Nyholm Prize for Education

The Nyholm Prize for Education recognises a major national or international research or innovation contribution to the field of chemical science education.

2019 Winner

Professor Marcy Towns

2019 Nyholm Prize for Education Winner

Professor Marcy Towns, Purdue University

General information

  • Run biennially - Closed
  • The winner receives 5000, a medal and a certificate
  • The winner will complete a UK lecture tour
  • Prize winners are chosen by the Education Division Awards Committee  

Guidelines for Nominators

  • Only RSC Members can nominate for this prize
  • Nominees may NOT nominate themselves
  • The prize 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, breadth of teaching experience and relevant publications (if applicable)
  • 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 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      

Education Division Awards Committee

  • Simon Lancaster, University of East Anglia (Chair)
  • Sheeba Viswarajan, University of East London
  • Sarah Hayes, University of Limerick
  • Dylan Williams, University of Leicester
  • Trevor Carey, University College Cork
  • Susan Weavers, Newham Collegiate

Previous Winners

Nyholm Prize for Education Previous Winners

1973 - present

History of the Prize

Sir Ronald Sydney Nyholm
This prize was established to commemorate the life and work of Sir Ronald Nyholm, president of the Chemical Society from 1968 to 1970.

Sir Nyholm, 1917-1971, was born in New South Wales, Australia and his work centred on coordination (metal complex) chemistry, particular on arsines as ligands.  Alongside his research activities in this area, he was also an ardent campaigner for the improvement of science education.  He undertook roles as a chemistry teacher and lecturer in various institutions in both the UK and Australia.  Whilst involved with the Royal Society of Chemistry, he played a large and leading role in the launch of RSC journal Education in Chemistry.

The Prize was formerly known as the Sir Ronald Nyholm Lectureship and was awarded by the Education and Dalton Division in alternate years.  The Nyholm Prize for Education continues to recognise achievements by those working in education in the chemical sciences, whilst the Nyholm Prize for Inorganic Chemistry rewards those in the field of inorganic chemistry.

Contact and Further Information

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