The Katharine Burr Blodgett Award

The Katharine Burr Blodgett Award is given annually to honour a researcher working in the field of colloid and interface science and who was awarded a PhD degree within the past year.

The winner will receive a certificate, a prize of £200, and a year’s membership of SCI. The award winner will be expected to present a research talk at an Early Career Colloid (ECCo) meeting. (Travel costs will be covered within reasonable limits: up to £1,000 for overseas travel).

The award is named in honour of Katharine Burr Blodgett, who was the first woman to receive a PhD degree in Physics from the University of Cambridge. She developed methods to spread molecules on the surfaces of water and to deposit molecular films on solid surfaces via what is now called the “Langmuir-Blodgett” technique. She also developed methods to measure thickness via the analysis of interference colours.

Eligibility: The award is open to researchers working in the field of colloid and interface science, who have received their PhD from a UK institution after April 1st in the year prior to the year of nomination.

Award Information

Type: PhD

Frequency: Annual

Deadline for nominations: 9th July (annually).

Nominators: CSCG and CISG members.

Contact: Awards Coordinator (see Contacts page)

Requirements for a Nomination:

  • A one-page summary of the thesis research written by the nominee; rather than being an abstract, this document should clearly explain the importance and originality of the work, describing key-achievements of the nominee. This part of the application from the successful nominee will be published on the Joint Colloids Group website.
  • A report (one page maximum) from the nominee’s supervisory team (primary or second supervisor), setting out the case for an award. The report should state the date of the viva voce exam of the nominee and confirm that the corrected thesis has been accepted by the University.
  • A supporting statement (one page maximum) from the external examiner, or thesis examiners’ report if a supporting statement cannot be obtained.
  • A copy of an award letter from the university stating the date of submission; alternatively, evidence from an examiner/supervisor that the final, corrected thesis has been accepted (with date)
  • A brief CV (1-4 pages) of the candidate, including a list of publications or other outputs from the thesis.

These documents should be submitted to the RSC/SCI Colloids Group Awards Officer (Dr. Craig Fairgrieve; e-mail: by the 9th July in the year of nomination.

Past Recipients

2020 James Hindley
2021 Spyridon Varlas
2022 Alexander (Sandy) Armstrong
2023 Dr Clare Rees-Zimmerman, University of Oxford


You can become a member by joining one of the two groups:

SCI Colloid & Surface Chemistry Group (CSCG).

RSC Colloid & Interface Science Group (CISG).

The former is open to SCI members only. The latter is open both to RSC members and associates AND to scientists and engineers who belong, either, to a chartered professional or learned body from outside the chemical sciences, or to another chemical society with whom the RSC has entered into an international partnership agreement approved by RSC Council. Non-RSC members of CISG pay RSC a small annual fee to cover administration and postage.

For information on how to become a member of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) or Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) please see the links below: 

Non-members of RSC wishing to join CISG should contact the RSC Membership Dept. (contact details at, asking to join the Colloid & Interface Science Interest Group, only, and mentioning their own affiliation.  The membership administration fee is £10 currently. In case of difficulty please contact a member of the Joint Committee.

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