The Norman Heatley Award is for the most meritorious contributions made by an early career scientist working at the chemistry and life science interface.
- Run annually
- The winner receives £3000, a medal and a certificate
- The winner will complete a UK lecture tour
- The winner will be chosen by the RSC Chemistry Biology Interface Prize Committee
2022 Chemistry Biology Interface Division early career award: Norman Heatley Award Winner
Dr Emily Flashman, University of Oxford
For the elucidation of molecular mechanisms of oxygen-sensing enzymes in plants and animals, in particular revealing the structural and kinetic properties of plant cysteine oxidases.
Guidelines for nominators
- Nominations open 18 October.
- Nominations close 18 January, 17:00 GMT.
- Reference deadline 25 January, 17:00 GMT.
- Only RSC members can nominate for this prize.
- Nominees may NOT nominate themselves.
- We will not consider nominations of deceased individuals.
- Nominees can only be considered for one of our Research & Innovation Prizes in any given year. In a case where a nominee is nominated for more than one prize independently, RSC staff will ask the nominee which prize they would like to be considered for.
- Individuals named in any of the following roles during the nomination and judging period are not eligible to nominate, be nominated or provide a reference:
- Chemistry Biology Interface Prize Committee members
- RSC Subject Community Presidents
- RSC Prize Committee members
- Trustees of the Royal Society of Chemistry
- Royal Society of Chemistry staff
- The prize is open to nominees working in the UK or 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 (see below).
- Career breaks will be taken into consideration, 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 winners, please remember that a person cannot be awarded twice for substantially the same body of work.
- Nominees should only be nominated once for this prize in any given prize cycle. In cases where we receive more than one nomination for the same nominee, only one nomination will go forward to judging.
- Starting from the 2023 cycle, unsuccessful nominations for this prize will automatically rollover to the next prize cycle, unless the nominee’s circumstances have changed so as to make them ineligible, in relation to the eligibility criteria for the prize as outlined above. We encourage nominators to update their nomination between cycles when the nomination window is open. Nominations will be considered for two consecutive prize cycles.
To make a nomination, please use our online nominations system to submit the following information:
- Your name, contact details, and membership number (please contact the RSC Membership team if you do not know your membership details). Your RSC membership must be confirmed at the point of nomination – it is not sufficient to have a membership application in process. The identity of nominators is not made known to our judging panels. The RSC reserves the right to amend nominations if necessary to ensure the anonymity of the nominator.
- Your 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, and a maximum of 5 relevant publications or patents.
- Brief details (up to 150 words) of your nominee’s professional experience, in relation to the career stage-related eligibility criteria detailed above. Please include details of any career breaks or periods of absence that you feel that the judging committee should consider.
- A short citation describing what the nominee should be awarded for. This must be no longer than 250 characters (including spaces) and no longer than one sentence.
- A supporting statement (up to 750 words) addressing the selection criteria. Our guidance for nominators page has more information on writing this supporting statement.
- A statement (up to 100 words) describing how your nominee has contributed more broadly to the scientific community. A list of possible examples is outlined in the ‘selection criteria’ tab.
- The name and contact details of one referee. The referee might be the nominee's post-doc or PhD supervisor, line manager, project manager or mentor.
- The reference should be a maximum of 750 words. Referees will be asked to state their relationship (if any) with the nominee and note any conflicts of interest.
- All references must be submitted through the online system by the reference deadline, 25 January, 17:00 GMT. Nominations will not go forward to judging without a completed reference. Please ensure you submit your referee's details in plenty of time, to allow them sufficient opportunity to provide their reference.
- As soon you submit your referee’s details, they will receive an automated e-mail with a link to submit their reference. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible if you experience any issues with this.
- It is the nominator’s responsibility to ensure that the referee is aware of the nomination, that they should expect an e-mail invitation to submit their reference, and that they are aware of what is required to ensure that the reference is submitted before the deadline.
