Katharine Burr Blodgett Award

Established 2020

Named after the esteemed surface scientist and the first woman to receive a PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge, this award was established to recognise the best PhD research in the field of colloid and interface science.

Award Information


Nominations for the Katharine Burr Blodgett Award are open to Colloids Group (SCI CSCG and RSC CISG) members.

To make a nomination, please send the documents outlined below to the RSC/SCI Colloids Group Awards Officer - Craig Fairgrieve (e-mail: craig.fairgrieve@uk-cpi.com) by the 15th of April.

Award presentation and prize

The Katharine Burr Blodgett Award will be presented at the Early Careers Colloids Meeting (or similar event). Reasonable travel costs will be covered. The winner will receive a certificate, a prize of £200 and a year's membership of SCI.

2021 Recipient - Dr Spyridon Varlas

Dr Spyridon Varlas is the recipient of the 2021 Katharine Burr Blodgett Award for his research towards establishing novel bottom-up chemical approaches for the design of (semi-)synthetic biomembrane-mimicking nanocompartments during his PhD study initially at the University of Warwick and subsequently at the University of Birmingham.

Eligibility Criteria

    • Researchers working in the field of colloid and interface science
    • Researchers who have received their PhD from a UK institution within the past year (since the 1st of April of the year before the nomination)
    Career Stage
    • Early-career
    • Colloid and interface science


Nominations open 30 March
Nominations close 15 April

Documents required

  • 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.

Additional Information

Previous Recipients

Colloid and Surface Chemistry Group

Joint Colloids Group


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Katharine Burr Blogett Award - Image credit: Smithsonian Institution from United States, No restrictions, Wikipedia Commons

Other SCI Awards

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The Sir Eric Rideal Lecture is a late-career or “life-time achievement award”, which recognises and honours an individual who has made a sustained and distinguished contribution to colloid and interface science in the UK.

Thomas Graham Lecture

The Graham Lecture will be awarded to those working in the UK who are in the prime of their research careers, have established an international reputation in colloid science, and have already made distinguished contributions to the field of colloid science.

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