Douglas Stephan named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

April 16, 2020 by Dan Haves

Professor Douglas Stephan has been awarded a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship. This prestigious honour recognizes mid-career scholars, artists and scientists who have demonstrated a previous capacity for outstanding work and continue to show exceptional promise.

The foundation awarded 175 fellowships this year, the program’s 96th. In all, 53 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields from 78 academic institutions are represented in this year’s class of fellows. 

Stephan is being recognized for his work in the activation of strong bonds by Frustrated Lewis Pairs (FLPs). He joins two other U of T researchers as 2020 Fellows and is one of only two 2020 Fellows in US & Canada in the field of chemistry.

"In these stressful times, the news of a Guggenheim fellowship was a delightful bit of good news," says Stephen. "To be counted among this rather diverse and select group is a terrific honor."

"I see this as a recognition of the stellar work that my group of graduate students, undergraduates, and postdoctoral fellows have done over the years. I am grateful to them, my colleagues and collaborators as well as to the University of Toronto."

The Guggenheim Memorial Foundation—which awards the fellowships—was established in 1925. According to the Guggenheim Foundation website, the purpose of the fellowship program is to “further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions.”

“It’s exceptionally encouraging to be able to share such positive news at this terribly challenging time,” said Edward Hirsch, president of the foundation. 

“A Guggenheim Fellowship has always offered practical assistance, helping fellows do their work, but for many of the new fellows, it may be a lifeline at a time of hardship, a survival tool as well as a creative one. As we grapple with the difficulties of the moment, it is also important to look to the future. The artists, writers, scholars, and scientific researchers supported by the fellowship will help us understand and learn from what we are enduring individually and collectively, and it is an honor for the foundation to help them do their essential work.”