Women Chemists Committee


The WCC offers and administers many awards for women chemists. Please see the information below for more information about each award.

WCC Awards

The WCC offers and administers several awards.  Please follow the links below to see more information about each of the awards.

WCC Rising Star Award

Rising Star Award
This award recognizes exceptional early to mid-career women chemists across all areas who have demonstrated outstanding promise for contributions to their respective fields. To be given annually, this new award is also intended to help promote retention of women in science.

Nomination deadline is June 15

Eli Lilly Travel Award

Eli Lilly Travel Award

The WCC and Eli Lilly and Company sponsor this program to provide funding for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral female chemists to travel to meetings to present the results of their research. 


Applications should be limited to one per research group. Awards will be given with preference to the following order:

  1. Any applicant who will be making her first presentation (regardless of format) at a national or major meeting.
  1. Graduate or postdoctoral applicants who have not presented at a national or major meeting since completing their undergraduate degree.

Only US citizens and permanent residents are eligible. Those who have received a prior award under this program are ineligible. If an applicant were to win the Merck Research Award, she would not be eligible for the WCC/Eli Lilly award for travel to the fall national ACS meeting.

 The application deadlines are September 15th for travel Jan-June of the following year, and March 1st for travel July-December of the same year.

Priscilla Carney Jones Scholarship

Priscilla Carney Jones Scholarship
This award was established by Paul R. Jones, in memory of his wife.  It provides scholarships for female undergraduate majors in chemistry or related disciplines who are beginning their junior or senior years of study.

Nomination deadline is May 1

WCC Merck Research Award

 Merck Research Award

The WCC Merck Research Award recognizes eight individuals* who will present their research at an awards symposium held during the Fall ACS national meeting.

Awardees will receive a $1,500 stipend to cover Fall ACS national meeting expenses.
They will present their research at a WCC/Merck half-day symposium and be recognized at the Awards Symposium Luncheon and the WCC Luncheon.


Individuals* in their 3rd & 4th year of graduate school with a research focus in one or more of the following - Organic, Medicinal, Analytical, Chemical Biology, Computational or Structural Chemistry and related disciplines. Open to US citizens (studying anywhere) and to non-US citizens attending a graduate program in the US or Canada.

 Those who have received a prior award under this program are ineligible.

The following will be requested in the application:

- Title, author(s), technical division and text, a resume or C.V. (include permanent address)

- A copy of her proposed abstract submission for the WCC/Merck Research Award Symposium and the Technical Division abstract (poster or oral presentation)

- A brief cover letter detailing how this award will impact her career in science (1 page)

- A letter from her advisor confirming her participation in the meeting at which she will be making her presentation, commenting on her technical ability and potential.

Nomination deadline is December 1
Apply online
or request a hard copy from diversity@acs.org. 

Individuals* = this includes female-identified individuals and persons assigned female at birth (AFAB).  For more information regarding the gender inclusive language used in this document, please visit the following site: 


Overcoming Challenges Award

Overcoming Challenges Award 
This award recognizes a female undergraduate for her efforts in overcoming hardship to achieve success in chemistry.

Nomination deadline is April 1

2014 WCC ChemLuminary Award

WCC Chair Amber Charlebois and ACS President Tom Barton present the 2014 WCC ChemLuminary Award to Councilor Greg Milligan and WCC Chair Robbyn Purdue-Anand of the Puget Sound Local Section  for Outstanding Program Aimed at Retaining Women in the Chemical Enterprise

WCC ChemLuminary Award

The WCC sponsors one award for local sections each year to be presented at the ChemLuminary ceremony during the ACS Fall National Meeting. The ACS ChemLuminary Awards recognize volunteer participants in ACS Local Sections and Divisions whose efforts have helped to achieve excellence. In order to provide the opportunity to focus on different aspects of the WCC’s mission – to be leaders in attracting, developing, promoting and advocating for women in the chemical sciences –  WCC rotates the category for the award on an annual basis.  

Detail on the past winners' programs can be found at the following link:

WCC ChemLuminary Award History

The 2015 WCC ChemLuminary Award (for activities in 2014) is for 'Best Overall WCC Section'.

The 2016 WCC ChemLuminary Award (for activities in 2015) is for 'Mentoring at the Collegiate Level'.

How to nominate
Your section can self-nominate for a WCC ChemLuminary Award when submitting the section's annual report to the ACS national office or your section can submit nominations directly to WCC. Plenty of local sections engage in award-worthy activities, but if they don't "blow their own horns," WCC can't recognize them!

Self nominations often include: a description of the event, how the award theme has been realized, how many people attended, source of the funds, what did and did not work, obstacles encountered and overcome, photographs, links to websites, etc.   In addition, there are two mandatory questions:
1. What made your event/program outstanding? {Answers to this question may include information about the event attendance, feedback from participants, media attention, etc.)
2. How does your event/program support the mission of the WCC?

Please include a photo of your activity if you have one. If you have already submitted your report via your local section annual report - great work! Please forward a copy of the report and a photo.  We would like to feature some local section WCC events in an upcoming WCC newsletter.

Send nominations to wcc@acs.org by March 15th and/or include the event details in the organization's Annual Report.

ACS National Awards

Are you aware that the overall level of nominations has dropped for the national awards administered by the American Chemical Society?  Additionally, it is a continuing dilemma that very few chemists with disabilities, minority chemists, or women chemists receive these national awards.  WCC, together with the Committee on Minority Affairs, the Committee on Chemists with Disabilities, the Younger Chemists Committee, and the Committee on Technician Affairs, are united in our efforts to be leaders in promoting diversity and inclusiveness within the ACS. 

In addition, ACS has partnered with the Association For Women In Science (AWIS) and six other disciplinary societies on the AWARDS (Advancing Ways of Awarding Recognition in Disciplinary Societies) project to formulate and implement change. More information can be found on the AWIS website.


Other Awards & Recognition

ACS Celebrates the Achievements of Women Scientists in American History
Women’s History Month honors the contributions of women to American culture and society.

ACS Division Travel Grants

Iota Sigma Pi Student Awards, Scholarships, and Internships
Founded in 1902 and organized on a nation-wide basis in 1916, Iota Sigma Pi serves to promote the advancement of women in chemistry by granting recognition to women who have demonstrated superior scholastic achievement and high professional competence.
Awards include:

  • Gladys Anderson Emerson Undergraduate Scholarship
  • Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Chemistry
  • Anna Louise Hoffman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Research
  • Members-at-Large Reentry Award

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