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Journal of Polymer Science Innovation Award


The Journal of Polymer Science Innovation Award is to recognize polymer scientists under the age of 40 to celebrate their significant research innovation and achievement in the field.


The Journal of Polymer Science Innovation Award recipient is recognized with a symposium in association with PMSE at the ACS Fall National Meeting, followed by an open reception.


The polymer science landscape has evolved dramatically over the past 50 years, advanced by innovative scientists working on the chemistry and physics of polymer systems.  The award was initiated in 2012 to recognize new scientists and researchers.


The award is granted to an individual without regard for nationality and nominations who is under 40 are welcome from all sectors of industry, government and academia.


Please see the Journal of Polymer Science nomination page for more details.

2022 Award Winner: Frank A. Leibfarth

University of North Carolina

The editors of the Journal of Polymer Science and the Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) are delighted to present the 2022 Journal of Polymer Science Innovation Award to Dr. Frank A. Leibfarth.

Frank currently works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with Professor Craig J. Hawker, followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the guidance of Professor Timothy F. Jamison.

The research interests of the Leibfarth group include developing methods to control stereochemistry in ionic polymerizations, uncovering enhanced function in commodity polymers through selective C–H functionalization, and creating automated approaches for the synthesis of unique polymer architectures with novel functions.

For Frank’s significant achievements, he has been recognized by numerous awards in only five years as an independent investigator, including the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, Sloan Research Fellowship, NSF CAREER award, 3M Non-tenured faculty award, and was named to the Popular Science Brilliant 10, 2020 Hermann F. Mark Young Scholar, and the Chemical & Engineering News Talented 12 lists.

Prof. Leibfarth, University of North Carolina

Past Winners

2021 Garret Miyake

2020 Brett P. Fors

2019 Patricia Dankers

2018 Rachel O’Reilly

2017 Luis M. Campos

2016 Cyrille Boyer

2015 Rachel A. Segalman

2014 Brent Sumerlin

2013 Ryan Hayward

2012 Christopher Bielawski