Sponsored by the Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC)

The Clara Benson Award is presented to recognize a woman who has made a distinguished contribution to chemistry while working in Canada.

View the Terms of Reference and list of Past Winners

The 2020 winner of the Clara Benson Award is:

Alison Thompson, MCIC
Dalhousie University

With a B.Sc. Hons(I) from the University of Leicester, UK, Alison Thompson received her Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield, UK, for catalytic asymmetric aziridination and epoxidation. After a NATO postdoctoral fellowship (France), further postdoctoral work at the University of British Columbia, and a 2001 NSERC University Faculty Award she reached Full Professor at Dalhousie University in 2009. Her work is recognized via the: AstraZeneca Award in Chemistry (Canada); Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines Young Investigator Award; 2018 Dalhousie Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision and Alumni Association Faculty Award of Excellence for Teaching; and 2019 AAU Award for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Leadership. Alison has served on the CSC Accreditation Committee, was Chair of the CSC Organic Division, and is currently Group Chair of the NSERC Chemistry Evaluation Group for Discovery Grants.

Alison’s research focuses on developing synthetic methodology involving pyrroles. She strives to provide a supportive lab environment where research excellence is paralleled by opportunities for trainees to explore professional development opportunities en route to first-choice careers. Furthermore, Alison leads the non-profit SuperNOVA, guiding the delivery of hands-on STEM programming to >16,000 youth annually with >40% being rural, low-income, newcomer, African-Canadian, Indigenous or hospitalized youth.

Past Winners

2019

Diane Beauchemin

Queen's University
Society: CSC
2018

Brigitte Guérin

Université de Sherbrooke
Society: CSC
2017

Ann English, FCIC

Concordia University
Society: CSC
2016

Yunjie Xu

University of Alberta
Society: CSC
2015

Laurel Schafer

University of British Columbia
Society: CSC
2014

Hélène Lebel

Université de Montréal
Society: CSC
2013

Jillian M. Buriak

University of Alberta
Society: CSC