The Jeremy Knowles Award is for the most meritorious contributions made by a mid-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 mid-career Award: Jeremy Knowles Award Winner
Professor Claire Eyers, University of Liverpool
For the development and application of novel mass spectrometry-based analytical strategies to discover, identify and quantify dynamic biomolecular post-translational modifications.
Guidelines for nominators
- Nominations open 18 October.
- Nominations close 18 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 or be nominated:
- 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
- This prize is open to nominees based in the UK and Ireland only.
- Nominees should be a mid-career scientist, typically with no more than 20 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.
- References are not required for this award and will not be accepted.
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
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 after eminent chemist and biochemist Jeremy Knowles, OBE.
Born in Rugby in 1935, Knowles studied first at Magdalen College School and then Balliol College, Oxford, where he developed an interest in kinetics and gained a first class degree in 1959. Following a PhD on aromatic substitution, he completed a two year postdoctoral fellowship at CalTech, where he developed an interest in specificity and kinetics of the enzyme alpha-chymotrypsin. He formed the Enzyme Group at Oxford in the 1970s before moving to America to become Professor of Chemistry at Harvard.
Knowles' enzymatic research at Harvard was fundamental for understanding enzyme function in illnesses, knowledge still use in current drug discovery. Key areas of his work included: studying free-energy profiles of enzymes, defining the efficiency function (Ef) of enzymes in metabolic pathways, performing mutagenesis experiments to characterise the workings of triosephosphate isomerase, deducing inhibitor mechanisms from kinetic data without structural knowledge of the key enzyme, and developing a method to directly examine the mechanism of phosphor group transfer using isotopically labelled chiral phosphate monoesters and so determine the stereochemistry of the reaction.
In 1991, Knowles stopped his research to fully focus on his new role as Harvard's Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He arrived at a time of "budgetary crisis" but implemented successful measures to reduce Harvard's deficit and launch a fundraising campaign. He was forward-thinking and planned investment in promising areas for discovery and application, such as genomics, computation, neuroscience and evolution, alongside improving opportunities for undergraduates to study languages. In recognition of his services to the university they awarded him the Harvard Medal in 2002.
Following an independent review of the Royal Society of Chemistry's recognition programmes, this prize evolved in 2020 to recognise mid-career scientists working at the interface of chemistry and the life sciences.
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.
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