Marlow Award

The Marlow Award is in recognition of the most meritorious contributions to physical chemistry or chemical physics.

2019 Winner

Dr Samuel Stranks

2019 Marlow Award Winner

Dr Samuel Stranks, University of Cambridge

General information

  • Run annually 
  • Up to two awards are available
  • The winner(s) receives 2000, a medal and a certificate
  • The winner(s) will complete a UK lecture tour
  • The winner(s) will be chosen by the Faraday Division Awards Committee
  • The winner(s) also receives a 3000 R.A. Robinson Lectureship Bursary, for the purpose of giving a lecture in either Singapore, Malaysia, Australia or New Zealand (but this may be part of a wider lecture tour), and should take place within 2 years of receiving the award               

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 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 not 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 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
  • 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.     

Faraday Division Awards Committee

  • Claire Vallance, University of Oxford (Chair)
  • Artem Bakulin, Imperial College London
  • Graham Hutchings, Cardiff University
  • Klaas Wynne, University of Glasgow
  • Sam Stranks, University of Cambridge
  • Helen Fielding, University College London
  • Maria Sanz, King's College London

Previous Winners

Marlow Award Previous Winners

1957 - present

Previous recipients of the R.A. Robinson Lectureship

1981 - 1995

History of the Marlow Award

First presented in 1957, this award commemorates the chemist and patent lawyer George Stanley Withers Marlow.

Born in 1889 Marlow's education began at New College School, Oxford, and Rutlish Science School, Merton.  In 1906 he embarked upon his BSc degree in Chemistry at King's College London, graduating with honours in 1909.  The following year he became an associate of the Institute of Chemistry, with a focus on food and drugs.  Meanwhile he worked as assistant to the public analyst Mr Edward Hinks, joining the staff of the Government Chemist in 1911.  From 1915 to 1919 Marlow was in charge of the army service corps reserve depot in Dartford. 

In 1919, Marlow became assistant secretary of the Royal Institute of Chemistry, a post he held for six years.  During this time he became a member of Gray's Inn, was called to the Bar in 1923 and became pupil to Mr W Trevor Watson, K.C.  However he did not start practising until four years later and in 1925 became the assistant of the General Manager of the Association of British Chemical Manufacturers, Mr Woolcock.  Later in life Marlow developed a substantial technical legal practice and acted in cases of chemical patents, for example in the case Boots Cash Chemists ltd vs. Sharp and Dohme.

1913 saw Marlow's election as a Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry.  He was secretary of the Faraday Society in 1926 until his death in 1948.

The award was originally called the Marlow Medal and Prize but was re-named in 2008 as the Marlow Award.

About the R.A. Robinson Lectureship

The R.A. Robinson lectureship was bequeathed by Professor Robin Stokes (Emeritus Professor of the University of New England) to commemorate Robert Anthony Robinson (1903-1979). R.A. Robinson was a leader in the field of physical chemistry of solutions. Born in the UK, he also spent time during his career in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Canada, and the USA. The lectureship was awarded 10 times between 1981 and 1995, and was reinstated in 2015 to be associated with the Marlow Award in support of young physical chemists.

Contact and Further Information

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