Nominations for the 2023 RSC Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship are now open!

Nominate before 28 October

We are delighted to welcome nominations for the 2023 RSC Medicinal Chemistry Emerging Investigator Lectureship

This Lectureship celebrates outstanding early career researchers who have made significant contributions in the fields of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery in their independent careers.

  • This award is presented annually
  • The nominations are shortlisted, and the winner is selected by a judging panel made up of the RSC Medicinal Chemistry Editorial Board
  • The recipient of this award receives the opportunity to present at a relevant high-profile international meeting with a contribution of up to £1,000 to cover associated costs

 

Nominations will close 28 October 2022

 

Past winners of the RSC Medicinal Chemistry Emerging Investigator Lectureship (previously named the MedChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship) include:

  • Dr Nir London (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel) – 2022
  • Dr Jacob Bush (GSK and The Francis Crick Institute, UK) – 2021
  • Dr Chandradhish Ghosh (Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany) – 2020
  • Dr Amanda Hargrove (Duke University, USA) – 2019
  • Dr Gonçalo Bernardes (University of Cambridge, UK) – 2018
  • Dr Laura H. Heitman (Leiden University, Netherlands) – 2017
  • Dr Alessio Ciulli (University of Dundee, UK) – 2016
  • Professor Richard Payne (University of Sydney, Australia) – 2015
  • Professor Christian Heinis (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland) – 2013

Register here to watch a recording of our recent Lectureship webinar featuring our 2021 and 2022 winners, Dr Nir London and Dr Jacob Bush.

Find out more on how to nominate below 


Who can be nominated

The RSC Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship is awarded through a process whereby nominations of candidates are invited from our community.

Open to all researchers globally

As part of the Royal Society of Chemistry, we believe we have a responsibility to promote inclusivity and accessibility to improve diversity. Where possible, we encourage each nominator to consider nominating candidates of all genders, races, and backgrounds. Please see the RSC’s approach to Inclusion and Diversity.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the RSC Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship, the candidate must:

  • Be an active medicinal chemistry researcher, either in academia or industry, carrying out research that is within the scope of the journal
  • Be an independent researcher (this includes Research Associates or Fellows who run their own research group; PhD students and postdocs are not eligible)
  • Be at an early stage of their independent career (this should typically be within 12 years of completing their PhD, but appropriate consideration will be given to those who have taken a career break, followed a different career path or work in systems where their time period to independence may vary). Please contact the Editorial Office if you have any queries

How to nominate

Nominations can be made by anyone and must be sent via email to the Editorial Office. Self-nominations are not permitted. All nominators will be asked to confirm that, to the best of their knowledge, their nominee’s professional standing is such that there is no confirmed or potential impediment to them receiving the Lectureship.

To nominate a candidate, please provide:

  • The name, affiliation, website URL and contact details of the nominee
  • An up-to-date nominee CV (up to 3 pages in length is recommended)
  • A letter of recommendation (500-word limit). Statements as to why a nominee is eligible if they are beyond 12 years of their PhD completion, for instance due to career breaks, will not count towards this word limit
  • Contact details for a confirmed supporting referee. Please inform your referee of the nomination – the Editorial Office will request a supporting letter of recommendation (500-word limit) from this referee once the nomination has been received, where the referee should comment in detail on specific contributions/achievements/potential. Referees must state their relationship with the nominee e.g. this could be the nominee’s postdoc or PhD supervisor, line manager, project manager or academic mentor

Assessment process and selection panel

All eligible nominated candidates will be assessed by a judging panel made up of the RSC Medicinal Chemistry Editorial Board. Any Editorial Board members who have a conflict of interest will be removed from the selection panel.

