Cultivating the next generation of chemists


Imagine for a moment the vast, wild garden of chemical research. Its flowers, its saplings, and its great oaks – all part of a larger ecosystem that is nourished and challenged by the environment in which it grows. In research, as in a garden, diversity and cultivation are key. With space to grow, and nutrients, researchers may flourish.

ChemPubSoc Europe is leading a campaign to highlight and support up-and-coming researchers from the ground up. As publishers of 14 high-quality scientific journals and the international ChemViews Magazine, the organization works with established researchers to discover and cultivate early career researchers so that they too may have their time in the sun.

 

Showcasing early career researchers

At the forefront of publishing in the chemical sciences, ChemPubSoc Europe journals are promoting up-and-coming talent in numerous Virtual and Special Issues. In these endeavors, as with other journal activities, Board Members play a critical role in selecting contributors.

 

Young Talent CPSE
Caption: ChemPubSoc Europe features young talent in numerous Special and Virtual Issues.

 


In 2018, the ChemPubSoc Europe journals ChemBioChem and ChemCatChem launched Virtual Issues to showcase the work of early career researchers. ChemBioTalents presents publications by rising stars who will shape the future of research at the interface of chemistry and biology, and the Young Researcher Series (YRS) Virtual Issue recognizes key figures who will influence the future of catalysis, including independent early career researchers who have received notable prizes or awards.

Chemistry-A European Journal has a long tradition in supporting and promoting young chemists. In 2014, the journal published a Young Chemists Special Issue (YC) in honor of recipients of the European Young Chemist Award (EYCA). Associate Editor of Chemistry - A European Journal, Pamela Alsabeh, says: "We are continuing our commitment to young chemists with a second edition that has a wider focus not only on the participants in the EYCA but also on young and emerging scientists from around the world." The Young Chemists Special Issue 47 is published at the end of August 2018 and will be promoted at the upcoming 7th EuCheMS Chemistry Congress (7th ECC) in Liverpool by Editor-in-Chief Haymo Ross.

ChemPlusChem established the Early Career Series (ECS) in 2013 to support up-and-coming researchers. Corresponding authors included in this ongoing Virtual Issue are shaping the future of interdisciplinary research in the chemical sciences. In her editorial ChemPlusChem Champions Early Career Researchers Editor-in-Chief Marisa Spiniello recalls the history of the series with enthusiasm.

As part of their combined 20th Anniversary Special Issue "Celebrating the Past, Present and Future" EurJIC and EurJOC are pleased to highlight young talent in a double issue 20-21/2018. Former EurJIC Chairman, Prof. João Rocha from the University of Aveiro in Portugal, warmly endorses the issue, saying: “This Anniversary Issue is outstanding; very broad in scope, interesting papers, and an excellent promise for the future.”

Later in 2018, readers can look forward to a Virtual Special Issue published by EurJIC and the Division of Inorganic Chemistry of the Italian Chemical society. The issue will present Microreviews authored by former and recent prizewinners of the prestigious Nasini Medal (NM), which is awarded annually to a talented young Italian inorganic chemist.

 

Rewarding talent from the ground up

The International Chemistry Olympiad is an annual event that is at the pinnacle of chemical competition for school students globally. It is also the seed from which careers in chemical research grow. This July, ChemPubSoc Europe contributed toward the prizes of the three overall winners, and the gold medalist pool at the 50th International Chemistry Olympiad.

At the tertiary and academic levels, ChemPubSoc Europe sponsors events and prizes at conferences, symposia, and meetings worldwide, and it is the patron of several prestigious awards that recognize deserving early career researchers.

 

Award timeline CPSE
Caption: ChemPubSoc Europe distinguishes early career researchers

 


The European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry (EurJIC) together with the Wöhler-Vereinigung of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) established the EurJIC –Wöhler Young Investigator Prize in 2013. Every two years, this award is given to a young independent researcher working in the field of Inorganic Chemistry, for an excellent scientific publication of which the candidate is the corresponding author. In 2017, the winner of the €1500 award was Fabian Dielmann from the University of Münster.

The Young Investigator Award was created by the EuChemS Division of Organic Chemistry in 2017 and is sponsored by the European Journal of Organic Chemistry (EurJOC). This award recognizes the scientific contribution of promising European organic chemists under the age of 40. The winner is selected by an international panel from participants of the EuChemS Organic Division Young Investigators Workshop. Silvia Osuna from the University of Girona received the 2017 Young Investigator Award and is due to deliver her award lecture at the upcoming 7th ECC. The awardee for 2018, Allan Watson from the University of Strathclyde, will be presented with his award at the 7th ECC.

The ChemPubSoc Europe Early Career Award was established by ChemPlusChem to recognize outstanding principle investigators who are active in multidisciplinary chemistry-based research. The winner is selected from among young academics who have participated in the journal's Early Career Series Virtual Issue, and the €2000 prize allows the recipient to present a ChemPubSoc Europe Early Career Award lecture at an international conference. In 2018, Jun-Long Zhang from Peking University was the winner of this prize, which will be presented in September 2018, in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the 10th International Conference on f-Elements (ICFE-10).

 

Cross-pollination

As the publishing arm of 16 European chemical societies, ChemPubSoc Europe encourages dialogue with established and early career chemists through educational seminars and workshops across the globe. Notable among these activities in 2018 was a two-day Early Career Researchers Meeting with 17 young researchers. Organizer of the event and Editor-in-Chief of ChemViews Magazine Vera Köster says: "We wanted to learn from young scientists about what the next generation of chemists expects from publishers." Köster and workshop attendee Hannes Mikula, a principal investigator from the Technische Universität Wien, presented the findings of the workshop at a June meeting of the ChemPubSoc Europe owners for further action.

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow"*

And we do. ChemPubSoc Europe's activities demonstrates a commitment to young and more seasoned researchers alike. After all, it takes a community to grow a garden big enough to feed the world.

By Kim Meyer, with contributions from ChemPubSoc Europe colleagues and editors: Eva Wille, Vera Köster, Catharina Goedecke, Greta Heydenrych, Ruben Ragg, Michael Rowan, Sandra González-Gallardo, Pamela Alsabeh, David Peralta, Marisa Spiniello, Rachel Schmidt-Radde, Charlotte Gers-Panther, Preeti Vashi, and Anne Nijs.


*Icon of the screen and stage, and an avid gardener, Audrey Hepburn (1929--1993).

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