Royal Medal

These medals are awarded for the most important contributions in the physical, biological and applied sciences.

George IV King George IV founded the Royal Medals in 1825.

The three Royal Medals, also known as the Queen’s Medals, are awarded annually by the Sovereign on the recommendation of the Council of the Society. Frederick Sanger FRS, Max Perutz FRS and Francis Crick FRS are among those who have been awarded a Royal Medal.

Each year two medals are awarded for the most important contributions “to the advancement of Natural Knowledge” in the physical and biological sciences respectively. A third medal is awarded for distinguished contributions in the applied sciences. 

The Royal Medals were founded by HM King George IV in 1825. Between 1826 and 1964 two medals were awarded each year. In 1965 the third medal, covering the applied sciences, was introduced on behalf of HM The Queen. The three medals are of silver gilt and are accompanied by a gift of £5,000. 

Nominations

The next call for nominations for these awards opens on 28 November 2014.

The recipients are chosen by the Council of the Royal Society on the recommendation of the Physical Sciences Award Committee, Biological Sciences Awards Committee and Joint Awards Committee. Nominations are valid for five years after which the candidate cannot be re-nominated until a year after the nomination has expired. 

The award is open to citizens of a Commonwealth country or of the Irish Republic or those who have been ordinarily resident and working in a Commonwealth country or in the Irish Republic for a minimum of three years immediately prior to being proposed.

Most recent medallists

Rodney Baxter-Royal

Professor Rodney Baxter FRS was awarded the 2013 Royal Medal for his remarkable exact solutions of fundamental models in statistical mechanics.

Walter Bodmer

Sir Walter Bodmer FRS was awarded the 2013 Royal Medal for seminal contributions to population genetics, gene mapping and understanding of familial genetic disease.

Peter Wells-Royal

Professor Peter Wells CBE FMedSci FREng FRS was awarded the 2013 Royal Medal for pioneering the application of the physical and engineering sciences to the development of ultrasonics as a diagnostic and surgical tool which has revolutionised clinical practice.

Premier Awards

Copley Medal: For outstanding achievements in either the physical or biological sciences.

Royal Medal: For the most important contributions in the physical, biological and applied sciences.

Bakerian Lecture: The premier lecture in the physical sciences.

Croonian Lecture: The premier lecture in the biological sciences.

See all medals, awards and prize lectures

Contact us

If you have a question about this scheme, please first read the scheme notes which contain more information. If the answer is still not available, you can contact the grants team here.

Photos of the Royal Medal

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