Two Research Fellowships in Analytical Chemistry Skills Development

This refers to the Note by the Technical Secretariat, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), regarding the Two Research Fellowships in Analytical Chemistry Skills Development. The programme is organized by the Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (VERIFIN). The fellowships will be held at the VERIFIN Laboratory in Finland.

The programme is designed for relatively young chemists with relevant practical and theoretical experience in analytical chemistry/ bioanalysis or synthetic chemistry. The fellowships will be for a duration of six (6) months starting in the spring of 2016.

The Philippine National Authority on the Chemical Weapons Convention (PNA-CWC) Secretariat[1] would like you to recommend 1-2 qualified candidate/s, a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Specialistand/or a Synthetic Chemist, to attend the abovementioned programme. Given the purpose of the course, candidates will be carefully selected by the PNA-CWC Secretariat and the OPCW Technical Secretariat according to the following criteria:

NMR Specialist

  1. Have a practical experience in analytical chemistry, including sample preparation and analysis methods of compounds related to chemical weapons agents;
  2. Knowledgeable in both NMR spectroscopy and information technology;
  3. Have a practical experience with computers and basic software; and
  4. Have a good oral and written command of English.

Synthetic Chemist

  1. Should have a practical experience in organic synthesis and gas chromatography;
  2. Should be knowledgeable of organic reactions;
  3. Have a practical experience with computers and basic software; and
  4. Have a good oral and written command of English.

Applications from qualified female candidates are highly encouraged.

Two (2) candidates will be selected for the fellowships offered under this programme in two (2) phases:

  1. Pre-selection of the candidates will be made before 19 February 2016; and
  2. Final selection by the OPCW will be made before 29 February 2016.

In this context, it should be mentioned that VERIFIN will pre-select at least four (4) candidates for the fellowships, whose applications will be forwarded to the OPCW. The Director-General of the OPCW will select the research fellows to be supported by the OPCW, based on the recommendation of the Review Committee. Applications shall comply with the requirements of the OPCW Fellowship Programme, details of which are available on the OPCW website (www.opcw.org).

VERIFIN will provide tutors, equipment, and infrastructure free of charge; while the OPCW will cover travel-related expenses including airfare, accommodation, daily allowances, and medical insurance.

The recommended candidate is invited to complete the Application Form (ANNEX A) and submit it to the PNA-CWC Secretariat (by email to pna.secretariat@gmail.com) no later than 04 February 2016. The Application Form must be accompanied by the following requirements:

  1. Up-to-date curriculum vitae;
  2. Essay (NOT exceeding 300 words) outlining the objectives the candidate wishes to achieve and the type of work experience he/she hopes to acquire during the period of the fellowship;
  3. Recommendation letter from the supervisor of the candidate at the institution where he/she is currently working, indicating how the training will be of benefit to the candidate’s present position, institution, and country; and
  4. Scanned copy of the personal identification page of the applicant’s valid passport.

The Secretariat will provide a Letter of Endorsement in order to be eligible to apply for the programme. Incomplete requirements or insufficiently detailed applications will not be considered by the PNA-CWC Secretariat.

Should there be queries or clarifications on this programme, the contact person is Ms. Nazrin Camille D. Castro at email address castro.nazrin@gmail.com.

Click here to download the Application Form.

Olivia Erin Buenafe

Olivia “Oui” Buenafe’s research is focused on natural products chemistry with application
in drug development and she is presently involved in the Tuklas Lunas Project by PCHRD (Philippine Council for Health, Research, and Development) along with Dr. Fabian Dayrit, Dr. Nina Rosario Rojas, and Dr. Merab Chan. “We are looking into screening select plants such as turmeric and see if we could get any bioactives in there that could help mitigate degenerative diseases that come with ageing.” She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City as the first straight BS/MS Chemistry graduate and obtained her doctorate degree from the Katholiek Universiteit Leuven.

