Chalmers Medal

Eligibility and nominations

The medal is awarded annually to researchers in tropical medicine or international health, anywhere in the world, who obtained their last relevant qualification between 15 and 20 years ago, allowing for career breaks. Applications must show evidence of mentoring of junior investigators, and evidence of providing professional development to junior investigators.

Fellows or members of RSTMH can nominate another fellow or member, or themselves, for the RSTMH Chalmers Medal. Self-nominations must be accompanied by a supporting statement from an RSTMH Fellow or member.

Nominations closed on 17 July 2020.

Latest Chalmers Medal awardee 

The medal was last awarded in 2019 to Dr Samson Kinyanjui in recognition of his work building the capacity of and training scientists in Kenya.

His key achievement has been developing a research framework for attracting, training and retaining African research leaders. Through the programme, Dr Kinyanjui has overseen the training of over 200 graduate interns, the majority of whom have taken up a research career. He has overseen over 100 Masters and 70 PhD training since 2008.

Dr Kinyanjui said: “I feel honoured to have been selected for the Chalmers Medal, and I am happy for the recognition. However I must reflect on the fact that in all the capacity building work I have been involved in, I have had tremendous support from my colleagues at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust where am based and Oxford University, where am employed, as well as from hundreds of collaborators across the world.

“My biggest pride is seeing people who joined our training programme as graduate interns now leading their own research groups and training other interns, Masters and PhD students!”

History of the Chalmers Medal

Dr Albert John Chalmers, MD, FRCS, DPH was born in Manchester in 1870 and began his distinguished tropical career in Ghana where he worked from 1897 to 1901.

He spent the following ten years in Sri Lanka before becoming a Holt Fellow of University College, Liverpool. From 1913 to 1920 he was Director of the Wellcome Research Laboratories in the Sudan.

He died in Calcutta on 05 April 1920.

In 1921, Mrs Chalmers, his widow gave £500 to RSTMH in memory of her husband. The RSTMH Council decided to devote this money to the foundation of the Chalmers Memorial Medal.

The Chalmers Medal recognises researchers in tropical medicine or global health who demonstrate evidence of mentoring and professional development of junior investigators, and other forms of capacity-building.

These skills are in line with Dr Chalmers’ own values of supporting the work of younger researchers. Dr Chalmers was known for being ready with help and encouragement to those early in their careers.