Sir Kenneth Mather Memorial Prize

The Sir Kenneth Mather Memorial Prize of £150 rewards a BSc, MSc or PhD student of any UK University or Research Institution who has shown outstanding performance in the area of quantitative or population genetics.

The prize is awarded annually and pertains to a project report, dissertation or thesis submitted during the academic year in question.

The winner will be invited to present their work, usually the at a Genetics Society sponsored “Pop Group” meeting.

Call for Nominations

Nominations for the 2018/19 award should be submitted to The Genetics Society electronically using the link below, before November 26th, 2019.  To be eligible for nomination, as a condition of their course, theses/dissertations/project reports are required to be submitted by the student to the nominating University or Institution between 1st September 2018 and 31st August 2019.

Nominators should supply their Genetics Society membership number on the application form.

Nominations will be assessed by a panel of two people with experience in the area of quantitative/population genetics, one from the University of Birmingham, and the other nominated by the Genetics Society.  Nominations should include a cover letter from the proposer, a CV of the nominee and an electronic copy of the student’s project report, dissertation or thesis.

Submit an application

Please note, the Genetics Society does not accept self-nominations for this award.

Past Winners
2017/18 Rosina Savisaar (University of Bath)
2016/17 Danag Crysnanto (University of Edinburgh)
2015/16 Jessica King (University of Edinburgh)
2014/15 Robert Power (Wellcome Trust Africa Centre for Population Health)
2013/14 Tom Booker (University of Edinburgh) and Simon Martin (University of Cambridge)
2012/13 Laura Corbin (Roslin Institute) and Xiachi Xin (University of Edinburgh)
2011/12 Holly Trochet (University of Edinburgh)
2010/11 Ben Longdon (University of Edinburgh) and Gibran Hemani (Roslin Institute)
2009/10 Kay Boulton (University of Edinburgh)
2008/09 Kreepa Kooblall (University of Birmingham)
2007/08 Mark Adams (University of Edinburgh)


Sir Kenneth Mather was an Honorary Professor of Genetics at the University of Birmingham, a member of the Royal Society and a past president of The Genetics Society.  His career began at the University of Manchester, where he was awarded a BSc in Botany in 1931. He then went on to study for his PhD at the University of London.   Mather had an illustrious career, influenced strongly by Ronald Fisher from whom he gained experience in statistical analysis.  He gained a fellowship to the Rockerfeller Institute in 1937 and returned to head genetics research at the John Innes Institute. In 1948 he became the first professor of Genetics at the University of Birmingham and established a unit dedicated to biometrical genetics.  He spent some time during the 1960’s as Vice chancellor at the University of Southampton where he established a new medical school, returning to Birmingham in 1971.  In later years he received several honorary degrees from British Universities and was knighted in 1979.  Building variously on the work of Galton, Pearson, Fisher and Haldane that Mendelian genetics did not provide the answers to continuous variation and evolution, Sir Kenneth was passionate about biometrical genetics, producing 283 scientific papers, giving 24 broadcasts and publishing 10 books based on the subject.

Following his death in 1990, the University of Birmingham established a prize fund from donations to commemorate the life and work of Professor Sir Kenneth Mather.  The prize is awarded annually to encourage research in the pure and applied aspects of biometric or population genetics to a student showing outstanding merit in this field.