Our awards build and reinforce a sense of community by recognising and rewarding excellence in individuals and teams and their contribution to physics.

The awards reflect the breadth of work in the physics community and span:

  • academia
  • industry
  • education
  • outreach


Our award categories are varied and flexible to attract high quality nominations across all research areas, including new and emerging research, and institutions.

We welcome nominations that reflect and celebrate the breadth, geographic spread and diversity of our community. We particularly welcome nominees who are women and/or from ethnic minorities because they are under-represented. 2018 was another record-breaking year for IOP awards nominations and winners. We received the highest proportion of female nominations with a final 44% of the winners being female.

We also welcome nominations from those based in industry who have made contributions in an industrial or commercial context.

Nominations open every year in November and close in January. The selection is made by our Awards Committee, appointed and chaired by the president who reports the committee’s decision to our council.

Awards Dinner and prizes

Award winners are celebrated at the Institute’s annual Awards Dinner where they are presented by the president with:

  • their medal
  • a prize of £1,000
  • a certificate
Image of the President's Medal

President's Medal

Made on the recommendation of our president, this medal is for both physicists and non-physicists who have contributed to physics in general and the Institute in particular. 

Learn about previous winners
Isaac Newton Medal and Prize

Isaac Newton Medal and Prize

The Isaac Newton Medal and Prize is for world-leading contributions to physics by an individual of any nationality.

Learn more about the award
Max Born Medal

International Bilateral Awards

Our international bilateral awards are made jointly with physical societies in Germany, France, Italy and Australia.

Learn more about the awards
Paul Dirac Medal

Gold Medals

Our six Gold Medals recognise outstanding and sustained contributions by physicists of international renown to a wide range of physics.

Learn more about the awards
Image of Rosalind Franklin Medal

Silver Subject Medals

Our Silver Subject Medals are awarded annually to recognise and reward distinguished contributions to physics.

Learn more about the awards
Jocelyn Bell Burnell Medal

Bronze Early Career Medals

Our Bronze Early Career medals are for exceptional physicists in the early stages of their careers.

Learn more about the awards

Find out more