Royal Medal

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

King 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 £10,000. 

Nominations

The call for nominations is now closed. The next call for nominations will open in November 2015.

The recipient is chosen by the Council of the Royal Society on the recommendation of the Physical Sciences Awards Committee. Nominations are valid for three cycles of consideration with re-nomination possible after one cycle has passed.

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

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE FRS

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE FRS was awarded the 2015 Royal Medal for her pivotal contribution in observing, analysing & understanding pulsars, one of the most important astronomical discoveries of the 20th century. 

Professor Elizabeth Blackburn AC FRS

Professor Elizabeth Blackburn AC FRS was awarded the 2015 Royal Medal for her work on the prediction and discovery of telomerase and the role of telomeres in protecting and maintaining the genome. 

Sir CHristopher Llewellyn Smith FRS

Sir Christopher Llewellyn Smith FRS was awarded the 2015 Royal Medal for his major contributions to the development of the Standard Model, particularly his success in making the case for the building the LHC.

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

For more information on this, and all Royal Society medals, awards and prize lectures, please contact awards@royalsociety.org.

Photos of the Royal Medal

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