The judging panel will consider the following core criteria:

  • Excellence in research, as evidenced with reference to originality and impact
  • Quality of publications/patents/software
  • Innovation
  • Professional standing
  • Independence
  • Collaborations and teamwork
  • Evidence of promising potential
  • Other indicators of esteem indicated by the nominator or referee

In any instance where multiple nominees are judged equally meritorious in relation to these core criteria, the judging panel will use information provided on the nominee’s broader contribution to the chemistry community as an additional criterion. Examples of this could include:

  • Involvement with RSC community activities
  • Teaching/demonstrating
  • Effective mentorship
  • Service on boards, committees or panels
  • Leadership in the scientific community
  • Peer-reviewing
  • Promotion of diversity and inclusion
  • Advocacy for chemistry
  • Public engagement and outreach

 

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Introducing RSC Medicinal Chemistry Associate Editor, Professor Cynthia Dowd

We are delighted to announce that Professor Cynthia Dowd has joined RSC Medicinal Chemistry as an Associate Editor.

 

About Cynthia:

Dr. Cynthia Dowd is a Professor of Chemistry at George Washington University (GWU), USA.  She obtained a BA in Chemistry from the University of Virginia and a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University (with Dr. Richard Glennon).  Following a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania (with Dr. Irwin Chaiken), Cindy was an intramural scientist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  There, she led a small molecule chemistry group to discover novel agents against tuberculosis. In 2007, she began her independent career at GWU where her research is focused on the design and synthesis of novel anti-infective therapies directed primarily against tuberculosis, malaria and the ESKAPE pathogens.  She is the co-author of many peer-reviewed papers, patents, reviews, and book chapters. She is the recipient of the GWU Bender teaching and DREAM mentorship awards, as well as several large research awards from outside institutions. Find out more about Cindy’s work and research group on her webpage.

 

Submit your research to Cynthia now!

 

Cynthia joins our other RSC Medicinal Chemistry Associate Editors, Jian Zhang, Maria Duca and Sally-Ann Poulsen – find out about the full Editorial Board on our webpage.


Check out Cindy’s previous publication in MedChemComm below:

Design of potential bisubstrate inhibitors against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (Dxr)—evidence of a novel binding mode

Géraldine San Jose, Emily R. Jackson, Eugene Uh, Chinchu Johny, Amanda Haymond, Lindsay Lundberg, Chelsea Pinkham, Kylene Kehn-Hall, Helena I. Boshoff, Robin D. Couch and Cynthia S. Dowd

Med. Chem. Commun., 2013, 4, 1099-1104

 

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Introducing RSC Medicinal Chemistry Associate Editor, Professor Jian Zhang

We are delighted to announce that Professor Jian Zhang has joined RSC Medicinal Chemistry as an Associate Editor.

About Jian:

Jian Zhang is a Distinguished Professor and Head of Medicinal Chemistry & Bioinformatics Center at Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine in China. In addition, he is also Dean of the School of Pharmacy at Ningxia Medical University, a member of the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council in China, and founder of Nutshell Therapeutics.

Professor Zhang has a track record of more than 200 publications in high-ranked scientific journals, including patents and patent applications, and numerous invited talks worldwide. He has received some awards such as ACS Excellent Research Advisor, Biomedical Innovation Award by Chinese Pharmaceutical Society, and One of China’s Top Ten Science and Technology Young Scientist in 2017. Jian’s research focuses on drug design, medicinal chemistry and chemical biology, addressing target identification and first-in-class allosteric drug discovery. Find out more about Jian’s research over on his webpage.

 

Submit your research to Jian now!

 

You can find out about all our Associate Editors and the full Editorial Board on our webpage.


Check out Jian’s recent Chemical Science publication below:

Discovery of cryptic allosteric sites using reversed allosteric communication by a combined computational and experimental strategy
Duan Ni, Jiacheng Wei, Xinheng He, Ashfaq Ur Rehman, Xinyi Li, Yuran Qiu, Jun Pu, Shaoyong Lu and Jian Zhang
Chem. Sci., 2021, 12, 464-476

 

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Winner of the 2022 RSC Medicinal Chemistry Emerging Investigator Lectureship

Nir London receives the 2022 RSC Medicinal Chemistry Emerging Investigator Lectureship

Congratulations to Dr Nir London, recipient of the 2022 RSC Medicinal Chemistry Emerging Investigator Lectureship. 