- All referees will receive one e-mail reminder from RSC staff in the week before the reference deadline.
The RSC reserves the right to rescind any prize if there are reasonable grounds to do so. All nominators will be asked to confirm that to the best of their knowledge there is no impediment, relating to professional conduct, to their nominee receiving this prize. All prize winners will be asked to sign the RSC’s Code of Conduct Declaration for Recognition.Make a nomination
Selection Criteria and Judging Panel
Our selection committees base their evaluations on the overall quality of relevant contributions and achievements by nominees, in relation to the selection criteria listed below.
The scientific content of any supporting publications, as described in the supporting statement, is much more important than publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which it is published.
The selection committee will consider the following aspects of nominations for this prize:
- Originality of research
- Impact of research
- Quality of publications and/or patents and/or software
- Professional standing
- Collaborations and teamwork
- Other indicators of esteem indicated by the nominator/referee
In an instance where multiple nominees are judged equally meritorious in relation to the above criteria, judging panels have the flexibility to use information provided by the nominator on the nominee’s broader contribution to the chemistry community as an additional criterion.
Examples of relevant contributions could include, but are not limited to:
- Involvement with Royal Society of Chemistry member groups/networks
- Effective mentorship
- Service on boards, committees or panels
- Leadership in the scientific community
- Promotion of diversity and inclusion
- Advocacy for chemistry
- Public engagement and outreach
Chemistry Biology Interface Prize Committee
- Mark Bradley, University of Edinburgh (Chair)
- David Andrews, Astra Zeneca
- Claire Eyers, University of Liverpool
- Carmen Galan, University of Bristol
- Manuel Müller, King’s College London
- Fay Probert, University of Oxford
History of the prize
This prize is named in honour of Norman Heatley. It was previously advertised as the Chemical Biology Interface Forum Early Career Award, and was established in 2008.
Norman Heatley graduated from St John's College, Cambridge, with a degree in Natural Sciences. He then undertook a PhD in Biochemistry, also at Cambridge, after which he moved to Oxford to work at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology.
Although Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, he did not realise its full potential. It was Professor Howard Florey and his team at Oxford who recognised that penicillin could combat bacterial infection. Heatley played a key role in developing culture methods for the penicillium mould and in extracting and purifying the active 'penicillin' from the cultures in order to test it on animals and eventually on humans also. He designed the specially commissioned ceramic 'bed pans' to grow these cultures on a larger scale.
An Abingdon policeman dying of septicaemia, Albert Alexander, was the first human to be treated with penicillin. As the drug was in such short supply, it was even extracted from the patient's urine on a daily basis in order to be re administered. Dramatic improvements were seen; however, there was not sufficient penicillin to continue with the treatment.
The major drug companies in wartime Britain were already overstretched and so could not be persuaded to attempt to mass produce penicillium cultures. Florey and Heatley flew to the USA where they persuaded several of the largest pharmaceutical companies to collaborate in the research to find better strains of penicillium and better methods of culture, extraction and purification. By 1943, mass production had begun and casualties in the Second World War could be treated. The full potential of penicillin then became clear.
Florey was advised by University lawyers and the MRC that he should not take out patents on his team's discoveries, although subsequently, patents of some of the methods developed were filed in the USA.
Fleming received a Nobel Prize and more than 160 public honours for his part in the discovery and development of penicillin, the world's first antibiotic. Heatley received one honorary degree, a DM from Oxford, the first awarded to a non-medic, and two honorary fellowships and an OBE from the nation for his work.
The prize was established through a bequest from Adrien Albert. In 2021, the purposes of this Trust were amended, and remaining monies were combined with other generous bequests and donations to become part of the RSC Recognition Fund.
Re-thinking recognition: Science prizes for the modern world
This report is the result of an independent review of our recognition programmes. Our aim in commissioning this review was to ensure that our recognition portfolio continues to deliver the maximum impact for chemical scientists, chemistry and society.
- +44 (0)1223 432418
- Send us an email