The Advanced Photon Source
a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility

APS UEC Franklin Award

About the Franklin Award

In 2004, in conjunction with the Advanced Photon Source, the APS Users' Executive Committee established the APS UEC Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award to recognize an important scientific or technical accomplishment by a young investigator (senior graduate student or within two years of his or her PhD. degree) that was accomplished at or strongly beneficial to the APS. The award is presented annually at the APS Users Meeting, which is held every spring. Awards are not necessarily made each year.

The award consists of a $1000 prize, an award plaque, and a name plate on the plaque in the APS Atrium. The recipient of the award is also invited to present a lecture on his/her research in the APS plenary session. A complete nomination packet includes:

  • Nominator statement (500 words or less) describing why the candidate deserves the award AND one DOI number for a publication
  • Candidate-written short description of work for which the award is proposed (1000 words or less)
  • CV of candidate
  • Two letters of support
About Rosalind Franklin

The brilliant but short-lived chemist Rosalind Franklin played a critical but largely unacknowledged role in the discovery of the structure of DNA. While working as a research associate for John Randall at King's College in 1951, Franklin was assigned to study the unwieldy DNA molecule with x-ray crystallography--a technique only just beginning to be used for biological molecules. Her results revealed the position of the sugar-phosphate backbone and the basic helical structure of the molecule; when her x-ray photographs filtered unofficially to John Watson at Cambridge, he immediately saw their implications. Franklin went on to work on the tobacco mosaic virus and the polio virus, but her career came to an untimely end when she died of cancer in 1958 at age 37. More information on Franklin is at

Recent Award

Yuting Luo, an assistant professor in materials science and engineering and Ralph O'Connor Sustainable Energy Institute faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, was nominated for her work in materials and electrochemistry research.

A visiting research student at Argonne since 2019, much of Luo's work was accomplished at the APS. Specifically, her work focuses on particle morphologies and dimensions and their interactions with stress in intercalation chemistry - the reversible inclusion of ions into layered materials. Utilizing operando X-ray powder diffraction and operando energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction at the APS, Luo investigated intercalation-induced phase transformation in electrodes built with distinct crystallite geometries.   Read the full article here

An image of a woman from the shoulders and above, focusing on her face.


 Past Winners


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