The Rank Prize Funds

The Rank Prize Funds is a charitable organisation which seeks to recognise excellence in specific fields of research and reward innovators for their dedication and outstanding contribution. Charity no. 1183866. Company no. 11675628. 




We are pleased to announce the launch of the second round of the COVID-19 Response Funds. Hardship grants are available for final-year PhD students in Nutrition or Optoelectronics. Deadline for applications 31st May 2021. More information is available here.
We were saddened to learn that 1998 Rank Prize winner and Nobel Laureate Prof Isamu Akasaki, inventor of blue LED, has died aged 92. Read more here.

Professor Donal Bradley, the Chair of our Optoelectronics Committee, has been elected to the National Academy of Inventors (USA). Find out more here.
John Roundell Palmer, 4th Earl of Selborne, was Chairman of Rank Prize Funds for almost 30 years. He led the organisation through its formative years with wisdom, foresight and charisma. Read our obituary of Lord Selborne here.









 The Funds have as their objectives the advancement and promotion for the public benefit of knowledge, education and learning in all or any of the following sciences:

  • NUTRITION FUND (Human and Animal Nutrition and Crop Husbandry)   
    • Crop husbandry
    • Human nutrition
    • Animal nutrition (as distinct from animal husbandry)

    • The inter-face between optics and electronics and closely related phenomena.

The Funds were established by the late Lord Rank on the 16th February 1972, shortly before his death in March of that year.  Lady Rank died in 1971.

The Rank Prize

The Rank Prize is awarded every two years. The Prize acknowledges those individuals who have made a significant contribution to the sciences of human and animal nutrition or crop husbandry, on the one hand, and optoelectronics, on the other, where an initial idea has been carried through to practical applications that have, or will, demonstrably benefit humanity. 

The trustees are advised by two committees of eminent scientists and academics who, either directly or through their extensive contacts, are fully aware of developments in the two areas of science with which the Funds are involved. The trustees make decisions based on the advice that they receive from the committees. The chairs of the two committees are also trustees. 

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Other Schemes

Alongside the Rank Prize, the funds run a number of schemes in the the fields of Nutrition and Optoelectronics. Please see the Schemes menu for further information.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide funding outside these schemes, and unsolicited appeals cannot be  considered. 

Our normal office hours are 8am-4.30pm Monday to Friday.