The annual RSC Medicinal Chemistry Emerging Investigator Lectureship recognises a researcher who has made a significant contribution to medicinal chemistry and drug discovery in their independent academic career, and is open to candidates who received their PhD within the last 10 years. The RSC Medicinal Chemistry Editorial Board have selected Dr. London, from the Weizmann Institute of Science, as the winner this year.

I am honoured and humbled to receive the 2022 RSC Medicinal Chemistry Emerging Investigator Lectureship. This would not have been possible without the support of my mentors and colleagues throughout the years and the hard work of my students, post-docs and trainees. I look forward to continued interactions with the wonderful medicinal chemistry community.” – Dr Nir London

Dr London’s lectureship will be held virtually at date to be confirmed. To stay up to date with future announcements, follow us on Twitter @rsc_medchem and sign-up to our news alerts.

 

More about Nir

Dr. Nir London completed his PhD in computational structural biology at the Hebrew University in 2012. He then pursued a post-doctoral fellowship with Brian Shoichet at UCSF where he developed a pioneering virtual screening platform for covalent inhibitor discovery. In 2015 Dr. London joined the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he is currently the Alan and Laraine Fischer Career Development Chair in the Dept. of Chemical and Structural Biology. Dr. London’s lab is focused on covalent chemical biology and drug discovery and is developing new technologies to discover and functionalize covalently acting compounds. His honors include amongst others the Alon fellowship, the EFMC award for young medicinal chemist in academia and the ICBS award for young chemical biologist.

Find out more about Nir and the work his lab is doing on their webpage.

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Introducing new RSC Medicinal Chemistry Editor-in-Chief Mike Waring

We are delighted to announce that Professor Mike Waring has joined the RSC Medicinal Chemistry Editorial Board as our newest Editor-in-Chief!

Mike said about joining as Editor-in-Chief: “RSC Medicinal Chemistry is one of the premier medicinal chemistry journals and we look forward to continuing to publish cutting edge science with the highest standards of rigour. I hope that the work published in the journal will lead to the continued dissemination and evolution of best practice in our discipline that will drive our ability to deliver new therapies more effectively.”

About Mike:

Mike Waring is Chair of Medicinal Chemistry at Newcastle University and Head of Chemistry for the Cancer Research UK Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit.  He was previously Principal Scientist in Medicinal Chemistry at AstraZeneca. He has worked mainly in the areas of diabetes and oncology and his work has contributed to the discovery of 14 drug candidates, including the marketed EGFR inhibitor osimertinib (Tagrisso™). He has made significant contributions to the field in many areas, perhaps most notably property-based optimisation, covalent inhibition, novel binding modes and new methods of hit generation.  He is a 2018 American Chemical Society Hero of Chemistry, recipient of the 2017 RSC Malcolm Campbell Medal, and an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

For more information, visit Mike’s webpage, and check out some of his publications from the RSC below.

 


Microwave-assisted synthesis of 4-oxo-2-butenoic acids by aldol-condensation of glyoxylic acid
Mélanie Uguen, Conghao Gai, Lukas J. Sprenger, Hang Liu, Andrew G. Leach and Michael J. Waring
RSC Adv., 2021, 11, 30229-30236

Highly efficient on-DNA amide couplings promoted by micelle forming surfactants for the synthesis of DNA encoded libraries
James H. Hunter, Matthew J. Anderson, Isaline F. S. F. Castan, Jessica S. Graham, Catherine L. A. Salvini, Harriet A. Stanway-Gordon, James J. Crawford, Andrew Madin, Garry Pairaudeau and Michael J. Waring
Chem. Sci., 2021, 12, 9475-9484

The structure-guided discovery of osimertinib: the first U.S. FDA approved mutant selective inhibitor of EGFR T790M
Sam Butterworth, Darren A. E. Cross, M. Raymond V. Finlay, Richard A. Ward and Michael J. Waring
Med. Chem. Commun., 2017, 8, 820-822

