Joseph Chatt Award

The Joseph Chatt Award is for outstanding multi-disciplinary research in the areas which span inorganic chemistry and biochemistry.

2018 Winner

Professor Nick Le Brun

2018 Joseph Chatt Award Winner

Professor Nick Le Brun, University of East Anglia

General information

  • Run biennially - Closed for 2021 nominations
  • The winner receives 2000, a medal and a certificate
  • The winner will undertake a UK lecture tour
  • The winner will be chosen by the Dalton Division Awards Committee             

Guidelines for Nominators

  • Only RSC Members can nominate for this award
  • Nominees may NOT nominate themselves
  • The award is open to nominees based in the UK or internationally
  • There are no age restrictions associated with this award
  • 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 
  • References are not required for this award and will not be accepted   

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 Awards

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 Awards 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    

Dalton Division Awards Committee

  • Robert Mulvey, University of Strathclyde (Chair)
  • Alison Parkin, University of York
  • Claire Carmalt, University College London
  • Graham Newton, University of Nottingham
  • Andrew Weller, University of York
  • Patrick McGowan, University of Leeds  
  • Keith Whiston, INVISTA    

Previous Winners

Joseph Chatt Award Previous Winners

1995 - present

History of the Award

Generous endowments from industry, the public and the private sector led to the establishment of this award, previously lectureship, in 1995 in honour of the late Joseph Chatt.

Born in 1914 in County Durham, Joseph Chatt's first exposure to science was through his uncle, Chief Scientist at a steelworks near Newcastle, and through analysis of the interesting minerals found near his home.  In 1935 Chatt began his studies at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, graduating with a first in 1937.  A subsequent PhD with F. G. Mann centred on inorganic research into halogen, oxygen and sulphur bridged phosphine-palladium complexes.

During the war Chatt turned down a research post at St. Andrew's in order to assist with the synthesis of potential explosives as part of the war effort, specifically 1, 3, 5, 7-tetranitronapthalene which he found to be fairly ineffective.  Following a short stint at the Woolwich Arsenal's research department Chatt's evacuation to the University College at Swansea forced him to replace practical research with reading resulting in a new interest in olefin complexes.  After returning to the Woolwich Arsenal for a short period he left to work as Deputy Chief Chemist at Peter Spence and Sons Ltd, Widnes, where he made his dissatisfaction with the standard of research so clear that the factory owner tasked him with improving the whole factory!

In 1946 Chatt started research at Imperial College however the inadequate facilities led him to seek employment elsewhere and he soon became Head of the Inorganic Chemistry department, of which he was the only initial member, at ICI Butterwick Research Laboratories.  Here he finally began his research on olefin complexes and coordination chemistry as a whole.  His 15 years here led to a revival in inorganic chemistry including key developments in organometallic chemistry, a field that greatly impacted the chemical industry.  His later leadership as director of a new Unit of Nitrogen Fixation saw the centre become world leading and interdisciplinary research developed links between transition metal chemistry and biology.

For his work Chatt received a number of accolades, including the Tilden, Organometallic, Liversidge and Nyholm medals, and Fellowship of the Royal Society.

Contact and Further Information

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