The Cornforth Fund for Chemistry was established to honour life achievements of former University of Sydney and School of Chemistry students Professor Sir John Cornforth and his constant collaborator and wife Lady Rita Cornforth. Sir John was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1975 for research on the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalysed reactions. The Fund works to continue the strong tradition of chemistry at the University of Sydney by supporting international collaboration, scholarships, research and teaching in the areas of chemistry pioneered and inspired by Sir John and Lady Rita Cornforth. To achieve these goals, the Cornforth Fund organises and supports the short-term appointment of prominent international researchers to undertake research and postgraduate teaching at the University of Sydney.

The School of Chemistry produces a bi-annual newsletter for alumni and friends. Back issues can be found here.

Foundation history

Make a donation

The following fund operate through the generous financial support of its donors to fund visits to the School of Chemistry by eminent scientists, generally from overseas. Donations are tax-deductible and will be gratefully acknowledged. To make a donation, simply download a donation form (see link below). An official University receipt will be forwarded to you shortly after.

The University of Sydney has Authority to Fundraise (CFN10369). The University of Sydney ABN 15 211 513 464

Donation form


  • Professor David MacMillan, Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, USA. (2018)
  • Professor Brian Stoltz, Department of Chemistry, Caltech, USA. (2017)
  • Professor Steven V. Ley, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK. (2016)
  • Professor Andrew Holmes, Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. (2015)
  • Professor Bert Meijer, Distinguished University Professor in Molecular Sciences and Professor of Organic Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. (2011)
  • Professor Benjamin G. Davis, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. "Sugars and Proteins: Strategies in Synthetic Biology". (2008)
  • Professor Roeland J.M. Nolte, Department of Organic Chemistry, Institute for Molecules and Materials, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. "Bio-inspired Architectures by Programmed Assembly." (2005)
  • Professor Lewis N. Mander, Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University. ''Enabling Strategies for the Assembly of Complex Polycyclic Natural Products." (2004)
  • Professor Devens Gust, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University. "Mimicking Photosynthesis." (2003)
  • Professor K. Barry Sharpless, The Scripps Research Institute. "The good fortune of sailing in the wake of John and Rita Cornforth: Being taught and inspired by the chemistry of life." (2002)
  • Professor Craig J. Hawker, IBM Almaden Research Centre. "Chemical opportunities at the nanotechnology frontier - from microelectronics to biotechnology." (2002)


 Professor Max Crossley


Professor Maxwell Crossley
Academic Director
School of Chemistry
F11 - School of Chemistry
The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia
Room 514
T: +61 2 9351 2751
F: +61 2 9351 3329

Professor Kate Jolliffe


Professor Kate Jolliffe
Secretary, The Cornforth Fund
School of Chemistry
F11 - School of Chemistry
The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia
Room 515
T: +61 2 9351 2297
F: +61 2 9351 3329