Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Chemistry


The University’s Department of Chemistry has been awarded a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its pioneering research and innovation work to address global challenges and benefit society.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is the highest national honour in Higher Education. It is awarded in recognition of world-class excellence and achievement to a small selection of UK institutions every two years.

The Department of Chemistry carries out world-leading research that pushes forward the frontiers of chemical sciences to tackle global challenges in critical areas such as low carbon energy, global health and sustainable manufacturing.

Vice Chancellor Professor Tim Jones said: “We are delighted that the University of Liverpool’s Department of Chemistry has been announced as a recipient of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, a highly prestigious national honour that recognises exceptional work.

“The University has a truly global reputation for research excellence in chemistry and this award is a reflection of the quality of our research and innovation capabilities, the far-reaching impact of our work and the power of our partnerships as we work together to address current and future global challenges.”

With an oustanding track record for industrial and strategic collaborations, the impact of its research and innovation is felt on a regional, national and global scale.

Liverpool chemists are leading the drive to develop the new materials that are urgently required to tackle climate change. Using machine learning, computer simulations, automation and robotics, they are revolutionising the design-based discovery of new functional materials with applications in manufacturing, clean energy, sustainable living and consumer products.

Working across disciplines and with partners, surface scientists are at the forefront of developing new processes and technologies to address the urgent societal problem of increasing antimicrobial resistance, including the design of novel surfaces and materials to inhibit the spread of infections.

Expertise in nanotechnology and nanomedicine approaches is changing the global landscape of drug design and administration and has accelerated international efforts to make more effective and cheaper HIV therapies available to more patients.

The Department is also home to one of Europe’s leading academic groups focused on early-stage drug discovery for tropical infectious disease, discovering drug candidates for the treatment of malaria and filarial diseases.

Professor Karl Coleman, Dean of the University’s School of Physical Sciences, said: “The Department of Chemistry conducts research that is nationally and internationally recognised for its innovation and distinctiveness. This prestigious prize is testament to the excellent achievements of our staff who work to extend the frontiers of knowledge within and beyond existing disciplines.  Through collaborations with industrial and academic partners worldwide, we drive forward chemistry research that has a positive impact on society.”

Chemistry at Liverpool was ranked third in the UK for world leading (4*) impact in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF2021). It is the only chemistry department in the UK to be ranked within the top three institutions for impact across the last two REF exercises.

It is home to six specialist research and innovation centres that work with industry and other partners to deliver global impact and support regional economic growth. These are: The Materials Innovation Factory, the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, the Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces, the Surface Science Research Centre, the Leverhulme Research Centre for Functional Materials Design and the Centre of Excellence for Long Acting Therapeutics.

The University’s commitment to applying its research to support global chemistry education is exemplified through ChemTube3D, an internationally renowned open educational resource. Developed by Liverpool chemists, the ChemTube3D platform contains interactive three-dimensional chemistry animations and structures that supports school and university students worldwide.

Professor Neil Berry, Head of the Department of Chemistry, added: “This award is a wonderful acknowledgement to the work and excellence achieved by our staff and students past and present in the Department in both research and teaching.”

WATCH: Find out how chemistry researchers are using their scientific insight, machine learning and lab automation to design new materials to tackle the climate crisis > The Power of 10X: Using Materials Innovation to reach Net Zero.

The announcement was made at a reception at St James’s Palace.

The Prize will be officially presented to the University in February 2024 by a member of the royal family.

This is the second time that the University has been awarded the Prize. In 2017, the University’s Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology was honoured with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its work to improve the safety and effectiveness of medicines.