Dr. Buenafe’s research experiences here and abroad made her more aware of the real essence of the word research. “You realize that the word research has two parts: ‘re’ and ‘search.’ You don’t usually get it right the first time, which is why it’s re-search. You have to search for [the answer] again. It’s not a direct thing. You have to try different ways in attacking the problem to come up with a solution.” She relates this to her experiences as a chemistry teacher in the Ateneo de Manila University: “…there’s no tried and tested way in going about teaching the different branches of chemistry. There are many different styles, and they all work. It just depends on who you’re teaching. It’s also not a one way thing. It goes both ways.” By giving her students what she knows, Oui gains insight about her interests and the students’ passions as well.

Like most researchers in the country, she hopes for greater visibility of studies done in the country. More importantly, she adds that studies and development of chemistry education is required for the cultivation of a culture of science in the Philippines. “Not just for the chemistry majors, but for the lay persons as well. A dream of a researcher is to be able to communicate to ordinary people about what they’re researching on especially in the field of chemistry, and most importantly in the field of drug discovery and research. Not just the technical persons in campus, but those outside as well, and how they would benefit from it.”

“I also do hand lettering in my spare moments. That’s how I de-stress,” the amateur calligrapher in her retorted. She sees the art form as both a hobby and an analogy to her classes. Whilst teaching analytical chemistry laboratory, she views precision in writing akin to laboratory practices. “Every stroke, every movement is deliberate.”

Submissions Open For The 2016 Reaxys PhD Prize

Recognizing the brightest young chemists of the future

New York, December 8, 2015, Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, has announced that submissions are now open for the 2016 Reaxys PhD Prize. Now in its seventh year, the Reaxys PhD Prize is open to talented PhD students or recent graduates conducting original and innovative research in chemistry that demonstrates excellence in methodology and approach. Since its introduction in 2010, the Prize has nurtured advances in chemistry by giving young chemists worldwide who have produced truly ground breaking research the recognition and opportunities to both extend their network and share knowledge.

The 2016 Prize is open to any student who is either currently in a chemistry PhD program or who completed their PhD after January 1, 2015. To apply a candidate needs to submit a published, peer-reviewed article, a CV (resumé); and a letter of recommendation from their PhD supervisor. With previous winners from Asia, Europe and the Americas, the 2016 winners could come from anywhere in the world. Finalists for the Prize will join the Reaxys Prize Club, a unique, international network of chemists from all research areas and career paths which also provides travel bursaries for members to meet and study with one another. The finalists will receive personal and unlimited access to the rich content of Reaxys and Reaxys Medical Chemistry, and are invited to present their research at the Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium; where the three winners will each receive $2,000 in prize money.

The deadline for submissions is February 8, 2016. After this date, submissions will be reviewed for: originality, innovation, importance and applicability of the research; the rigor of approach and methodology; the quality and clarity of published work; and supporting evidence of these accomplishments from the recommendation letter and CV. This process is managed by a board of internationally renowned chemists. The board will subsequently select the 45 finalists. These finalists will be invited to attend the 2016 Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium, where all finalists will have the opportunity to meet and share their research.

Every year we are impressed by the quality of entries to the Reaxys PhD Prize, and I am sure 2016 will be no exception,” said Dr. David Evans, Scientific Affairs Director at Reed Elsevier Properties SA. “In six years we have received nearly 2500 submissions from across the globe. The Prize is an opportunity to identify and support some of the brightest minds in the youngest generation of research chemists, and entry to the PhD Prize Club, helps all 45 finalists network and share knowledge giving them a running start to their chemistry careers.

Read more about the 2016 Reaxys PhD Prize on Elsevier Connect. For more information about the Reaxys PhD Prize and to submit an entry, go to http://inspiringchemistry.reaxys.com/phdprize.

Reaxys empowers chemistry research and development by providing structure, property and reaction data, experimental procedures and literature. It is designed to support early drug discovery, education, material selection and synthesis planning; its capabilities include data export and integration to enable harmonized analysis of in-house and external data. Reaxys improves R&D productivity by delivering the facts the way chemists need them. For more information about Reaxys visit www.elsevier.com/reaxys.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirectScopusElsevier Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey— and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 33,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries. www.elsevier.com.

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