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Starting in 2022, this award opportunity will no longer be available.


The DSM Bright Science Award for Ph.D. Students (formerly the DSM Science and Technology Award) was established in 2011 to recognize and reward excellence in innovative PhD research in polymer technology. The award is administered by the POLY division of the ACS and is sponsored by Royal DSM. Nominees will be judged based on both the connection to the theme and the quality of the scientific research.

The theme for the 2021 award is: Polymers for a Sustainable Future

The theme spans Nutrition and Health, Climate and Energy, and
Resources and Circularity. Submissions may include, and
preferably connect: synthesis, characterization, engineering,
material property assessment and application. Nominees will
be judged based on both the connection to the theme and
the quality of their scientific research.

Finalists: Four finalists will be selected from the nominees and will be required to present a short lecture during a special DSM-POLY symposium held at the fall national meeting of the ACS. A judging committee comprising members from the DSM and ACS POLY will select the winner following the symposium.

Award:  The winner will receive a $5500 award while the three runners-up will be each be awarded $1500. These will be presented at the POLY/PMSE award symposium at the fall national ACS meeting.

Eligibility: A nominee must be a current or recent PhD student in the Americas; nominees must not have defended their PhD thesis before January 1 of the previous year. Consideration will be given to nominees with innovative research (fundamental or applied) in the general area of the theme discussed above.

Nomination: Nominators must be a member or affiliate of the POLY division and the nominee’s PhD supervisor (only one nominee per supervisor). Nomination packages should be sent by email as a single PDF file to the POLY division business office at and should include (in order):

  • Nomination form: DSM Bright Science Award for Ph.D. Students 2021
  • A graphical abstract of the candidate’s lecture topic
  • List of accepted publications, including DOI
  • Representative publications of the nominee (a maximum of 3, not including supplementary files)
  • Nominee’s complete curriculum vitae and (expected) date of PhD defense
  • Letter of nomination prepared by the PhD supervisor

Previous Awardees

2020 David Mackanic
2019 Blaine McCarthy
2018 Yoonseob Kim
2017 Catherine Mulzer
2014 Saadyah Averick
2013 Christopher Bates
2012 Frank Leibfarth
2011 Cole DeForest

For more information of previous awardees:

Previous Awardees 2011-2020

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