Reaxys PhD Prize

The Reaxys PhD Prize celebrates the very best chemistry research being performed by the stars of tomorrow. Be a part of the most prestigious international award for young chemists - submissions open on December 7th – pre-register your interest today.

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Reaxys PhD Prize

More than a prize. A vision.

No other award will impact your development as a scientist like the Reaxys PhD Prize. Integral to Reaxys Inspiring Chemistry activities and backed by an Advisory Board of internationally accomplished and authoritative chemists, receiving this award boosts your career and leads to new opportunities. With application submission from over 400 academic institutions worldwide, the Reaxys PhD Prize is the most important international prize for young chemists.

The 45 finalists and winners of the Reaxys PhD Prize:
Get the feel of the Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium

Selecting the Winners
The Winners of the Reaxys PhD Prize are talented PhD students or recent graduates conducting original and innovative research in synthetic chemistry with demonstrated excellence in methodology and approach. They will be selected and announced in September at the PhD Prize Symposium.

Selection criteria include:
  • Originality, innovation
  • Importance to the field
  • Applicability
  • Rigor of approach and methodology
  • Quality and clarity of published work
  • Supporting evidence of accomplishments (I.e., supervisor’s letter of recommendation, publication list)

The review and decision process is managed by the Chairs of the Review Board:

Prof Tony Barrett - Imperial College, London, UK
Prof Dr Martin Jansen - Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart, Germany
Prof Eiichi Nakamura - University of Tokyo, Japan
Prof Ged Parkin - Columbia University, United States
Prof Barry M. Trost - Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
Prof Henry N. C. Wong - Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Submission Requirements

To submit an application, you must meet the following rules and requirements:
  1. The Reaxys PhD Prize is open to students currently in a PhD program or who completed their PhD after January 1 of current year.
  2. Consideration is given to all areas of chemistry; however, areas of synthetic chemistry (e.g., organic, inorganic, organometallic, coordination, medical, materials, and polymer chemistry) are emphasized.
  3. Applications from only one candidate per research group can be accepted.
  4. Completed applications must be submitted via our website and must consist of:

      A. An example of an accepted, peer-reviewed article that primarily showcases your work.
      B. Your CV (resumé)
      C. A letter of recommendation from your PhD supervisor. The letter should include:

        An overview of your qualifications and details about your achievements during your PhD studies.
        A description of your role in the research submitted, highlighting specifically your contribution to the paper included in the application.

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Winners of the 2015 Reaxys PhD Prize Announced

Hong Kong, September 8, 2015

The 3 winners were chosen after the top 9 finalists each gave a 15 minute oral presentation describing the essence of their research. These oral presentations enabled the finalists to display a great skill any researcher requires: the ability to succinctly describe their work. The presentations were judged by members of the Reaxys Advisory Board and Chairs of the Reaxys PhD Prize review board.

The 2015 Reaxys PhD Prize winners are:


Andrew Jupp from the Goicoechea group, University of Oxford.

Presentation Title: Reactivity of the 2-phosphaethynolate anion and phosphinecarboxamide

John Tellis from the Molander group, University of Pennsylvania.

Presentation Title: Single-Electron Transmetalation: Enabling C(sp3) Cross-Coupling via Photoredox/Nickel Dual Catalysis

Shin-nosuke Uno from the Urano group, University of Tokyo.

Presentation Title: A spontaneously blinking fluorophore based on intramolecular spirocyclization for live-cell super-resolution imaging


The judges deliberated at length. The presentations were all of the highest quality. The shortlisted finalists were challenged to discuss the key aspects of their research in a crisp and critical manner. The panel of experts were impressed at how prepared the candidates were. A cheque for $2000 will be presented to each winner, and they will join a list of illustrious previous winners, the Reaxys Prize Club.


Previous Finalists and Winners of the Reaxys PhD Prize

Read about the research of these exceptional chemists who are pushing the boundaries and defining the future of chemistry.

2015 Winners:

Andrew Jupp - 2015 Reaxys PhD Prize Winner John Tellis - 2015 Reaxys PhD Prize Winner Shinnosuke Uno - 2015 Reaxys PhD Prize Winner

Andrew Jupp

John Tellis

Shin-nosuke Uno

Article: Phosphinecarboxamide: A Phosphorus-Containing Analogue of Urea and Stable Primary Phosphine

Journal: Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2013

PhD University: University of Oxford

Supervisor: Prof Jose Goicoechea

Article: Single-electron transmetalation in organoboron cross-coupling by photoredox/nickel dual catalysis

Journal: Science, 2014

PhD University: University of Pennsylvania

Supervisor: Prof Gary Molander

Article: A spontaneously blinking fluorophore based on intramolecular spirocyclization for live-cell super-resolution imaging