Discovery of a series of 2-(pyridinyl)pyrimidines as potent antagonists of GPR40
Michael J. Waring, David J. Baker, Stuart N. L. Bennett, Alexander G. Dossetter, Mark Fenwick, Rob Garcia, Jennie Georgsson, Sam D. Groombridge, Susan Loxham, Philip A. MacFaul, Katie G. Maskill, David Morgan, Jenny Morrell, Helen Pointon, Graeme R. Robb, David M. Smith, Stephen Stokes and Gary Wilkinson
Med. Chem. Commun., 2015, 6, 1024-1029

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Nominations for 2022 RSC Medicinal Chemistry Emerging Investigator Lectureship Open

We are pleased to welcome nominations for the 2022 RSC Medicinal Chemistry Emerging Investigator Lectureship. The Lectureship celebrates early career researchers who have made significant contributions in the fields of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery.

Nominations will close 8 October 2021.

The recipient of the lectureship will receive a contribution of up to £1000 towards speaking at a conference in 2022. We recognise many researchers’ travel plans for 2022 are uncertain, and are flexible in accommodating speaking engagements at digital conferences.

Eligibility
The lectureship is open to candidates who received their PhD in 2012 or later and who have made a significant contribution to medicinal chemistry in their early career, particularly if they have brought new ideas to drug discovery.

How you can nominate:
If you would like to nominate someone please email us (medchem-rsc@rsc.org) with the following details:

  • Their name
  • Their affiliation
  • At least one paragraph explaining their achievements and why you think they should be considered

Additional supporting information, for example their CV, is very helpful in making a decision but is not mandatory for making a nomination.

Self-nominations are accepted but must be supported by a letter of support from your Head of Department or similar person at your institute.

Selection
All qualified nominations will be considered and a short-list of candidates with be selected based on the information provided at nomination. The RSC Medicinal Chemistry Editorial Board will then vote to select the recipient and the winner will be announced in spring 2022.

Past winners of the RSC Medicinal Chemistry Emerging Investigator Lectureship (previously named the MedChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship) include:

  • Dr Jacob Bush (GSK and The Francis Crick Institute) – 2021
  • Dr Chandradhish Ghosh (Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces) – 2020
  • Dr. Amanda Hargrove (Duke University, USA) – 2019
  • Dr. Gonçalo Bernardes (University of Cambridge, UK) – 2018
  • Dr Laura H. Heitman (Leiden University, Netherlands) – 2017
  • Dr Alessio Ciulli (University of Dundee, UK) – 2016
  • Professor Richard Payne (University of Sydney, Australia) – 2015
  • Professor Christian Heinis (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland) – 2013
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Introducing RSC Medicinal Chemistry Associate Editor Maria Duca

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Maria Duca will be joining RSC Medicinal Chemistry as an Associate Editor from the 1st June.

 

About Maria:

Maria Duca completed her undergraduate studies in Pharmacy and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Bologna, Italy, in the Faculty of Pharmacy. She obtained her PhD in Molecular Biochemistry under the supervision of Dr. Paola B. Arimondo at the National Natural History Museum in Paris, France, working on topoisomerase II inhibitors. A 2-year post-doctoral training in Sydney Hecht’s lab in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Virginia, USA, allowed her to pursue the study of nucleic acids working on targeted protein mutagenesis upon chemical modification of tRNAs.

Maria is now head of the Targeting of Nucleic Acids research group in the Institute of Chemistry of Nice (Université Côte d’Azur – CNRS), after CNRS recruitment as a Research Scientist in 2007. Her research activities focus on the targeting of non-coding RNAs using synthetic small molecules toward innovative therapeutic approaches for anticancer, antiviral and antimicrobial applications.

 

Submit your research to Maria from 1st June 2021!

 

You can find out about all our Associate Editors and the full Editorial Board on our webpage.


