BTM Willis Prize

The BTM Willis prize is named in honour of Prof. Terry Willis – founder of the UK Neutron Scattering Group, and the well-known for Harwell (later Oxford) School of Neutron Scattering. Since 2001, the UK Neutron Scattering Group awards the prize annually to an early career researcher in recognition of a single outstanding piece of work, or a longer-term coherent body of work, in the application of neutron scattering to a significant problem in physics, chemistry, materials science, earth science, the life sciences, or engineering, or alternatively in recognition of a major development in neutron scattering instrumentation or techniques.

Eligibility

The BTM Willis Prize is open to nominees based in the UK or Ireland only. Nominees should be an early-career scientist, typically with no more than 10 years of full-time equivalent professional experience. This should be experience gained as part of a scientific career excluding time spent in full-time education, i.e., time spent as a postgraduate student should not be included. Time spent as a post-doctoral researcher should be included.

Career breaks will be taken into consideration, and applications are particularly encouraged from those whose career has spanned a break due to caring responsibilities or personal circumstances, e.g., a period of parental/adoption leave, family commitments, illness, or other exceptional circumstances. Nominators will be asked to provide details of their nominee’s professional experience in relation to the above criteria. The judging panel will consider this information in relation to the eligibility criteria, and they have the discretion to consider any nomination for a different prize under their remit. Starting from the 2024 Prize, unsuccessful nominations will automatically rollover to the next year, unless the nominee’s circumstances have changed to make them ineligible. To ensure we have the most competitive nominations, we encourage nominators to update their nomination each year when the Prize call is open.

Judging process:

Each year, nominations for the BTM Willis Prize are judged by a sub-section of the NSG Committee. The judging panel base their evaluations on the overall quality of the relevant contributions and achievements of nominees, in relation to the following selection criteria:

The scientific content of any supporting publications, as described in the supporting statements, is much more important than publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which it is published. The judging panel will also give greater priority to more recent and/or independent research, thus, supporting statements should focus on the nominee’s more recent achievements. Examples of relevant contributions of your nominee to the broader neutron scattering community could include, but are not limited to:

Guidelines for Nominators:

To make a nomination, please use the online nomination form to submit the following information:

  1. Your name and contact details.
  2. Your nominee’s name and contact details.
  3. An up-do-date CV of your nominee (no longer than one side of A4, 11 pt text), including a summary of their education and career and up to five key outputs, e.g. publications, instrumentation development, software development or patents.
  4. Brief details (up to 150 words) of your nominee’s professional experience,in relation to the career stage-related
  5. eligibility criteria detailed above. Please include details of any career breaks or periods of absence that you feel that the judging committee should consider.
  6. A short citation describing what the nominee should be recognised for. This should be no longer than a sentence of 250 characters maximum (including spaces).
  7. A supporting statement (up to 750 words) addressing how your nominee meets the selection criteria.
  8. A statement (up to 100 words) describing how your nominee has contributed more broadly to the neutron scattering community.
  9. The names and contact details of a referee who will be required to provide a referee statement (up to 750 words) through the online system. As soon you submit your referee’s details, they will receive an automated e-mail with a link to submit their reference.
  10. All parts of the nomination, including referee statements, must be complete and submitted before the nomination deadline.
  11. It is the nominator’s responsibility to ensure that the referee is aware of the nomination, that they should expect an e-mail invitation to submit their reference, and that they are aware of what is required to ensure that the reference is submitted before the deadline.

Previous Winners