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 2018 Bader Award: Imagine the Future of Chemistry

In recognition of our company’s 350th anniversary in 2018, we are exploring curiosity’s role in our past, present, and future. Chemistry has come a long way in 350 years. Where will it go next? We invite Bader Award applicants to be bold and help us imagine how chemistry discoveries might change the world in the next 100 years.

Show Off Your Research. Win up to $3,000. Deadline: June 20.

Graduate students studying synthetic organic chemistry are invited to apply for the Alfred R. Bader Award for Student Innovation 2018.

One grand prize winner will receive $3,000. Three finalists get $1,000. All four finalists will be flown to Darmstadt, Germany, expenses paid, to present their research at the Bader Student Chemistry Symposium Sept. 27.

Applicants must submit:

  • A research summary* highlighting
    – Applicant’s individual contribution to the project
    – Impact of the work on the chemistry or scientific community
  • A résumé/CV
  • A 100-word personal statement about your perspective on chemistry discoveries that might change the world in the next 100 years
  • Completed 2018 Bader Award application

Nominate Students in Your Department

Professors and proud alumni, we want to recognize the best and brightest chemical synthesis Ph.D. students. Print out a flyer for your department notice board—or email a copy to your lab.


  • Applicants must be enrolled in a Ph.D. graduate program
  • Limited to the first 200 applicants
  • Applicants must be able to attend and make a short presentation of their graduate research at the Bader Student Chemistry Symposium September 27 in Darmstadt, Germany

Interested applicants should review the full rules, provided above, and ensure entry into the competition is permitted in their country of residence (see rules for exceptions).

Congratulations, 2017 Bader Awardees!

Congratulations to Dr. Thomas “Andy” McTeague, our $5,000 Bader Award grand prize winner. Andy and finalists Keita Tanaka of Scripps Research Institute, Jennifer Matsui of the University of Pennsylvania, and Robynne Neff of the University of Texas-San Antonio (shown above) presented their synthetic organic chemistry research to guests and a panel of judges Sept. 7 at the Bader Student Chemistry Symposium in Darmstadt, Germany, preceding the announcement of the grand prize winner. Read the full press release.

 About the Bader Awards

From Friedrich Jacob Merck to Alfred R. Bader and Beyond

Our course was set by an aspiring pharmacist, Friedrich Jacob Merck, back in 1668. Today, we are a vibrant global science and technology company, influenced over the years by contributions of great scientific minds like Alfred R. Bader and Jack Bush. The Bader Awards seek to recognize student chemists whose innovations have the potential to advance science today and spark progress well into the future.

More than a decade’s worth of chemistry graduate students have participated in the Alfred R. Bader Awards for Student Innovation. Over the years the prize amounts and application criteria have varied, but the awards have always recognized the work of up-and-coming chemists with big ideas. Previous awardees include Sigma-Aldrich® partners Abby Doyle and Stephen T. Heller.

Sigma-Aldrich Cofounder Alfred R. Bader

As a young chemistry graduate student, Alfred R. Bader valued service and selection. It was these ideals on which he cofounded the Aldrich Chemical Company in 1951. Bader sought to save research chemists time by providing quality standardized chemicals. He was one of the foremost chemical innovators of his time, and his legacy continues in the Sigma-Aldrich® portfolio and in many philanthropic designations and honors.

Soon after cofounding Aldrich, Bader fostered global relationships with small chemical suppliers and his ever-innovative customers to grow his catalogue and company. The result was fast success and the development of one of the best-known chemical catalogues. In 1975, the company’s name changed to Sigma-Aldrich after a merger. Today, the name continues as part of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Bader’s commitment to collaboration with scientists, cutting-edge products, and outstanding quality lives on through the dedication of current employees and outreach activities like the Alfred R. Bader Award for Student Innovation.

Learn more:

Read the company history from 2001 as presented in the Aldrichimica Acta.

Who was Alfred Bader? Read the chemist-collector’s bio from 1984.

We’re still collaborating. Explore the Professor Product Portal.