Menu Close

Deadline for applications: January 25 of each year

The Henkel Award of Outstanding Graduate Research in Polymer Science and Engineering was established to recognize a PhD graduate student or recent graduate who has completed an outstanding PhD thesis in research at a university in the US or Canada.  The award is administered and sponsored by the POLY division of the ACS, the Polymer Education Committee (POLYED), and the PMSE division of the ACS. Previously, this award was called the AkzoNobel Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in Polymer Chemistry. This award is presented annually in the fall at the national ACS meeting during the POLY/PMSE award program. 

Award: The winner receives a $2,000 honorarium and travel support to attend the Fall ACS National Meeting in the year of the award to participate in a half-day symposium co-organized by the primary nominator and Prof. Mahesh K. Mahanthappa ( In addition, the award will be presented at the joint POLY/PMSE awards presentation, typically on Wednesday evening.

Eligibility: A nominee must be a member or affiliate of the POLY division of ACS and must currently be a PhD candidate or have earned their PhD during the three years prior to January 1 of the award year. Nominees are judged on the basis of their contribution to the thesis research, the quality and level of innovation demonstrated, and the impact of their research on the science and technology of synthetic polymers or biopolymers. Preference will be given to nominees who have not already been recognized by two or more ACS Awards with associated honorary symposia.

Nomination: Nominators must be a member or affiliate of the POLY division and must be the nominee’s thesis supervisor or someone familiar with the nominee’s work. Nomination packages should be sent by email to Prof. Jessica Kramer at  The title of the email should be 2020 Henkel Graduate Award and the following items should be included as a single PDF file :

  • Nominee’s biography (or curriculum vitae)
  • Synopsis of nominee’s work
  • Letter of recommendation from thesis advisor
  • Optional: relevant publications based on thesis work
  • Optional: supporting documents and testimonials

Previous Awardees

2020 Jeffrey Lopez Stanford Zhenan Bao
2019 Jovan Kamcev UT Austin Benny Freeman
Donald Paul
2018 Alex Zhukhovitskiy MIT Jeremiah Johnson
2017 John W. Colson ClostraBio, Inc
2016 Maxwell Robb UCSB Craig Hawker
2015 Jessica Kramer UCLA Tim Deming
2014 Felix Sunjoo Kim University of Washington Sam Jeneke
2013 Hua Lu UIUC Jianjun Cheng
2012 Garret Miyake Colorado State Eugene Chen
2011 Rong Tong UIUC Jianjun Cheng
2010 Haifeng Gao Carnegie Mellon Krysztof Matyjaszewski
2009 Christopher J. Bettinger MIT Bob Langer
2008 Nick Tsarevsky Carnegie Mellon Krysztof Matyjaszewski
2007 Jason Rolland UNC Chapel Hill Joe DeSimone
2006 Jiaxing Huang UCLA Richard Kaner
2003 Christopher W. Bielawski Caltech Bob Grubbs
2002 Kristi Kiick UMass Amherst Dave Tirrell
2001 Shu Yang Cornell Chris Ober
2000 Linda Chen Rochester Sam Jenekhe
1999 Scott G. Gaynor Carnegie Mellon Kryzstof Matyjaszewski
1998 James J. Watkins UMass Amherst Tom McCarthy
1997 Dong-Yu Kim UMass Lowell Sukant Tripathy
1996 Kristi S. Anseth UC Boulder Chris Bowman
1995 Rangaramanujam M. Kannan Caltech Julia Kornfield
1994 Tim Deming UMass Amherst Bruce Novak
1993 Chris Bowman Purdue Nicholas Peppas
1992 Rick Register UW Madison Stuart Cooper
1991 Christopher B. Gorman Caltech Bob Grubbs

For more information about previous awardees, please see:

Outstanding Graduate Research- Previous Awardees 2011-2020

Outstanding Graduate Research- Previous Awardees 2001-2010

Outstanding Graduate Research- Previous Awardees 1991-2000

%d bloggers like this: