George Macdonald Medal

Open for additional nominations

The medal is awarded every three years to recognise outstanding research leading to improvement of health in the tropics.  

The criteria for the George Macdonald Medal were agreed by the Board of Management of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Trustees of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

LSHTM Council and RSTMH Trustees propose the names of the candidates and a committee composed of the Dean of LSHTM, two members of LSHTM Council and two RSTMH Trustees (who are not employees of LSHTM) nominate from these proposals a candidate for the award. LSHTM Council and RSTMH Trustees then ratify this nomination.

2020 update

The selection committee met and reviewed nominations to the George MacDonald medal in the light of the list of previous recipients. Previous recipients very clearly reflect the aspiration of the medal, to recognise outstanding research leading to improvement of health in tropical countries. However, the medal list highlights the need to improve significantly the diversity of the recipients. Both RSTMH and LSHTM are committed to reflect considerations of equality, diversity and inclusion in their decision making, and hence the selection committee decided to reopen the window for nominations to encourage the nomination of a more diverse set of applicants.

Nominees should note the requirements of the medal, to recognise BOTH outstanding research AND improvement of health in tropical countries.

All existing nominations stand, and we are now open for new nominations. RSTMH members and Fellows are asked to propose names to the RSTMH Board of Trustees through sending a CV and a nominating statement (max 500 words) for their candidate to tamar [dot] ghosh [at] rstmh [dot] org (subject: Nomination%20for%20the%20George%20Macdonald%20Medal) (Tamar Ghosh) by 17 July 2020.

Latest George Macdonald Medal awardees

The medal was last awarded in 2017 to Ann Ashworth and Betty Kirkwood, both from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

On winning the medal, Professor Kirkwood said: “I feel extremely privileged to receive the George Macdonald Medal, and to share this with my dear colleague Ann Ashworth, who influenced my early years at the School and with whom I co-supervised my first PhD student.”

Kirkwood has led many important trials over the last 30 years, tackling key gaps in evidence to enable effective decision making for maternal, newborn and child health policies and programmes.

Also reflecting on her award, Professor Ashworth said: “I am surprised to have been singled out, as alone I would not have been very effective. I really owe it to all the wonderful colleagues I have worked with over many decades, and our collective contribution to improving child health.”

Ashworth is an inspirational researcher, mentor and leader who, through decades of research, developed the international guidelines for the treatment and care of children with severe acute undernutrition.

History of the George Macdonald medal

The George Macdonald Medal was first awarded in 1972 in honour of Dr George Macdonald, Professor of Tropical Hygiene at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Director of the Ross Institute, who died on 10 December 1967.

A dominant figure in the field of tropical public health and one of the world's great authorities of malariology, George Macdonald distinguished himself by his work on quantitative analysis of the transmission and eradication of vector-borne tropical diseases. His personality combined great intellectual power, fearless integrity, tremendous energy and an understanding of human problems.

In October 1968, the Dean of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, launched an appeal for an endowment of a permanent memorial to Professor Macdonald in the form of a medal to be awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to tropical hygiene. Many of Professor Macdonald's friends and colleagues all over the world responded generously to this appeal.