ILCS Early-Career Award: The Michi Nakata Prize

The Michi Nakata Prize was established by the ILCS in 2008 to recognise a discovery or singular outstanding achievement by an early career scholar in the liquid crystal field. The prize is funded by the Michi Nakata Foundation, which was created by her parents, Kyoshi and Yasuko Nakata, and friends, after Michi’s untimely death in 2006.


  • The Award is for contributions to the field of liquid crystals. Eligible research will have been carried out and published while the candidate worked as a postdoctoral, industrial or academic researcher, within a five-year period following their highest academic degree, but excluding work performed as a student (the award-winning work will have been performed while the nominee was a postdoctoral scholar, or while an employee in industry or a government laboratory).
  • The nominee must have received the highest academic degree during the five calendar years preceding the year of the Conference in which the Award is to be made (for 2024, eligible nominees must have completed their highest degree during 2019-2023).
  • The discovery or significant advance serving as the basis of the nomination must have been published with a publication date during the two calendar years preceding the year of the ILCC in which the Award is to be made, and up to February 15 of the year of the ILCC.

The Prize

  • The award includes a framed certificate from the Society with a citation of the awardee’s achievements.
  • A cash prize to be determined by the Michi Nakata Foundation ($2,500 (subject to change) distributed as a $1,500 award and $1,000 towards travel and accommodation expenses).
  • The Award will be announced publicly at least six weeks before the ILCC begins.
  • The Award will be bestowed and the candidate recognized at the ILCC Awards Session. (S)he will be also invited to present a 20 minute talk and to submit a description of the Award winning work for publication in “Liquid Crystals Today.”
  • The Award will also include an ILCC registration fee waiver and an invitation to attend the Awards Dinner.
  • The awardee will receive a 2 year ILCS membership

Nomination Procedures

  • Nominations may be made only by members of the ILCS, and must be submitted no later than the 15th of March in the year of the ILCC at which the Awards are to be made. Members of the Honors and Awards Committee may not nominate candidates for this Prize. Only one nomination is allowed by any single individual.
  • Incomplete nominations may be returned/rejected without consideration.
  • The nomination (submitted by completing the on-line Submission Form) shall include:
  1. A recent CV, including contact information, publications, and patents;
  2. A note from the candidate consenting be a nominee;
  3. The nomination letter (maximum one page), citing the discovery or significant advance, should describe the candidate’s role in the research, and indicate where the results were published;
  4. Copies (pdf) of the publication or publications reporting the discovery or significant advance;
  5. Letters seconding this nomination (up to three seconding letters).

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