Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prizes

The Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prizes are awarded for the most meritorious and promising original investigations in chemistry and published results of those investigations.

2019 Winners

Dr Rebecca Melen

2019 Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize Winner

Dr Rebecca Melen, Cardiff University

Dr Robert Phipps

2019 Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize Winner

Dr Robert Phipps, University of Cambridge

Dr Matthew Powner

2019 Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize Winner

Dr Matthew Powner, University College London

General information

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

Guidelines for Nominators

  • Only RSC Members can nominate for this prize
  • Nominees may NOT nominate themselves
  • The prize is open to nominees working in the UK and Republic of Ireland only 
  • Nominees should be an early career scientist, typically with no more than 10 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 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 
  • 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 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.

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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

Harrison-Meldola Award Previous Winners

1921 - present

History of the Award

The Edward Harrison Memorial Prize and the Meldola Medal and Prize combined to form the Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize in 2008.


Lt-Col Edward Harrison
The Edward Harrison Memorial Prize, established in 1922, commemorated the contributions of Lt-Col Edward Harrison to chemistry.  Having qualified as a pharmaceutical chemist, Harrison attempted to enlist in the army during World War 1, but was unsuccessful.  However, with the introduction of gas weapons there was a need for chemists like Harrison to devise a method of defence against this new form of arms. 

Harrison became the Deputy Controller of the Chemical Warfare Department and produced the first serviceable British gas mask.  He continuously worked on this during the war until he died of pneumonia, aged 47. His contributions have hugely impacted the lives of many in the armed forces.


The Meldola Prize, a gift of the Society of Maccabaeans, recognises the significant contributions to science of one of its former presidents, Raphael Meldola.  Born in 1849 he went on to become an industrial chemist, inventing the oxazine dye Meldola's Blue.  He was professor of chemistry at the City and Guilds Technical College in Finsbury for 20 years, publishing over 250 papers and reports during this time. 

His scientific interests extended from organic chemistry to entomology, under the mentorship of Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin, and astronomy, leading the British Eclipse Expedition to the Nicobar Islands, India in 1875.  Meldola was highly regarded, as shown by his presidency of a number of prestigious chemical societies: the Chemical Society (1905-07), the Society of Chemical Industry (1907-09), and the Institute of Chemistry (1912-15).

Contact and Further Information

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