Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Fellowship Programme 2016

This refers to the Note by the Technical Secretariat, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), regarding a Training Programme under the OPCW Fellowship Programme 2016. It will be held at the OPCW Laboratory, The Netherlands.

The fellowship will involve the development of training materials and e-learning modules for the analysis of compounds related to precursors, degradation products, and by-products of chemical warfare agents.

The fellowship will be for a duration of six (6) months in 2016. The exact date of commencement will be mutually agreed upon by the selected fellow and the Officials of the OPCW Laboratory.

In this regard, the Philippine National Authority on the Chemical Weapons Convention (PNA-CWC) Secretariat invites you to nominate qualified candidate/s, to attend the abovementioned fellowship. Given the purpose and technical nature of the course, candidates will be initially screened by the PNA-CWC Secretariat according to the following criteria:

  1. Chemists by profession;
  2. Have a Master’s or equivalent degree in chemical sciences or engineering, accompanied by an advanced degree (PhD) or five (5) years of relevant experience in a related field;
  3. Have a laboratory experience/ practical experience in the analysis of organic chemicals using chromatography, mass spectrometry techniques, and organic micro-synthesis;
  4. Have a theoretical understanding of other analytical techniques such as infrared and nuclear-magnetic resonance;
  5. Have an experience in the development of training courses, and experience in the analysis of chemicals related to the CWC;
  6. Have good computer skills and proficient in the use of Microsoft Windows; and
  7. Have a good command of English, including excellent writing skills.

Applications from qualified female candidates are highly encouraged.
The pre-selection will be performed by the Officials of the OPCW Laboratory. Three (3) shortlisted candidates will be provided a Letter of Endorsement by their respective National Authorities in order to be eligible for the final selection process. The final selection will be made jointly by the Director of the International Cooperation and Assistance Division of the Secretariat and the Head of the OPCW Laboratory in April 2016. Only one (1) candidate will be selected for the fellowship offered under this programme.

The OPCW Technical Secretariat will provide tutorship, equipment, and infrastructure free of charge and will cover travel-related expenses including airfare and medical insurance. The selected fellow will also receive a monthly allowance to cover basic living costs while in The Netherlands which is set at EUR 2,000 (not taxable).

The recommended candidate is invited to complete the Fellowship Programme Application Form (ANNEX A) and submit it to the PNA-CWC Secretariat (by email to pna.secretariat@gmail.com) no later than 29 February 2016. The Fellowship Programme 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.

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.

The Hague Ethical Guidelines

A key component of supporting the peaceful uses of chemistry is the promotion of responsible conduct in the chemical sciences; and building on existing ethical standards in the global chemistry community, in partnership with scientific organizations and industry groups around the world.

As a way to further advance this important work, a group of more than 30 scientists and chemistry professionals from over 20 countries convened in The Hague to discuss the ethical practice of chemistry under the norms of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Among the 30 scientists is Dr. Patrick John Y. Lim who represented the Philippines. He is the current Chair of the Chemistry Department of the University of San Carlos in Cebu.

The result of two workshops was The Hague Ethical Guidelines which serve as a tool to assess existing ethical codes and inspire new ones in a way which is fully compatible with the aims of the CWC. It is also intended to build understanding between scientists and society, and among scientists themselves, about the culture and practice of responsible science.

The initiative for the drafting of the guidelines for chemical practitioners was initially put forward by Germany which was welcomed by the 19th Conference of the States Parties (CSP). During the 20th CSP, States Parties as well as the Secretariat and all relevant stakeholders were encouraged “to promote awareness of these guidelines and their possible application.”

Click here to read The Hague Ethical Guidelines.

RA Position for Development of Technology for Efficient Microalgae Production

Project Title: Development of Technology for Efficient Microalgae Production: Photobioreactor Design, Feed and High-value Metabolites
Project Leader: Fabian M. Dayrit, PhD
Project Venue: Ateneo de Manila University Department of Chemistry
Project Duration: Until Sept 2016

Qualifications:

  1. BS Chemistry degree
  2. Basic skills in chemical analysis and microbiology
  3. Preferably, background in simple electrical manipulations
  4. Good writing skills
  5. Has the initiative and willingness to learn new skills

For interested applicants, please email Dr. Toby Dayrit at fdayrit@ateneo.edu. Include CV and a list of 3 references.

Lea Macaraig

Lea Macaraig obtained both her bachelors degree in Chemistry and Computer Engineering, and masters degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the Ateneo de Manila University. She pursued a doctorate degree in Energy Science in Kyoto University, and is presently a post-doctorate researcher in the research group of Dr. Erwin Enriquez.  Her research interest is in the makeup, design, and architecture of materials used in energy sources, specifically photovoltaic cells under the PICARI Project (Philippines-California Advanced Research Institute) funded by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). They are working on the development of sensitized perovskite-based solar cells. Dr. Macaraig stressed the significant difference in budget allocation for science education and research. “But it’s in the good ideas. From good ideas you can do research even if you have a lower budget compared to your peers in other countries.”

The chemistry educator in Dr. Macaraig, safeguards her students become better equipped in the laboratory skills expected of them. “Secondary schools in the Philippines do not have good teaching laboratory practices.” She mentioned that focusing on skills training than concepts and will in turn make the students eager to learn, especially in her advanced chemistry classes. On the other side of the spectrum, there are students who might be anxious of learning chemistry. “You just need to guide them,” she added. Dr Macaraig hopes that the Philippine education would allot more time in a student’s formal education to research. “We do three or four years of lecture-lab concepts for chemistry majors, then do a one-year project at the end. That one year is short. In Japan, that one year is not enough.”

The present scenario in chemical industries requires refinement in the research experience qualification for employment. In other countries, she states that to be accepted in a certain industry position, the applicant must have earned at least a masters degree, and have considerable experience in research: in the Philippines, it is still at the bachelor’s degree level. Many bachelor’s degree theses have not yet delved deep enough.

“When I was younger, recalled my dad mentioned he is a chemist, I said I wanted to do his job.” I always accompanied my dad in the fields and in the forests. How do these play in Lea’s life explains why she is chemist today. In her spare time, Lea fiddles in aquaculture and agriculture. She also enjoys watching sports such as basketball and Formula One.