ACS Organic Division Undergraduate Awards

Purpose of the Undergraduate Award

The ACS Division of Organic Chemistry is pleased to sponsor an Undergraduate Award in Organic Chemistry that is intended to recognize senior students who display a significant aptitude for organic chemistry and to encourage further interest in the field.

The Undergraduate Award

Consists of a letter of recognition from the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry and an award certificate signed by the division chair. Awardees who are members of the ACS will also receive membership to the Division of Organic Chemistry; those who are not will receive Affiliate status. Division affiliates have all of the benefits of membership in the division with the exception of voting, serving on committees, and eligibility for certain awards. For a full description of the benefits of membership in the division, please click here. Awardee’s will be recognized on the Division’s website.

Nominations for the Undergraduate Award

Institutions are invited to select a top graduating senior student majoring in either chemistry or biochemistry who has demonstrated excellence in organic chemistry based on a combination of research experience, coursework and a desire to pursue a career in chemistry.

New starting in 2022: An additional nomination can be made for a graduating student deemed extraordinary by the department. The student(s) nominated should be enrolled at your institution for the 2022–2023 academic year. All schools may nominate a second extraordinary student when they include consideration in areas such as race, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, non-traditional gender identification or sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or (dis)ability. The Division of Organic Chemistry shares ACS’ core value of diversity, equity, inclusion and respect, and “believes in the strength of diversity in all its forms, because inclusion of and respect for diverse people, experiences, and ideas lead to superior solutions to world challenges and advances chemistry as a global, multidisciplinary science.” Please note that data obtained by ACS on the gender of Bachelor’s level chemists indicates that women and men are graduating at nearly equal numbers since 2001. Therefore, the Division has removed gender as criteria for a second nomination for this award.

Additionally Institutions graduating more than 100 chemistry and biochemistry majors in the award year, may make up to three nominations of graduating senior students when they include diversity as stated above.

To nominate a student, the Department Chair or the Chair of the Department Awards Committee (or similar), should complete the appropriate online form (see below).

There are two application routes, United States institutions who would like to receive a paper certificate and award letter by US Mail are required to complete the US UGA Application by March 19th. While we plan to send you the official award items by April 30th, once the form is submitted, you are welcome to immediately recognize the student as you deem appropriate. Upon receipt of the award letter, the student awardees will be able to complete an application to join the Division free for one year. Unfortunately, it is impractical to mail certificates and letters to international institutions.

All international institutions and those United States institutions who wish to process/print their own award materials are required to complete the UGA Form – Digital Delivery by June 18th. Within 24 hours of submitting the form you will receive PDF versions of the completed certificate and letter. You are welcome to immediately recognize the student as you deem appropriate.

After the list of all awardees is posted on our website in July, the student can apply for free Division membership as described in the award letter template.

Deadline: The next deadline for mailed award materials is March 19, 2024 and for digital award materials is June 18, 2024.  Nomination forms will open on January 15th, 2024.

For questions on the program or problems with submissions, use our Contact Us Form


Past Undergraduate Awardees

The award criteria were changed in 2021 to give institutions that graduated 100 or more chemistry and biochemistry majors a second nomination. In addition, reflecting the commitment of the American Chemical Society to the core value of diversity, equity, inclusion and respect, any institution is now allowed to make a second nomination of a student deemed extraordinary in consideration of diversity (see criteria above). Each awardee has been sent a certificate and a letter detailing how they can obtain free membership in the division (provided the institution submitted the application on time). These items were sent to the nominator for distribution to the student.

Please note that the ACS Organic Division’s Undergraduate Award is different from the longer running Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Award provided by the POLYED center, which is an award designated for outstanding performance by an undergraduate chemistry major in the two-semester organic sequence. In 2019, PolyED has disbanded and the award will not be issued.