YOU ARE HERE: Home > Awards and Grants > Awards, Medals and Prizes

I want information on:

Information for:

Awards, Medals and Prizes

The Society bestows several honours, in the form of Medals, Prizes, Honorary Fellowships and Lectureships. See below for the lists of Awards in Astronomy, Awards in Geophysics and Awards in Instrumentation; records of previous Award winners are also available.

 

How to nominate for an Award

Anyone can make an Award nomination. With the exception of Thesis Prizes, it is not necessary to be a Fellow of the Society. When making a nomination, please include all information requested, and address the criteria of the Award in your nomination statement. All nominations are made in strict confidence; nominees should not be informed of submissions in order to avoid unnecessary disappointment.

 

Nominations should use the forms links below and be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If you submit your nomination in PDF format, please do not lock this file.

 

Closing dates:

Astronomy and Geophysics Thesis Prizes: 31 January for theses submitted the previous year

Undergraduate and Thesis Prizes in Instrumentation: 31 May (note that this may be revised in 2014)

Patrick Moore Medal: Last Friday in September for the following year's award

All other awards: 31 July for the next year's awards

 

How Awards are made

The Council sets up from among the Fellows two Awards Committees to advise on the merits of candidates nominated for Awards. The recommendations of the Awards Committees are then presented to Council for their approval.

 

In some cases, where nominees are felt to be very deserving candidates but nevertheless miss out on an award, the nominations may be rolled over to the next awards round, for a maximum of three rounds. If a nomination rolls over, the person who made the nomination will be informed. They will be asked to refresh the nomination material for the next round if appropriate, which is particularly important in the case of early-career awards.

 

The Awards Committees make their decisions on recommendations in strict confidence, and therefore it is inappropriate to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

 

The remit of the 'A' Awards Committee is astronomy and astrophysics, broadly defined, and including cosmology, astroparticle physics, astrobiology and astrochemistry.


The remit of the 'G' Awards Committee is geophysics, solar physics, solar-terrestrial physics, and planetary and meteoritic sciences.

 

Exceptionally, the Patrick Moore Medal is considered by a different panel chosen from Fellows with a particular interest in and connection to education.

 

Queries should be addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 


Astronomy Awards


The Gold Medal (A)

The Society's highest honour. More information and to nominate


The Eddington Medal

Awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit in theoretical astrophysics. More information and to nominate


The Herschel Medal

Awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit in observational astrophysics. More information and to nominate


The Jackson-Gwilt Medal

Awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit in either:

    • History of astronomy (one year in five)
    • Invention, improvement, or development of astronomical instrumentation or techniques or for achievement in observational astronomy (four years in five)

More information and to nominate

 

The Patrick Moore Medal

Awarded annually, for a particularly noteworthy contribution to teaching astronomy or geophysics at secondary level. More information and to nominate


The Fowler Award (A)

Awarded to individuals who have made a particularly noteworthy contribution to astronomy or geophysics at an early stage of their research career. In nomal circumstances, nominees should be within 10 years (excluding long or short career breaks) of passing their viva. More information and to nominate


The Winton Capital Award (A)

Funded  by the Winton Capital Investment House in recognition of the skills provided to the financial services sector by trained astronomers and geophysicists, the Winton Capital awards are for research by a Post Doctoral Fellow in a UK institution in astronomy or geophysics whose career has shown the most promising development. In nomal circumstances, nominees should be within 5 years (excluding long or short career breaks) of passing their viva. More information and to nominate


The Group Award (A)

Awarded for outstanding achievement by large consortia. More information and to nominate

 

The Service Award (A)

Awarded to individuals who, through outstanding or exceptional work, have promoted, facilitated or encouraged the science of astronomy and developed their role in the life of the nation but whose achievement does not fall within the criteria of the Society's other awards. More information and to nominate


George Darwin Lectureship
A lecture given annually by a distinguished speaker on a suitable topic in astronomy. More information and to nominate


Gerald Whitrow Lectureship
A lecture given every two years by a distinguished speaker on a topic in cosmology, usually with particular reference to philosophical apects. More information and to nominate


Honorary Fellowships (A)
Honorary Fellowships may be awarded to any foreign national based overseas, eminent in the fields of astronomy or geophysics, providing they are not already a Fellow of the Society. Honorary Fellowship is typically awarded for distinguished leadership of a school, observatory, or laboratory; outstanding services to national or international scientific organizations; exceptionally important work in editing scientific publications; influential work in education and public outreach; or outstanding work in the history of these sciences. More information and to nominate


