SEEDS4CD – Symposium to Experience, Exchange and Discuss on Spectroscopy for Chiral Differentiation
Chirality is of utmost importance in biochemistry, pharmacology but also in supramolecular chemistry and preparation, characterization and utilization of molecular chirality comprise a wide scientific field within chemistry. The community consists of (a) synthetic chemists, who are interested in developing new ways to make chiral molecules, (b) spectroscopists, who use different chirality-sensitive spectroscopic measurement techniques to elucidate and understand the molecular structure and intermolecular interactions of chiral molecules, and (c) materials chemists (in the wider sense), who use chirality as molecular property to control materials function such as, for instance, light-induced molecular motion.
Scientists from these different areas of chirality research meet regularly at international conferences such as the Intl. Symposium of Chiral Discrimination (in 2019 held in Bordeaux), the Intl. Conference on Chiroptical Spectroscopy (in 2019 held in Pisa) and the meeting Chirality at the Nanoscale (held in Ascona, Switzerland in fall 2019). There are also more specialized series such as the Intl. Conference on Vibrational Optical Activity (VOA, next to be held in Edmonton, Canada, in 2020). These conferences are great for PhD students to experience top-notch researchers talking about their highly interesting and innovative research. At the same time, the possibilities for PhD students to actively contribute to these conferences are typically limited to the presentation of a poster; talks are almost never given by PhD students but by established professors. Consequently, scientific exchanges between students is difficult as they must stand by their poster and so can hardly see the research of others. We strongly feel that such interactions are the most important aspects of conferences and should be more central to international meetings. We have therefore developed the idea of a conference on chirality that is intended particularly for PhD students and early-career researchers to present to a broad and international audience. They will be given the chance to discuss their results, seek help for open questions from their peers and potentially foster new collaborations.
Location: Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
Date: 26-29. May 2020
Local organizing committee:
Dr. Christian Merten
International Advisory Board:
Dr. Agnieszka Kaczor, Jagiellonian University, Krakow
Prof. Dr. Christian Johannessen, University of Antwerp
Prof. Dr. Julien Bloino, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa
The preliminary framework of the conference program is outlined below. It allows for about 35-40 contributed talks (17 min + 3 min discussion) by PhD students and young postdocs. Should we receive more abstracts than the program can accommodate, the afternoon of wednesday is reserved for 5 min teaser talks that are meant to attract attention for those contributions that we have to shift to a poster session. In addition to the contributed talks, the program will offer tutorial talks on spectroscopic methods, chiral separation and asymmetric catalysis given by young investigators from the respective fields.
The social program includes a BBQ, aconference dinner and an excursion to the Zeche Zollverein. Furthermore we will arrange a pre-conference meetup on Monday evening for those who are in the city and want to meet up with conference participants before the main event starts.
The costs and registration for PhD students and young postdocs
We are aware that conference travel budgets for PhD students are not large. Therefore, the conference (incl. the social program) will be free of charge for all contributing participants, ie. the PhD students and postdocs who present a talk/poster!
Besides having great sponsors that allow us to offer the conference program free of charge, SEEDS4CD will also provide financial travel support which should allow students to attend the meeting even if full financial support cannot be given their home institution. With the help of the “Fonds der chemischen Industrie” and the “RUB Research School”, we will give out 18 small support packages meant for European applicants (covering hotel accommodation, 4 nights monday-thursday) and 8 big packages for non-EU students (covering 4 hotel nights and up to 600 Euro to partially cover costs of travel).
Every participant on PhD level can apply for the travel grants. The awards will be given out based on financial need (“I cannot come if I don’t get some support!”) and scientific excellence of the applicant. Therefore, the application should be accompanied by a motivation letter (why is the conference interesting/ important for you), an updated CV (incl. awards etc) and a support letter signed by the PhD supervisor stating why the student should receive the grant. The letter should also contain a statement guaranteeing the applicant that the PhD supervisor does cover the remaining travel costs should the travel grant not suffice. Selection of the travel awardees will be made by the international advisory board upon recommendation by the local steering committee.
Deadline for abstract submission is January 17th, 2020. Later applications can only be considered should the program not be filled. Please submit the filled registration form together with your abstract via email to email@example.com. The reference letter by the PhD supervisor can be sent together or separately from the registration form, but it must be sent before the deadline. Notification of acceptance (abstract and travel grants) will be no later than February 1st, 2020.
The costs / registration for experienced scientists and non-contributing participants
We also welcome registrations by established PIs, who – for the spirit of the conference idea – will not be able to contribute with a talk but with lots of advices, discussion input and support. Please understand that we can also not offer the conference free of charge, but for a very low rate.
The conference fee is 150 Euro. It covers the full program with conference dinner, coffee breaks and excursion. Affordable, isn’t it. We kindly ask all the paying contributors to use the following registration system that will automatically issue an official bill: <Opens Nov 1st! – Let us know by email if you want to have a reminder!>.
Registration is open from February 1st to April 30th. Later registrations are only possible with a very-late bird fee of 150+50 Euro and by wire transfer.
This registration will also be open for all PhD students and postdocs who could not included in the conference program.
Bochum is conveniently reached by train from the airports Düsseldorf (~45 min), Cologne (~1.5 hrs) and Frankfurt (~2 hrs). Hotels in Bochum city center range between 60-90 Euros/night. We booked a room contingent at the IBIS Zentrum near the main station for the travel grant awardees, so we recommend trying to find a room there in order to make it our “conference hotel”. There is also a hostel in the city center, where you can book your stay starting from 34 Euro/night.
The Ruhr University is conveniently reached from the city center via the tram line U35. The conference will take place in the ZEMOS building, the home of solvation science in Bochum.