Alfred R. Bader Award for Student Innovation

This award celebrates the next generation of leaders in the field of chemistry by showcasing their cutting-edge research.

About the Award


Building on the legacy of the Aldrich Chemical Company co-founder Alfred R. Bader, this award has recognized young chemists with a passion for innovation since 2005. Bader is one of the many scientists who helped us grow into the vibrant global science and technology company we represent today. Through a series of mergers, Aldrich Chemical Company became Sigma-Aldrich, which is now part of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

How does it work?


The applications process is currently closed and will open again in 2024.


  • Applicants must be at least 3rd year graduate students (have completed 2 years of a doctorate degree or master’s degree program)​.
  • Winners must be able to present their research, for example at the online Chemistry Innovation Symposium sponsored by Merck MGaA, Darmstadt, Germany on September 6, 2023. 

Application process

  • Application is by completing the online registration form and accepting terms and conditions.
  • You will be asked to submit your CV with a project description including background, important results, your individual contribution to the project as well as the impact you expect this to have on the scientific community​.

 For more information, please refer to the Terms & Conditions available from this webpage​.



Downloads and links

Link to application form Applications process will open in 2024
Terms & Conditions download

This award has recognized young chemists with a passion for innovation since 2005.The recipients of the 2023 award received $2,000 and an invitation to show off their research at the Chemistry Innovation Symposium on September 6, 2023.


Year Name University
2023 Shivaani Gandhi Princeton University
  Jonas Goebel Ruhr Universität Bochum
2021 Isabelle Leibler Princeton University
  Mauro Mato ICIQ Institute of Chemical Research at Catalonia
  Rachel Knapp UCLA
  Rui Zhang University of Chicago
2019 Michael Crocker Vanderbilt University
  Lucas Hernandez University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  Joseph Dennis MIT
  Samantha Green The Scripps Research Institute
2018 Jake Ludwig University of Michigan
  Gabriel J. Lovinger Boston College
  Tim Gatzenmeier Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim an der Ruhr
  Hiroki Sato University of Texas at Austin
2017 Thomas Andrew McTeague (grand prize) Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  Robynne K. Neff University of Texas at San Antonio
  Jennifer Keiko Matsui University of Pennsylvania
  Keita Tanaka Scripps Research Institute
2016 Anthony Grillo University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
  Xiaoshen Ma Yale University
  Matthew Nielson Princeton University
  Julian West Princeton University
  Chi Zhang Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  Raktim Roy Yale University
2015 Nian Liu University of Chicago
  Chengliang Zhu Georgia State University
  Hai Dao Scripps Research Institute
  Anton Toutov California Institute of Technology
  Mingshou Zeng Yale University
  David Kamber University of California - Irvine
2014 Jian He Scripps Research Institute
  Han Xiao Scripps Research Institute
  Sandra King Yale University
  Alison Wendlandt Univerisity of Wisconsin - Madison
  Rana Kashif Khan Boston College
  Sandra DePorter Colorado State University
  Christopher Rasik Indiana University
  Eric Welin Princeton University


Honoring innovation in chemistry

Opportunities for graduate students

Are you a trailblazer in the world of science, with a passion for innovation and a vision of a more sustainable future? ​ By bringing together the brightest young minds in chemistry, we hope to spark new ideas and inspire visionaries to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in science. ​


  1. Bader Award
  2. Innovation Cup
  3. Compound Challenge
  4. Curious Conference