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. It was announced in 2002 [letter #23/2] and first awarded in 2004 (see below).

Rosa Beddington was one of the greatest talents and inspirational leaders in the field of developmental biology [letter #43, p.13]. 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



The Beddington medal is awarded every year to celebrate outstanding PhD dissertations in the field of Developmental Biology. The eligibility period covers PhD dissertations which were defended during the calendar year before the year of the  award. Furthermore, applicants need to have at least one paper accepted or close to acceptance. 

Nominations for the Beddington Medal


31st of January each year.


The nominee and the nominator both send their documents individually by email to the BSDB Secretary ( by the closing deadline but applications can be received at any time.


Must be BSDB member, and at least one of their supervisors must be UK-based. Nominees must be able to attend the BSDB Spring Meeting, where the winner presents a plenary talk.


Usually the candidate’s PhD thesis supervisor.


From the nominee: One single document no more than 4 A4 pages in length (not larger than 15MB) in PDF format that comprises up to two A4 pages describing the thesis and supplemented with up to one A4 page of figures from the thesis to illustrate key results, plus one A4 page for the CV, including statement of prizes/awards already received.

In addition, candidates should supply formal documentation of the date of submission of the thesis.

From the nominator: One letter of support comprising no more than two A4 pages in PDF format, sent independently, 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.


All members on the BSDB committee vote and a simple majority is sufficient to determine the winner. The Beddington medal winner will be determined at the BSDB committee meeting in December.


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