Journal: Nature Chemistry, 2014

PhD University: University of Tokyo

Supervisor: Prof Yasuteru Urano

2015 Finalists:

Jonathan Bauer
Keith Bentley
Nicholas Bruno
Matthew Burns
Cecilia Casadei
Pavla Eliasova
Patrick Fier
Meng Gao
Alvaro Gutierrez Bonet
William Hart-Cooper
Hiroki Hayashi
Jian He
Tomohiro Higashino
Yunzhe Jiao
Andrew Jupp
Eric Keske
Alexander Kilpatrick
Sandra King
Peter Korevaar
Matthew Langton
Hsin-Yu Lee
Gang Li
Lauren Longobardi
Javier López Andarias
Titus Masese
Chiara Musumeci
Steven O'Sullivan
Kelli Ogawa
Henry Pepper
Brandon Rosen
Tanmoy Saha
Alexander Schoedel
Sivaprakash Sengodan
Indranil Sinha
John Tellis
Shigenobu Umemiya
Daiki Umeyama
Shin-nosuke Uno
Amit Vernekar
Xiao-Ye Wang
Jens Willwacher
Tomohiro Yasukawa
Chenjie Zeng
Taotao Zou
Thorsten vom Stein

2014 Winners:

Dawen Niu - 2014 Reaxys PhD Prize Winner Changxia Yuan - 2014 Reaxys PhD Prize Winner

Zoey Herm

Dawen Niu

Changxia Yuan

Article: Separation of Hexane Isomers in a Metal-Organic Framework with Triangular Channels

Journal: Science, 2013

PhD University: University of California, Berkeley

Supervisor: Prof Jeffrey Long

Article: The aromatic ene reaction

Journal: Nature Chemistry, 2014

PhD University: University of Minnesota

Supervisor: Prof Thomas Hoye

Article: Metal-free oxidation of aromatic carbon–hydrogen

Journal: Nature, 2013

PhD University: University of Texas at Austin

Supervisor: Prof Dionicio Siegel

2014 Finalists:

Liam Ball
Richard Brimioulle
Allan Jay Cardenas
William Chance
Fanny Cherblanc
Fabio Denis Romero
Bernd Elsler
Chao Feng
Tomohiro Fukushima
Lydia Gilday
Craig Gorin
Paul Gormisky
Nicholas Green
Zoey Herm
Stephen Ho
Takahiro Horibe
Shaowei Hu
Todd Hyster
Nicholas Isley
Xavier Just-Baringo
Ji-Woong Lee
Hee Nam Lim
David Liptrot
Qingquan Lu
Mukesh Mahajan
Steve McKerrall
Haruki Mizoguchi
Sanjog Nagarkar
Dawen Niu
Haruka Omachi
Kasper Pedersen
Peter Rayner
Michael Schedler
Scott Semproni
Samudra Sengupta
Kohei Takahashi
Arnau Verdaguer Casadevall
Anna Wagner
Xi Wang
Baihua Ye
Xie Yinjun
Changxia Yuan
Taiga Yurino
Martin Zahel
You-Quan Zou

2013 Winners :

Martin Donakowski

Max Hansmann

Johannes Heppekausen

Article: The role of polar, lamdba (Λ)-shaped building units in noncentrosymmetric inorganic structures.

Journal:Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2012

University:Northwestern University

Supervisor:Prof Kenneth R. Poeppelmeier

Article:Mechanistic Switch in Dual Gold Catalysis of Diynes: C(sp3)–H Activation through Bifurcation — Vinylidene versus Carbene Pathways

Journal:Angewandte Chemie, 2013

University:University of Heidelberg

Supervisor:Prof A. Stephen K. Hashmi

Article:Optimized Synthesis, Structural Investigations, Ligand Tuning and Synthetic Evaluation of Silyloxy-Based Alkyne Metathesis Catalysts

Journal:Chemistry a European Journal, 2012

University:Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung

Supervisor:Prof Alois Fürstner

2013 Finalists:

Sergey Adonin
Christopher M. Bates
Parijat Borah
Andrew Cairns
Christopher Caputo
Pradip Chakraborty
Hiroaki Chiba
Daniel Cohen
Laurent Debien
Fabian Ehret
Albert Fahrenbach
Daishi Fujita
Ke Gao
Chuan He
Kenji Hirai
Yohei Ishida
Andreas Kaiser
Tzu-Pin Lin
Wei Lv
Emma McInturff
Bill Morandi
Shunsuke Oishi
Sebastian Pike
Xin Qian
Daniel Robbins
Dragos Rosca
Ramya Sambasivan
Santanu Sarkar
Sebastian Schmidt
Mette Schmøkel
Mika Shiramizu
Katsuhiko Takeuchi
Gaël Ung
Kevin Williamson
Gene Wong
Yuzhou Wu
Xu Xue
Xiaoyu Yang
Da-Gang Yu
Rong Zeng
Gen Zhang
Shaoguang Zhang

