Richard P. Van Duyne Early Career Award in Experimental Physical Chemistry

Purpose: To recognize outstanding contributions in experimental physical chemistry by a young investigator.

Nature: At the fall ACS meeting that immediately follows the announcement of the award the recipient will present their research in one of the PHYS symposia, be honored at the annual PHYS reception, and receive a $5k honorarium.

Eligibility: Eligibility is restricted to Physical Chemistry Division members who, at the time of the nomination, are in the first ten (10) years of their careers as independent researchers, following their postdoctoral research, if applicable. At the time of the nomination, currently serving members of the PHYS Division Executive Committee in any capacity, including subdivisions and councilors, as well as individuals who are up for election to these positions, are ineligible for nomination for this award until after their term of service. Any nominees that have served on the PHYS Exec Committee that prevented them from applying during their last year of eligibility will have their eligibility extended to the first twelve (12) years of their careers as independent researchers. Previous awardees of the JPC/PHYS Lectureships are not eligible. Donors are not excluded from being nominated for the award.  To avoid conflicts of interest, the amounts that people donate will not be public knowledge and anyone with that knowledge will not serve on the awards selection committees.

Nomination Procedures: 

  1. A nomination letter of not more than 2 pages.
  2. At least two seconding letters with no page limit.
  3. The applicant’s CV.
  4. A list of the publications that the nominee is most proud. 
  5. A written assurance that, if selected, the nominee will attend the PHYS awards banquet and give their seminar at the ACS meeting in person. 
  6. Please make a copy or download, then complete, the nomination form.

Application Deadline: All materials should be sent electronically to The deadline is November 1st each year. Please include the nominee’s name in the subject line of the e-mail.

Professor Richard P. Van Duyne: Rick Van Duyne received his Ph.D. in electrochemistry from the University of North Carolina in 1971, working in the group of Charles N. Reilley. He immediately joined the faculty of Chemistry at Northwestern University. Throughout his 47 years on the faculty there, he made numerous impactful contributions to physical chemistry, analytical chemistry, and nanoscience. He is best known for his discovery of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), for which he published a seminal paper in 1977, as an assistant professor. He went on to an impressive career spanning fundamental research in SERS, electrochemistry, nanosphere lithography, tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, surface-enhanced femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy, and molecular plasmonics. He was fearless in his approach, applying his careful quantitative methods to fields as diverse as art restoration, chemical and biological sensing, and energy conversion, ultimately publishing over 460 papers. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2010, and received a number of well-deserved recognitions for his work, including the Charles N. Reilley Award, the Sir George Stokes Award, the Ellis R. Lippincott Award, the E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy, the Spiers Memorial Award, and a Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, the Society of Applied Spectroscopy, and the Royal Society of Chemistry. In recognition of Professor Van Duyne’s extraordinary mentorship efforts and leadership in physical chemistry, the ACS-PHYS division has named the Young Investigator Experimental Physical Chemistry Award in his honor.  

Sponsors: Ke Ma, Susan Gaud, Shuming Nie, Princeton Instruments, Renee Frontiera, Anonymous, Craig Allen, Jeff Anker, Ara Apkarian, Julia Bingham, Faith Boman, Keith Carron, Jon Camden, Warren Chan, Naihao Chiang, Matt Glucksberg, Yinsheng Guo, Christy Haynes, Amanda Haes, William Heineman, Mark Hersam, Brian Hoffman, Horiba, Nan Jiang, Song Jiang, Murray Johnston, Gyeongwon Kevin Kang, Jordon Klingsporn, Kathryn Kosuda, Erin Lavigne, Nancy Levinger, Michelle Malinsky, Laurie Marks, Sicelo Masango, Adam McFarland, Katie Mauck, Michael Natan, George Schatz, Nilam Shah, Bhavya Sharma, Rick Silverman, Matthew Sonntag, SPECS GmbH, Unisoku, David Walt, Mark Wightman, Kallie Willets, Nolan Wong, Yue Wu, Kristin Wustholz, X. Nancy Xu, Muwen Yang, Chanda Yonzon, Stephanie Zaleski, Jing Zhao
This list will be periodically refreshed. Feel free to reach out to

Established in 2012, updated in 2019, revised in 2021 and 2022.


Self-nominations will not be accepted.
Note that nominations from previous years do not carry over.