Charles Lathrop Parsons Award

Award at a Glance

Recipient Volunteer
Category National Awards
Amount$5,000 + expenses
DeadlineNovember 1, 2023


To recognize outstanding public service by a member of the ACS.


The award consists of $5,000 and a certificate. Up to $2,500 for travel expenses to the meeting at which the award will be presented will be reimbursed. The award is not normally given more than once every two years. However, the ACS Board of Directors may, at its discretion, reduce the interval to one year for a nominee of its choosing if, in its judgment, circumstances in a given year warrant such action.


The award will be granted regardless of race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, presence of disabilities, and educational background. A nominee must be a member of the ACS and a citizen of the United States, and must have performed outstanding public service. Neither the scientific reputation nor the record of scientific achievement of a member affects her or his eligibility for this award, which unlike most ACS awards is not directed toward recognition of scientific accomplishment or stature.

The public service to be recognized may be performed either as a part of or completely outside the regular duties and activities of the nominee's employment. Current members of the ACS Board of Directors are ineligible to receive the award.


November 1 (presented biennially in odd-numbered years)

How to Apply

The nomination period is open from July 1 to November 1. Learn more about ACS National Award Nominations.

Judging Process

Nominations will be solicited from individuals via the channels customary for other awards. Each nominee for the award will remain a nominee for three successive years without re-nomination, unless selected as the recipient. Prior to the ACS Spring Meeting, the ACS Board of Directors will be provided with a comprehensive listing of all current nominees for this award. At the spring meeting, the ACS Committee on Professional and Member Relations (P&MR) will present to the ACS Board of Directors a screened list of no more than five nominees. Following the spring meeting, the full Board will be provided with complete nominations for all nominees on the screened list provided by P&MR. The ACS Board of Directors will select the recipient. The ACS Committee on Professional and Member Relations will recommend a time and place for the presentation of the award and the recipient's address depending upon the identity of the recipient and the public service to be honored.


American Chemical Society


The ACS established the award in 1952.

Contact Information

Awards Office
American Chemical Society
1155 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036-4801
Phone: 202-872-4575
Fax: 202-776-8008

2019 recipient Attila E. Pavlath receives the Charles Lathrop Parsons Award on stage.
2019 recipient Attila E. Pavlath (center) is presented his award by Wayne E. Jones, Jr., ACS Board of Directors (right), and Bonnie A. Charpentier, ACS President (left).
Photo by Loris Guzzetta/ACS

Related Opportunities

  • ACS Award in Analytical Chemistry Recognizing and encouraging outstanding contributions to the science of analytical chemistry, pure or applied, carried out in the U.S. or Canada.

  • Nakanishi Prize Recognizing and stimulating significant work that extends chemical and spectroscopic methods to the study of important biological phenomena.

  • ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry Recognizing outstanding fundamental contributions and achievements in the field of polymer chemistry.

  • Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science and Technology Recognizing outstanding and creative contributions to fundamental discoveries or inventions in ultrafast science & technology in areas of physics, chemistry, biology, or related fields.