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Discover How We Celebrate Chemists

By: , Posted on: January 21, 2019

Elsevier-sponsored awards for innovative and ambitious chemistry research

Looking at the scientific news headlines, it’s clear that chemistry is playing a major role in solving current societal challenges. As a foundational science with far-reaching applications, chemistry is a catalyst of advances in material science, engineering, biology, pharmacology, environmental science and more. Every week, we read of new discoveries that are stepping stones to new solutions in areas like energy, pollution and medicine, or that broaden the possibilities for applying techniques in previously unimagined ways.

Considering the importance of chemistry in the modern world, there is no doubt that innovative, ambitious and boundary-pushing chemists deserve recognition for their research. Regardless of whether a scientist is starting out or looking back at an impressive career, they should be celebrated for excellent research.

Elsevier has celebrated innovative ideas and rigorous research in chemistry for many years. We sponsor a whole range of awards to help spread the word about the best research going on all over the world. Of course, exciting chemistry research can be its own ambassador, attracting attention when it is published, cited and built upon by other scientists. Awards are by no means the only way that a critical discovery, dramatically refined methodology or elegant piece of research can be recognized. That said, highly lauded research can bring attention from outside of the field or discipline and even give the researcher a new platform to connect with potential collaborators — or, in the case of awards for early-career scientists, potential employers.

That’s why Elsevier sponsors a broad range of awards with different target demographics. Some focus on outstanding achievements in particular fields; others on efforts to address modern issues; still others on giving recognition and support to future stars of chemistry. Here we look at some of the most prestigious awards being funded by Elsevier in 2019.

The Reaxys PhD Prize is the world’s most prestigious award for chemistry researchers at the start of their career. The award recognizes innovation, ambition, rigor and excellence in research and it is open to anyone who is doing or has recently completed a PhD in any discipline of chemistry. Overseen by the Reaxys Advisory Board, a committee of expert reviewers assess all the submissions, applying rigorous selection criteria to select the 45 finalists. All the finalists are given a platform to network with other chemists and promote themselves, making this a unique and meaningful opportunity for these young scientists. From this group, 3 winners are picked and each awarded the Prize for that edition of the competition.

The three winners of the Reaxys PhD Prize 2017 were Dr. Changchun Yuan from the Liu group, Sichuan University, Dr Joshua Barham from the Murphy group, University of Strathclyde, and Dr. Moritz Malischewski from the Seppelt group, Freie Universität Berlin. Each winner received a check of USD $2,000 and joined the Reaxys Prize Club, a private network of 350+ talented chemists from around the world.










The Reaxys PhD Prize has proven itself to be a popular and important award over the years, and Elsevier is proud to continue the tradition of supporting chemistry PhD students in 2019. The Prize Committee are accepting submissions for the 2019 Reaxys PhD Prize from January 17 to March 22. Learn more about the award and submit applications here.

Another award that aims to recognize students is the International Journal of Mass Spectrometry Best Student Paper Award. Each year, this prize goes to two students who were co-authors: one for the best fundamental paper; and one for the best applied paper. The corresponding authors of the paper nominate the student co-author. This award greatly increases the visibility of the paper in the already high-impact journal, giving the student a boost of recognition for their contribution to the research. This year, the call for nominations will come in February with the winner to be announced in June. You can see previous winners of the award here.

The Tetrahedron Young Investigator Awards are presented to two scientists under the age of 40 who have shown exceptional creativity and dedication in their work. One award is for research in organic synthesis, the other is for bioorganic and medicinal chemistry. This award seeks to celebrate those who excel from the very start of their professional careers. The laureates of this widely recognized and prestigious award continue to perform ground-breaking research throughout their careers and deserve this early recognition of their talent. Nominations for the 2020 Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award are currently being accepted and the winner will be announced in July of this year. The awards ceremony for the 2019 edition will be held in June. Learn more about this award here.

The Robin M. Hochstrasser Young Investigator Award recognizes outstanding contributions in chemical physics by scientists who completed their PhD within the past 10 years. Named for Professor Robin Hochstrasser, editor of Chemical Physics for almost 40 years and a pioneer in the application of lasers in chemical and biomedical research, the award honors one early-career scientist every year. Nominations will be accepted until July 1 this year and the winner will be announced in August. The nomination form can be downloaded here.

Moving beyond awards that support early-career researchers, we come to the Elsevier Foundation Green & Sustainable Chemistry Challenge. This award seeks to stimulate innovative chemistry research that helps the environment and low-resource communities. It is open to individuals and non-profit organizations whose projects use green and sustainable chemistry solutions to tackle some of the developing world’s greatest sustainability challenges whether in water, sanitation or energy.

First prize winner of the Elsevier Foundation Green & Sustainable Chemistry Challenge 2018 was Prajwal Rabhindari, President of the Research Institute for Bioscience & Biotechnology (RIBB) in Nepal, and second prize winner Dr. Alessio Adamiano, a researcher at the Italian National Research Council (CNR).









We sponsor the Elsevier Foundation Green & Sustainable Chemistry Challenge because we believe that chemistry plays a critical role in developing a sustainable future. There are large monetary prizes awarded to the first and second place projects, which are also heavily promoted by Elsevier using the global reach of our communication channels.

The top 50 proposals for the 2019 Challenge have already been selected. The winner and second place project will be announced during the awards ceremony at the Elsevier Green & Sustainable Chemistry Conference  in May. Nominations for the 2020 Challenge will be accepted from June of this year. Learn more about this globally important challenge and see the titles of the top 50 proposals here.

Arguably the most prestigious chemistry award sponsored by Elsevier is the Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity. Established in 1980, it is presented to a chemist who has made significant original contributions to organic, bioorganic or medicinal chemistry. Candidates must be nominated by external scientists and reviewed rigorously by the Executive Board of Editors of Tetrahedron publications. The prize consists of a gold medal, a certificate, and a monetary award, but more importantly, it gives the winner a global platform to communicate about their work. They speak at the Tetrahedron Symposium and a symposium-in-print is compiled in their honor.






Winners of the Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry 2018 were Professor Stephen L. Buchwald (left) and Professor John Hartwig (right).

The Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity is globally recognized and has been won by some impressive scientists for their significant contributions to chemistry. Each winner has continued to do noteworthy research that inspires others. Elsevier is proud to sponsor the prize and pay tribute to these achievements.

Nominations for the 2020 Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity are currently being accepted and the winner will be announced in September of this year. The awards ceremony for the 2019 edition will be held in August at the Tetrahedron Prize Symposium at ACS Fall 2019. Learn more about this award here.

In 2019, Elsevier is also sponsoring the Electrochimica Acta Gold Medal for significant contributions to electrochemistry (learn more), the Darsh Wasan Award for outstanding contributions within surface and colloid chemistry (learn more), the Talanta Medal for outstanding achievements in analytical chemistry (learn more ), and the Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences for significant and creative contributions to any of the disciplines of molecular sciences (learn more).

Each of these four awards helps to elevate the profile of the recipient, helping scientists outside their disciplines hear about their discoveries. The Darsh Wasan Award is an annual award; the other three come up every two years.

Elsevier remains committed not just to publishing and disseminating the best chemistry research being performed around the world, but also to ensuring that the scientists behind that research get the recognition they deserve. Whether they are still students, have just started their careers, or are senior researchers; whether they are working on life-changing projects that benefit the world or projects that are significant stepping stones on a greater journey — every researcher is important and the stars among them deserve to be celebrated. In 2019, we hope you’ll join us in applauding the newest laureates of all 10 of these awards.



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