de Gennes Prize

The RSC de Gennes Prize is for outstanding and exceptional work in the field of materials chemistry.

2019 Winner

Professor Eugenia Kumacheva

2019 De Gennes Prize Winner

Professor Eugenia Kumacheva, University of Toronto

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 Materials Chemistry Division Awards Committee  

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 internationally
  • There are no age restrictions associated with this prize
  • 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 prize 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      

Materials Chemistry Division Awards Committee

  • Milo Shaffer, Imperial College London (Chair) 
  • Ian Hamley, University of Reading
  • Derek Sinclair, University of Sheffield
  • Peter Skabara, University of Glasgow
  • Charlotte Williams, University of Oxford
  • Emma Kendrick, University of Birmingham            

Previous Winners

de Gennes Prize Previous Winners

2009 - present

History of the Prize

Established in 2008 the de Gennes Prize, formerly the Prize for Materials Chemistry, honours the work of Nobel laureate Pierre-Gilles de Gennes.

Born in Paris in 1932 de Gennes went on to become a research engineer at the Atomic Energy Centre, Saclay, where he received his PhD in magnetism in 1957.  After completing his postdoctoral training in California he returned to France as an assistant professor at the University of Paris in Orsay.  During this time he completed highly influential work in the area of surface superconductivity and wrote the classic book Superconductivity of metals and alloys.

His later research interests included liquid crystals, polymer physics, and the physical chemistry of adhesion.  He even went on to his investigate the dynamics of wetting to help improve the growing of grapes for wine, demonstrating his keen sense of humour as applied to his work.

In 1991 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for "discovering that methods for studying order phenomena in simple systems can be generalised to more complex forms of matter, in particular to liquid crystals and polymers".  His peers considered him to be one of 'the giants in physics and a beacon to the field of liquid crystals'.

After receiving this accolade De Gennes shared his enthusiasm for his subject and visited an impressive 200 schools between 1992 and 1994 to teach students about science, innovation and common sense!

Contact and Further Information

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