The Sir Derek Barton Gold Medal recognises work in any area of organic chemistry which reflects the many diverse interests associated with Sir Derek.
- Run biennially - Closed for 2023
- The winner receives £3000, a medal and a certificate, presented at a dinner and ceremony
- The winner will be chosen by the Barton Award Selection Panel and overseen by the Organic Division Prize Committee
2022 Sir Derek Barton Gold Medal Winner
Professor K. Barry Sharpless, Scripps Research
For the development of the concept of ‘click’ chemistry, the invention of chemical reactions underpinning this field and the impact this continues to make in chemical biology, drug development and materials science.
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:
- Organic Chemistry 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 based in the UK or internationally.
- Nominees should be 60 or over at the closing date of nominations.
- 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 2024 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.
- 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.
- 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
Sir Derek Barton Gold Medal Sub-Committee
- Pat Guiry, University College Dublin (Chair)
- Anthony Barrett, Imperial College London
- Stuart Conway, University of Oxford
- Sue Gibson, Imperial College London
- William Motherwell, University College London
- Samir Zard, CNRS-École Polytechnique
Organic Chemistry Prize Committee
- Stuart Conway, University of Oxford (Chair)
- Beatrice Collins, University of Bristol
- Nicole Hamblin, Charles River
- Amanda Jarvis, University of Edinburgh
- Vipul Patel, GSK
- Martin Swarbrick, Ryvu Therapeutics
History of the prize
This prize was established in 2001, to commemorate the life and work of Sir Derek Barton who died in 1998.
After the development of a new technique of conformational analysis, which gave rise to an entirely new branch of chemistry, and his work on the conformation of the steroid nucleus, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1969.
He was knighted in 1976 and, rather than facing retirement in the UK at 65, he moved to CNRS, Paris, and then to Texas A&M University, where he worked until the day of his death at age 80.
To celebrate Sir Derek's unique approach to his work, this prize is made to a chemist 60 years of age or older.
The prize is presented at a special dinner and ceremony held in London which, as specifically requested by Sir Derek in his bequest to the RSC, should include only the finest food and wines.
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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