2012 Winners:

Gregory Hamilton
Debashis Mandal
Craig Stivala
Article: A Powerful Chiral Counterion Strategy for Asymmetric Transition Metal Catalysis
Journal: Science, 2007
University: University of California, Berkeley
Supervisor: Prof. Dean Toste
Article:Synthesis of Dragmacidin D via Direct C–H Couplings
Journal:Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011
University: Nagoya University
Supervisor: Prof. Kenichiro Itami
Article: Highly Enantioselective Direct Alkylation of Arylacetic Acids with Chiral Lithium Amides as Traceless Auxiliaries
Journal:Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011
University:University of California, Santa Barbara
Supervisor: Prof. Armen Zakarian

2012 Finalists:

Crisita Atienza Marie-Gabrielle Braun Sarah Bronner
David Bunck Yunfei Cai Mesut Cakmak
Andy Chapman Stefan Benson Nicholas Evans
Charles Frazier Niankai Fu Fang Gao
Thomas Gøgsig Durga Prasada Rao Hari Phillip Inglesby
Tomohiro Iwai Justin Kim Andrew Kyle
Paraskevi Lagaditis Chi Chung Lee Alastair Lennox
Zhi Li Felicitas Lips Min Lu
Jie Luo Matthew MacDonald Steffen Müller
Kei Murakami Kyungsu Na Yuki Naganawa
Wesley Sattler Joerg Schrittwieser Tae Ho Shin
Kenji Sumida Basker Sundararaju Takayuki Tanaka
Ryo Tanaka Philipp Winter Miao Yu
Wei Zhang Fangrui Zhong Zhiwei Zuo

2011 Winners:

Vikram Bhat
Steven Malcolmson
Dixit Parmar
Article: Total Synthesis of N - Methylwelwitindolinone D Isonitrile
Journal, Year: Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011
University: University of Chicago
Supervisor: Prof. Viresh Rawal
Article: Highly Efficient Molybdenum - Based Catalysts for Enantioselective Alkene Metathesis
Journal, Year: Nature, 2008
University: Boston College
Supervisor: Prof. Amir Hoveyda
Article: Reductive cyclisation cascades of lactones using SmI2-H2O
Journal, Year: Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011
University: University of Manchester
Supervisor: Prof. David Procter

2011 Finalists:

Jenefer Alam Robert Andrews Abdulkader Baroudi
Alan Burns Matthew Cain Justin Chalker
Changle Chen Karl Collins Lei Fang
Anastasia Hager Xiaoyu Han Shenshen Hu
Masayuki Iwasaki Pankaj Jain Liqun Jin
Ronen Kreizman Christian Andreas Kuttruff Florian Löbermann
Andreas Lorbach Liang-Qiu Lu Ting Ma
Michael Muratore Timothy Newhouse Weidong Rao
Urs Rauwald Alexander Reznichenko Sarah Ryan
Subhas Samanta Corinna Schindler Christopher Serpell
Xiao Shen Zhuangzhi Shi Andrey Solovyev
Johannes Sprafke Haichao Xu Charles Yeung
Elena Zaborova Jason Zbieg Qi Zhang
Haiyan Zhao Jun Feng Zhao Qianghui Zhou

2010 Winners:

Thomas Maimone
Hiroyuki Miyamura
Robert Phipps
Article: Total Synthesis of Vinigro
Journal: Journal of the American Chemical Society
University: The Scripps Research Institute
Supervisor: Prof. Phil S. Baran
Article: Aerobic Oxidation of Alcohols at Room Temperature and Atmospheric Conditions Catalyzed by Reusable Gold Nanoclusters Stabilized by the Benzene Rings of Polystyrene Derivatives
Journal: Angewandte Chemie
University: University of Tokyo
Supervisor: Prof. Shu Kobayashi
Article: RA Meta-Selective Copper-Catalyzed CH Bond Arylation
Journal: Science
University: University of Cambridge
Supervisor: Prof.Matthew Gaunt

2010 Finalists:

Victoria Blair Justin Chalker Justin Christy
Nicholas Deprez Guangbin Dong Alessandro D'Urso
Brett Fors Xiao Fu Takeru Furuya
Stefan Graber Yuan Han Takanori Iwasaki
Liqun Jin Michael Katz Florian Kessler
Bala Krishna Juluri Ravi Kumar Rohit Kumar Sharma
Connor Martin Teresa Martinez del Campo Megan Matthews
Paul Mcgonigal David Michaelis Evan Miller
Thomas Moss Devon Mundal Julia Neumann
Tobias Seiser Ponminor Senthil Kumar Lauren Sirois
Christof Sparr Jason Spruell Yuto Sumida
Kosuke Suzuki Giulia Tagliabue Jason Thomas
Hirofumi Ueda Akira Ueda Oleg Vechorkin
Dieter Weber Peter Wich Akira Yada