The Beddington Medal

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Background & History

The Beddington Medal is the Society’s major commendation to promising young biologists, awarded for the best PhD thesis in Developmental Biology defended in the year previous to the award.

Rosa Beddington was one of the greatest talents and inspirational leaders in the field of developmental biology. Rosa made an enormous contribution to the field in general and to the BSDB in particular, so it seemed entirely appropriate that the Society should establish a lasting memorial to her.BeddObv

Prizes are an effective and important way of recognising outstanding scientific achievement at any stage of an individual’s career. The BSDB Poster Prize – awarded each year at the Spring Meeting – has rightly become highly coveted, as much for the honour that it confers on the winner as for the free trip to the US developmental biology meeting that she or he receives. Nevertheless, in 2003 the committee felt that a new award – recognising outstanding achievement by a PhD student throughout the course of his/her research project – would be a fitting way of remembering Rosa each year. The design of the medal, mice on a stylised DNA helix, is from artwork by Rosa herself.

Beddington Medallists

ElenaScarpaThe BSDB is proud to announce the 2016 Beddington Medal winner Elena Scarpa. Elena studied in Turin (Italy), went for her Wellcome Trust fellowship-funded PhD project to the laboratory of Roberto Mayor (UCL, London), and works now in the group of Benedicte Sanson (Univ. Cambridge) on the role of mechanical tension in orienting cell divisions in the Drosophila embryo. Her Beddington Medal talk described the outcome of her successful PhD project (submitted in April 2015) and was entitled Cadherin switch during EMT in neural crest cells leads to contact inhibition of locomotion via repolarisation of forces”. To read more, see our news post and an interview with Elena on The Node.

Past recipients

  • 2015 John R. Davis (PhD with Brian Stramer, King’s College London) – [Lecture] – [interview]
  • 2014 William Razzell (PhD with Paul Martin, Univ. Bristol) – [interview]
  • 2013 Helen Weavers (PhD with Helen Skaer, Univ. Cambridge)
  • 2012 Boyan Benev (PhD with Nancy Papalopulu, Univ. Manchester) – [interview]
  • 2011 Carlos Carmona Fontaine (PhD with Roberto Mayor, UCL) – [interview]
  • 2010 Naomi Stevens
  • 2009 Katja Jaeger
  • 2008 Paul Tesar
  • 2007 Rebecca Bastock
  • 2006 Marc Amoyel
  • 2005 Huw Williams
  • 2004 Anne-Gaelle Rolland-Lagan

Nominations for the Beddington Medal

The eligibility period covers PhD dissertations which were defended during the calendar year previous to the award. Furthermore, applicants need to have at least one paper accepted or close to acceptance. The deadline for nominations will be announced after the autumn meeting and usually is around mid Janary. Nominations should be in two parts:

  1. From the candidate, up to 2 pages A4 describing the thesis and supplemented with up to 1 extra page of figures from the thesis to illustrate key results, plus a 1 page CV, including statement of prizes/awards already received. These should all be in the form of a single pdf file of no more than 1 MB. A candidate exceeding these limits risks having to resubmit their application. In addition, candidates should supply formal documentation of the date of submission of the thesis.
  2. From the candidate’s PhD thesis supervisor, a letter of support, sent independently, consisting of no more than 2 pages A4, describing why the student was deserving of this award. This letter should explicitly comment on the status of publications arising/expected from the thesis work, and also on any unusual circumstances, including duration of study.

Candidates can be of any nationality, must be BSDB members at the time of nomination, and at least one of their supervisors must be UK-based. Nominees must be able to attend the BSDB Spring Meeting, where the winner is to present a plenary talk.

All nominations received will be considered and voted upon by the Committee and the winner invited to present the Beddington Medal lecture on their thesis work at the following BSDB Spring Meeting.

Nominations should be sent to the BSDB Secretary (


Beddington medal lecture movies



  1. Nominations for the 2015 Beddington medal | BSDB - British Society for Developmental Biology - December 1, 2014

    […] Before submitting any nomination, please read further details here. […]

  2. Tubular belle: Q&A with Dr Helen Weavers | Wellcome Trust Blog - May 7, 2013

    […] March, Helen Weavers was awarded the 2013 Beddington Medal for the best developmental biology thesis, which she produced at the end of her Trust-funded PhD. I […]

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