The European Young Chemist Network (EYCN) is a group of the young members – those under the age of 35 – within the European Association of Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS). Founded in 2006 with 12 member chemical societies, we have grown to encompass chemical societies from 24 countries spanning Europe, Russia, and Israel. We have spent the last six years working towards promoting the exchange of knowledge and experience among chemists in academia and industry, as well as in professional and government bodies across Europe.
We aim to support young chemists as they begin their careers, with activities aimed at developing soft skills and broadening career possibilities. Our ongoing projects include the European Young Chemists Award, the EYCN Poster Award, and the Young Chemists Crossing Borders (YCCB) exchange program, run with the American Chemical Society Younger Chemists Committee (ACS-YCC). The YCCB program is designed to give young chemists the opportunity to visit an international conference on the other side of the Atlantic. The application process for the third round of the YCCB will be starting soon, sending six European students to the 246th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in Indianapolis next September. Check out www.eycn.eu for updates and for more information.
Another long-term project is providing a career-oriented program for young chemists during the EuCheMS Congresses. This last August, at the 4th EuCheMS Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, EYCN was given the opportunity to build on its previous successful Congress activities and to hold “EYCN Career Days: Making Chemistry Work for You”. This program was kicked off with a Science Speed Date session, organized with the help of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society) Careers Service. Over 300 young chemists were able to talk to representatives from companies BASF, Bayer, and Evonik about jobs and job vacancies; talk to managers from chemical societies such as the American Chemical Society and the Royal Chemical Society (RSC) about careers in event management, networking or publishing; and to get advice from DFG (the German Research Foundation) and Contact Singapore about finding ways to find funding and employment in Europe and Asia.
Above: Standing room only at the career day seminars of the EYCN at the 4th EuCheMS Congress in Prague.
Day two of the Career Days program started on a high with a standing-room-only presentation from Professor Santiago Gomez-Ruiz, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain, about scientific writing. The standard was maintained by Sarah Hobbs of the RSC, who gave a talk about putting the skills learned during your chemical education to good use in influencing your career, and Dr. Marta Agostinho from the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England, UK, who spoke about using online social media to your advantage. Attendees of the EYCN program also had the privilege of having a talk from Professor Alexandre Quintanilha, University of Porto, Portugal, an international name in the area of bioethics. In conjunction with the soft skills seminars, we held CV Clinics with experienced HR managers from Evonik Industries, who gave tips for job applications, writing cover letters, preparing for interviews, and checking CVs.
The success of the Prague program has given EYCN the opportunity to run activities at smaller events. We will be hosting another EYCN Career Days workshop in November to coincide with the graduation of the Euromaster Measurement Science in Chemistry summer school. We hope to be able to create a catalogue of workshops and seminars so that we can cater to our members needs more effectively, and we hope to bring all of this experience to the 5th EuCheMS Congress in Istanbul in 2014 to make the EYCN program even bigger and better.
For more information on us or on our activities please check our website, www.eycn.eu, or follow us on Facebook to see photos from Prague.
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