Top Sector Chemistry Student Competition 2016

NWO Chemical Sciences organizes the Top Sector Chemistry Student Competition, powered by the Top Sector Chemistry. Student teams from universities and universities of applied sciences are invited to submit ideas for creative research projects, focusing on societal or industrial challenges. The competition is open for chemistry students, but also for interdisciplinary teams with students in e.g. biology, physics, computer science, as long as the research question has a strong chemical component.

The aim of the Top Sector Chemistry Student Competition is to encourage student teams to explore a scientific solution for a societal and/or industrial chemistry-related challenge. The Top Sector Chemistry thereby aims to promote chemistry and chemical research among students.
Chemical research can provide solutions to many current societal and industrial challenges. The chemical sector therefore needs creative and motivated chemists, now and in the future. The numbers of chemistry-students are currently growing, but the chemical sector foresees a shortage of chemistry professionals in the near future. The Top Sector Chemistry therefore aims to stimulate scholars and students to enroll in chemical studies, and to promote chemistry students to enter the chemical research sector after their graduation. With the Top Sector Chemistry Student Competition, the Top Sector Chemistry tries to create stepping stones in the young careers of chemistry students.

Who can apply
Applications are submitted by teams of at least two and no more than three students, supported by their supervisors.
Students are enrolled in a Master’s programme at a Dutch university, or
in a Bachelor’s programme at a Dutch university of applied sciences, as a final-year student, or
a combination of options 1 and 2.
Per team, at least one of the students is enrolled in a chemistry(-related) programme.
Interdisciplinary research projects are highly encouraged, therefore students must work in research groups within different (chemical) disciplines, preferably in different departments and/or at different universities.
Student teams are supervised by their supervisors, who support the research plan proposed by the students. Supervisors are employed as (assistant/associate) professor at a Dutch university, as lector at a Dutch university of applied science, or have similar positions in a Dutch research institute.

What to apply for
The maximum budget for a student project for a period of two months is:
€ 27,000 for a project for three students
€ 18,000 for a project for two students
One can apply for budget for:
Student salaries. NWO assumes that students are employed as student-assistant according to CAO NU/CAO HBO, or under similar conditions.
Other costs (including consumables, use of equipment, project management, travel costs, etc.)
Granted projects must be running in May-June 2016

When to apply
Student teams can submit their applications (containing a short proposal and movie) until Thursday 25 February 2016, 14:00 hours (CET).

Admissible proposals will be processed and assessed by the assessment committee on the basis of the following criteria:
Societal (or optional: industrial) relevance of the research question
Innovative/creative character of the proposed solution
Quality and feasibility of the proposed research, including proposed budget
Presentation skills of the applicants
If industry / SME is involved in the project, this is considered as a bonus, as well as when a team consists of both students from universities and universities of applied sciences.

Proposals are assessed by a chemistry-broad selection committee, with members from academia as well as from industry. The selection committee discusses and ranks the applications based on the written applications, as well as the movies submitted by the students.
The NWO Board of Chemical Sciences and the Top Sector Chemistry together will decide about the granting of the student projects on the basis of the assessment committee’s recommended ranking and selection. Up to four student projects will be granted.
The student team with most promising results wins the Top Sector Chemistry Student Competition and receives a prize during the CHAINS 2016 conference, which will take place on 6-8 December 2016.

For more information, click here.