Check out a selection of Maria’s recent publications with the RSC:

Synthetic small-molecule RNA ligands: future prospects as therapeutic agents

A. Di Giorgio and M. Duca*

Med. Chem. Commun., 2019, 10, 1242-1255

Functionalized C-nucleosides as remarkable RNA binders: targeting of prokaryotic ribosomal A-site RNA
Jean-Patrick Joly, Marc Gaysinski, Lorena Zara, Maria Duca* and Rachid Benhida*
Chem. Commun., 2019, 55, 10432-10435

Building of neomycin–nucleobase–amino acid conjugates for the inhibition of oncogenic miRNAs biogenesis
Duc Duy Vo, Cécile Becquart, Thi Phuong Anh Tran, Audrey Di Giorgio, Fabien Darfeuille, Cathy Staedel and  Maria Duca*
Org. Biomol. Chem., 2018, 16, 6262-6274

 

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An interview with Associate Editor Professor Yonghui Zhang

We were delighted to welcome to the team Professor Younghui Zhang as an Associate Editor for RSC Medicinal Chemistry earlier this year, and we wanted to find out more about him and his research experiences. Read our interview with Yonghui below.


What attracted you to pursue a career in medicinal chemistry and how did you get to where you are now?
A career in medicinal chemistry integrates my training background in both chemical biology (postdoctoral position) and organic chemistry (Ph. D). I therefore chose to join the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Tsinghua University in 2013 as a Professor.

Why did you choose to specialize in your specific research field?
Over the past 10 years, I have come to realize the indispensable role of lipid metabolism in immune regulation. However, the underlying mechanism is obscure and there are few translational efforts. This led to my group starting to identify drug targets in lipid biosynthesis that could help to develop new immunotherapies, as well as other medicinal chemistry efforts in this area.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing researchers who work in your field?
A lack of feasible drug targets.

What is the most exciting research paper that you have read recently?
A paper from 11 years ago. It brought up hope to fight KRAS. (K-Ras(G12C)inhibitors allosterically control GTP affinity and effector interactions. Nature, 2013, 503, 548–551.)

Which of your publications are you most proud of? Which is your favourite piece of your own research?
A paper in Cell, 2018, and a paper in Immunity, 2019. These are my favourite pieces of research that demonstrate the roles of isoprenoids in immune regulation.

What is your biggest passion outside of science?
Reading and food.

What career would you have chosen if you had not taken this career path?
A writer. I would like to interpret lives in my own way.

What do you see as the most important scientific achievement of the last decade?
Immunotherapies. Now people can finally realize the power of the immune system and how it can be exploited to fight diseases.

Why should young people study chemistry, and what advice would you give anyone thinking of pursuing chemistry?
Young people should study chemistry because it is so important, and it dominates our lives.  Also, one must persist to understand the beauty of chemistry.

What are you most looking forward to in your new Associate Editor role?
Bringing more innovative research to publication.

Photo of Yonghui Zhang

About Yonghui:

Yonghui Zhang received his Ph.D in Chemistry in 2002 from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences and pursued his postdoctoral training at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States. Dr. Zhang is now a Professor at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Tsinghua University, a leader of higher education and academic research in China. Dr. Zhang has published over 60 papers in the field of medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical biology and immunology.

He has pioneered in discovering and characterizing the relationship between lipid metabolism and immune regulation. By using a multidisciplinary approach involving structural biology, molecular immunology, cell and mice models, and medicinal chemistry, he demonstrated that the mevalonate pathway is a druggable target for vaccine adjuvants and developed lipophilic bisphosphonates and statins as Th-1 vaccine adjuvants. Currently, his lab is developing and applying innovative chemical approaches to a variety of immuno-modulatory process, with a focus on vaccination, allogeneic immune cell therapy and new anti-infection strategy. Dr. Zhang has published over 60 papers in the field of medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical biology and immunology.

In addition to his academic work, through Unicet, a biotech start-up he co-founded, he is also moving forward in the newly emerging space of gamma delta T cell based therapeutics to translate his research work into innovative medicine and building proprietary biotech platforms centered around gamma delta T cells as the cell therapeutic vehicle and butyrophilin-targeting therapeutics.

 

Submit your research to Yonghui now!