Michael Penston Thesis Prize
Awarded annually for the best doctoral thesis in astronomy or astrophysics. More information and to nominate


National Honours
Anyone can nominate a candidate for a National Honour to the Ceremonial Secretariat at the Cabinet Office. However, in appropriate cases the RAS will be prepared to add its weight to a candidature by making the nomination in the name of the Society. It will do this where the proposed candidate is pre-eminent in his or her field of astronomy or geophysics through research, teaching or service to the scientific community. More information



Geophysics Awards


The Gold Medal (G)

The Society's highest honour. More information and to nominate


The Chapman Medal

Awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit in solar-terrestrial physics including geomagnetism and aeronomy. More information and to nominate


The Price Medal

Awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit in solid-earth geophysics, oceanography, or planetary sciences. More information and to nominate


The Patrick Moore Medal

Available for award annually, for a particularly noteworthy contribution to teaching astronomy or geophysics at secondary level. More information and to nominate


The Fowler Award (G)

Awarded to individuals who have made a particularly noteworthy contribution to astronomy or geophysics at an early stage of their research career. In nomal circumstances, nominees should be within 10 years (excluding long or short career breaks) of passing their viva. More information and to nominate


The Winton Capital Award (G)

Funded  by the Winton Capital Investment House in recognition of the skills provided to the financial services sector by trained astronomers and geophysicists, the Winton Capital awards are for research by a Post Doctoral Fellow in a UK institution in astronomy or geophysics whose career has shown the most promising development. In nomal circumstances, nominees should be within 5 years (excluding long or short career breaks) of passing their viva. More information and to nominate


The Group Award (G)

Awarded for outstanding achievement by large consortia. More information and to nominate


The Service Award (G)

Awarded to individuals who, through outstanding or exceptional work, have promoted, facilitated or encouraged the science of geophysics and developed their role in the life of the nation but whose achievement does not fall within the criteria of the Society's other awards. More information and to nominate


Harold Jeffreys Lectureship
A lecture given annually by a distinguished speaker on a suitable topic in geophysics, covering topics concerning the interior structure, formation and composition of the Earth and/or planets. More information and to nominate


James Dungey Lectureship
A lecture given annually by a distinguished speaker on a suitable topic in geophysics, covering topics concerning the science of the Sun, solar environment, planetary environments or solar-terrestrial science. More information and to nominate


Honorary Fellowships (G)
Honorary Fellowships may be awarded to any foreign national based overseas, eminent in the fields of astronomy or geophysics, providing they are not already a Fellow of the Society. Honorary Fellowship is typically awarded for distinguished leadership of a school, observatory, or laboratory; outstanding services to national or international scientific organizations; exceptionally important work in editing scientific publications; influential work in education and public outreach; or outstanding work in the history of these sciences. More information and to nominate


Keith Runcorn Thesis Prize
Awarded annually for the best doctoral thesis in geophysics, including exploration geophysics, physics of the Earth's atmosphere, ionosphere or magnetosphere, planetary physics, solar physics and solid-Earth geophysics. More information and to nominate


National Honours
Anyone can nominate a candidate for a National Honour to the Ceremonial Secretariat at the Cabinet Office. However, in appropriate cases the RAS will be prepared to add its weight to a candidature by making the nomination in the name of the Society. It will do this where the proposed candidate is pre-eminent in his or her field of astronomy or geophysics through research, teaching or service to the scientific community. More information


 

 


Instrumentation Awards

 

The Jackson-Gwilt Medal

 

Awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit in either:

    • History of astronomy (one year in five)
    • Invention, improvement, or development of astronomical instrumentation or techniques or for achievement in observational astronomy (four years in five)

More information and to nominate


Patricia Tomkins Thesis Prize
Awarded annually for the best doctoral thesis in instrumentation science for astronomy or geophysics. More information and to nominate


Patricia Tomkins Undergraduate Prize
Awarded for excellent laboratory work on instrumentation undertaken as part of a course related to astronomy or geophysics. More information and to nominate

 


 

    J Silk

Prof. J. Silk being presented with the Gold Medal ('A') at the National Astronomy Meeting in Belfast on 3 April 2008 by the President, Prof. Michael Rowan-Robinson.