Rita Cornforth Lectureship

The award has been established to honour the pioneering contributions of Lady Rita Cornforth (1915-2012), the wife of Nobel Laureate Sir John Warcup Cornforth (1917-2013) and collaborator on 46 of his papers. In his Nobel Lecture, Sir John paid tribute to his wife's pivotal contributions to their joint work: "...with patience and great experimental skill [she] executed much of the chemical synthesis on which the success of the work was founded."

The aim of the award is to provide an outstanding female Early Career chemist with an opportunity to achieve broader recognition of their career achievements to date, and help establish collaborations and networks that will further assist them in establishing an independent career. The award will recognise an outstanding contribution to chemical research in any sphere including industry, the public sector and academia.

The award will consist of a medal, to be presented at the RACI Annual Awards Dinner, and reasonable travel expenses (up to $3000) for a lecture tour within Australia. It is expected that the recipient will also be invited to give a keynote lecture at the next relevant divisional or national congress or other RACI endorsed speaking opportunity.

Hear from our 2021 recipient

Award Entry Requirements

  • The award is for a female Early Career chemist, with no more than seven years full-time equivalent experience since gaining their highest academic qualification. Any relevant career interruptions will be taken into account.
  • Applicant must be a current RACI member.
  • Previous recipients of the RACI Rennie medal or Le Fèvre memorial prize are not eligible for this award.
  • There is no age limit.


Nomination/Application requirement:

  • A current CV
  • A Synopsis of the applicant’s chemistry research and how it has contributed towards the development of some area of chemical science or technology
  • Email and telephone contact information of no more than four referees
  • Where relevant a summary of career interruptions
  • An abstract for the proposed lecture and an outline of a possible itinerary

Applications open in April and close mid June.

After the closing date no further nominations./applications for the award will be accepted.  If in the opinion of the Board there is no candidate who has sufficient merit, the Board may refrain from making an award.


The decision of the judges will be subject to the approval of the RACI Board. The Board decision is final and no discussions or correspondence will be entered into.


Becky Fuller
Ellen Moon
Yuning Hong
Lidia Matesic


For detailed award criteria click below

Learn More




Becky Fuller


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