By David Evans, Scientific Affairs Director at Reed Elsevier Properties SA
The fuel efficiency of our cars depends on the relative reactivity of the hydrocarbons in the fuel; in 2013 a PhD student published a paper describing a new material that can filter out the molecules that make our cars less efficient. A year later, a different PhD student published work that makes it possible to watch the tiny structures inside cells moving around in real-time, using a microscope.
Rising chemistry stars like these will be tomorrow’s leading scientists, developing solutions to many of the problems we face today. Recognizing their work and supporting their careers is vital, and that’s exactly what the Reaxys PhD Prize is for. The best known and respected of its kind, the Prize has attracted almost 2500 submissions from more than 400 universities in its six-year history.
Every year, 45 finalists are selected out of hundreds of submissions from chemistry PhD candidates and researchers who have recently been awarded their PhD, in a process managed by a review committee of renowned chemists. The finalists represent the world’s best young chemists, and their work is showcased at an annual Symposium.
Submissions are now open for the 2016 PhD Prize, and we’re preparing to see even more outstanding and impactful research this year.
Imagine you’re just finishing your chemistry PhD and you’re standing at the foot of your career, wondering how you’ll be able to scale the mountain. You’ve done some really cutting-edge work already, but you have even bigger ideas. Now you need people to bounce them around with and a mentor to guide you.
The Reaxys PhD Prize gives exceptional young researchers a leg-up, helping them scale the difficult first part of their career and supporting them with lifetime benefits.
The two PhD students mentioned at the start of this article are previous PhD Prize winners and are now two of almost 300 members of an elite group – the Reaxys Prize Club. Each year the 45 new finalists are welcomed into the Prize Club, giving them the chance to network with some of the world’s best chemists.
The PhD Prize has been running since 2010, hence, Club members now hold a variety of positions in academia and industry, giving incoming members a great opportunity to find mentors and collaborators. Over 50 members are now in their first independent academic positions.
How it works
The 2016 PhD Prize is open to those who are in a chemistry PhD program or have completed their PhD after 1 January 2015, and who have published a peer-reviewed paper during their PhD. They apply online with their peer-reviewed paper, along with a CV (resume) and a letter of recommendation from their PhD supervisor.
Submissions are open until 8 February 2016, after this the review process will start, and once completed the review committee will select the 45 finalists. All 45 finalists automatically become members of the Reaxys Prize Club and a host of other benefits, including unlimited personal access to Reaxys and Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry and discounts on Elsevier Chemistry books and scientific conferences.
All the finalists are invited to attend the 2016 Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium. Before the symposium, the review committee will publish a shortlist of applicants. At the Symposium, all the finalists will present their research at a poster session, and the shortlisted candidates will give oral presentations. The three winners will be chosen after the oral presentations and will each be awarded a cheque for $2000.
Are you up for the challenge? We are looking forward to seeing the exciting new research being done by today’s rising stars and to welcoming a new wave of members to the Reaxys Prize Club.
To stay updated on the finalists, shortlisted candidates and the winners, visit the PhD Prize website.