2016 Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium - Overview

2016 Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium

London, 22-23 September 2016

Group Picture at the 2016 Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium

It is that time of year again. We’ve just finished the 2016 Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium. This year the symposium was held in London at the New Scientist Live meeting. Every year, we meet some amazing up-and-coming chemists; hear excellent talks; and meet old and new friends from all over the world, this is a community, the Reaxys Prize Club.


As finalist Lauren Doyle (Piers group, University of Calgary) said: “You get to meet these people that are doing chemistry that you’re reading about and discuss the chemistry with them and build ideas together.” All the finalists are invited to join the Prize Club, to network and collaborate with any and all of the previous and future finalists. It is collaboration that drives research forward, so Prize Club membership is far more than just a memento of the event. As former finalist Andy Chapman (Kingston University) says “It’s a great network to be connected to. Starting out as an academic, it’s important to have a support network.”


The session was organized at the New Scientist Live in London. All 10 short-listed presenters impressed us with their research and their ability to engage the audience, receiving plenty of questions and compliments. Following their presentations we closed a keynote from Professor Philip Parsons (Imperial College London), who spoke about his experiences with innovation and entrepreneurship in chemistry, keeping the audience captivated; closing the Symposium on a high note.


Finally, it was time for the winners to be announced. According to Professor Barrett, choosing the three winners took considerable deliberation. “For all the candidates we took our time in evaluating how innovative and impactful their research is, how they chose to present it and how they answered our questions. There was much to discuss by the panel!”


We are thrilled that Jamie Hicks (Jones group, Monash University), Jiheong Kang (Aida group, University of Tokyo) and Pascal Ellerbrock (Trauner group, Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich) are the 2016 Reaxys PhD Prize winners.


Jamie said he was still in shock after the dinner. “All 10 talks today were so fantastic. I can’t believe I’ve won!” He had heard about the Reaxys PhD Prize from Victoria Blair, who was a finalist of the very first Prize in 2010. Her experiences as a member of the Reaxys Prize Club community inspired him to enter and he’s now looking forward to the opportunities for scientific collaboration it will bring.


Jiheong was equally happy to have won. “This is a very precious award. It is a great honor to get this. I think it might be my turning point.” Now at Stanford University, Jiheong is excited to drive his research forward, building on this success.


Pascal, now a research chemist at Bayer AG couldn’t help grinning as he expressed his gratitude to the committee. “Thank you for choosing this research out of all of the outstanding contributions that we’ve seen here today.” He’s one of the finalists who’s gone into industry while others stay in academia, illustrating how the Reaxys Prize Club helps to connect chemists in these two areas where research is driven forward.


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For more information, go to:

> Agenda of the 2016 Symposium