2019 Corday-Morgan Prize Winner

Professor Igor Larrosa, The University of Manchester

Professor Aron Walsh

2019 Corday-Morgan Prize Winner

Professor Aron Walsh, Imperial College London

General information

  • Run annually
  • Up to three prizes are available
  • Winners receive 5000, a medal and a certificate
  • The winners will undertake UK lecture tours 
  • Prize 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
  • The prize is open to nominees based in the UK or Republic of Ireland only
  • Nominees should be a mid-career scientist, typically with no more than 20 years of full-time equivalent professional experience.
  • This should be experience gained as part of a scientific career excluding time spent in full-time education. Time spent as a postgraduate student should not be included e.g. Masters, PhD. Time spent as a post-doctoral researcher should be included. 
  • Nominators will be asked to provide details of the nominee's professional experience, in relation to the above criteria.   
  • Career breaks will be recognised, and applications are particularly encouraged from those whose career has spanned a break due to caring responsibilities or personal circumstances e.g. a period of parental/adoption leave, family commitments, illness, or other exceptional circumstances. 
  • 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 a summary of their education and career, a list of 5 relevant publications, total number of publications and patents, other indicators of esteem, evidence of independence 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 
  • The names and contact details of two referees. Please inform referees of the nomination as the awards system will contact them as soon as the application is submitted. Referees may not be working at the same institution as the nominee, or include the nominee's post-doc or PhD supervisor 
  • Referees must provide reports by 31 January
  • We will contact nominators and referees of nominees with outstanding references one week after close of nominations on 15 January once only.         

The RSC reserves the right to rescind any Prize or Award if there is reasonable grounds to do so. All nominators will be asked to confirm that, to the best of their knowledge, there is no confirmed or potential impediment to their nominee receiving this prize/award related to their professional standing. Our Professional Practice and Code of Conduct can be referred to as a guide on expected standards.

Downloadable Files

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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
  • Independence
  • Collaborations and teamwork
  • Other indicators of esteem indicated by the nominee/nominator      

Guidelines for Referees

  • The awards system will contact referees to inform them that they must provide reports (of up to 4500 characters, not including spaces) by 31 January.
  • We will contact nominators and referees of nominees with outstanding references after one week after close of nominations on 15 January once only.
  • Referees must state their relationship (if any) with the nominee and note any conflicts of interest.     

Awards Working Group

  • Duncan Bruce, University of York (Chair)
  • Duncan Graham, University of Strathclyde 
  • Rob Field, University of Manchester 
  • Robert Mulvey, University of Strathclyde
  • Simon Lancaster, University of East Anglia
  • Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Heriot-Watt University
  • Claire Vallance, University of Oxford
  • Roy Sandbach, Newcastle University
  • Milo Shaffer, Imperial College London
  • Stuart Conway, University of Oxford 

Previous Winners

Corday-Morgan Prize Previous Winners

1949 - present

History of the Prize

Sir Gilbert Morgan
Sir Gilbert Thomas Morgan (1872-1940) provided a bequest to establish the Corday-Morgan Prizes in memory of his parents, Thomas Morgan and Mary-Louise Corday. A condition of his bequest, upheld to this day, is to keep their graves in good repair with flowers placed on 4th June each year.

Sir Gilbert Morgan was the first Director of the Government Chemical Research Laboratory, and a dedicated academic and industrial chemist, as well as a passionate teacher.  Born in Essendon in Hertfordshire, Gilbert studied at the Finsbury Technical Institute, where he developed interests in azo dyes and rare earth metals, fields which had a major impact on his later career. His first industrial experience, working for Read Holliday and Sons in Huddersfield, allowed him to study a wide variety of chemical problems. While working there Morgan produced a best-selling dye, Titan Como Blue, and discovered a clear amber resin, later to be commercialised by Baekeland as a component in the first synthetic plastics.

After working in industry for a number of years, Morgan returned to study at the Royal College of Science in London, with subsequent promotion. There, as throughout his career, his interests were wide-ranging, and as well as his primary research into the diazo-reaction, Morgan also researched compounds from carbohydrates to terpenes. It was during this time that his involvement with the Chemical Society began, firstly as Editor of the Journal and then Secretary.

In 1912 the Royal College of Science, Dublin, appointed Morgan as Chair of Chemistry, where he returned to research in an area of early interest to him - high pressure reactions. When the First World War began, Morgan helped to rebuild the British Dye Industry, and worked closely with the Chemical Warfare Committee. As the Mason Professor at Birmingham in 1919, Morgan dedicated himself to inspiring and teaching his students, as well as undertaking all the administrative work involved in the role. 

The Government Chemical Research Laboratory appointed Morgan as the first Director in 1925. There he instigated three long-term research projects with industrial applications, but simultaneously encouraged fundamental research, and the laboratory under his leadership was a demonstration of how pure and applied research could be brought together.

Morgan was honoured with a knighthood in 1937, and served as President of the Chemical Society and the Society of Chemical Industry.

Submit your nomination

Related Links

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Deadline for nominations is 15 January 2020. 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