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Announcing the 2021 RSC Medicinal Chemistry Emerging Investigator Lectureship winner

Photo of Dr Jacob Bush

Dr Jacob Bush

Congratulations to Dr Jacob Bush, recipient of the 2021 RSC Medicinal Chemistry Emerging Investigator Lectureship.

The Lectureship was open to any candidate who received their PhD in 2011 or later and has made a significant contribution to medicinal chemistry in their early career. The RSC Medicinal Chemistry Editorial Board selected Dr. Bush, from GSK, from a short-list of nominees.

Many congratulations to Dr. Bush for winning the lectureship.

When he was informed of his selection, Dr. Bush said:

It’s a privilege to receive this lectureship as it recognises cutting edge work in chemical biology by a team of outstanding scientists both at GSK and at our academic partner institutions.  Building these innovative technologies for agile target validation is key to GSK’s differentiated approach to identify, select and develop more genetically validated targets which have higher likelihood of success.”

 

About Dr Bush:

Dr Jacob Bush works in medicinal chemistry & chemical biology at GSK, leading the development of new technologies to accelerate drug discovery, in particular through innovations in chemical biology and artificial intelligence (AI). He works between GSK, where he is group leader in the chemical biology department and The Francis Crick Institute, where he is an active member of the leadership team of the GSK-Crick LinkLabs collaboration.

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The BMCS Hall of Fame & Medal

The RSC Interest Group for the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector has a number of awards, events and grants supporting the medicinal chemistry community. Here, we will introduce just one of the ways the BMCS celebrates outsanding science in our field.

The BMCS Hall of Fame and Medal

The Hall of Fame and Medal is Individual award which recognizes prominent chemists for outstanding, sustained, contributions to any area of interest to the RSC Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (BMCS), e.g. medicinal chemistry, agriscience, biooorganic chemistry and chemical biology, including teaching excellence, outstanding contributions to the BMCS, or any combination thereof.

Previous Hall of Fame inductees include Professor C Robin Ganellin (2018) and Sir Simon Campbell CBE (2019)

2018 & 2019 BMCS Hall of Fame inductees Professor C Robin Ganellin (2018) and Sir Simon Campbell CBE (2019)

Left: Prof. C Robin Ganellin receives his medal in 2018. Right: Sir Simon Campbell CBE, 2019 BMCS Hall of Fame inductee.

 

Introducing David Rees, PhD, FRSC, FMedSci, the 2020 Hall of Fame Inductee

In 2020, RSC Medicinal Chemistry Advisory Board member Dr David Rees was chosen to be inducted in the Hall of Fame.

David is the Chief Scientific Officer at Astex Pharmaceuticals, and is a figure recognized internationally for his innovative use of chemistry in drug discovery. He has led collaborations resulting in the discovery of three launched drugs, the anaesthetic agent Sugammadex which has been used in over 30 million patients in 60 countries, and the anti-cancer agents Ribociclib and Erdafitinib, both predicted to achieve blockbuster status. David is well known for his calm authority, scientific rigor and enthusiasm. To find out more about some of his research, see his recent Open Access RSC Medicinal Chemistry Review article (Fragment-based drug discovery: opportunities for organic synthesis)

David Rees will be presented with his Medal and Certificate at the 21st RSC / SCI Medicinal Chemistry Symposium, delivering a presentation entitled “Medicines for Millions”.

Dr David Rees, 2020 Hall of Fame inductee

Have an outstanding chemist in mind who you feel should be in the Hall of Fame?

Submit your nomination for the 2021 inductee from 1st March 2021. Independent nominations may be submitted by e-mail to the BMCS Conference Secretariat outlining the justification and including the nominee’s CV and publication list. Additional independent letters of support to reinforce the nomination are strongly encouraged.

Nominees should be resident in the UK or continental Europe, or have spent a considerable proportion of their career there. There is no requirement to be an RSC or BMCS member. There are no age restrictions, and nominees may have an academic or industrial background.

 

To find out more about the activities of the BMCS, please see their webpage

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