CHEM21 Young Researchers Network

The CHEM21 Young Researchers Network (YRN) was established with the aim of:

  • Creating an environment to enable increased communication amongst our principle scientists i.e. PhDs and postdocs – current membership of over 40 individuals
  •   Encouraging more input/familiarity across work packages & share scientific insight across the WPs
  •   Creating an opportunity for face-to-face discussions in order to build this community
  •  Gaining input from this community on important topics and issues relevant to the CHEM21 project
  •  Gaining training e.g. on the metrics tool kit

YRN Activities

  • Face-to-face (F2F) events
  • Periodic newsletter including details of breakthroughs/exciting results; conferences; publications; industry & academic partner profiles
  • Internal on-line forum
  • Members area webpages including YRN biographies

1st CHEM21 Young Researchers Network (YRN) Meeting, York, UK

The inaugural meeting of the YRN was held in York in November 2013 and included research talks from academics, EFPIA members and a young researcher; training in the use of the CHEM
21 metrics tool kit; networking activities and brainstorming on potential routes to essential medicines. The meeting also aimed to encourage PhD students and Post-Doctoral researchers from across the consortium to get to know each other, find out about each other’s projects/research interests and look for areas of common interest. The activities were designed to encourage networking and communication. For this reason, Young researchers taking part in a team-building activityattendees were deliberately split into cross work package, cross institutional groups and frequently rotated to maximise mixing.

The programme included:

  • Application of the Metrics Toolkit to your research – case studies and interpretation of results
  • Preparing young researchers for 21st century industry – green chemistry and sustainability
  • Hot topics in green medicinal chemistry
  • Essential medicine workshops:
  • Networking activities


Feedback from the meeting was very positive – ‘Enjoyable, informative, met lots of new people, learned about other projects in CHEM21. Would definitely like to attend future meetings.’

YRN Workshop, 23rd September 2014, Graz, Austria

This training involved a blend of presentations, small group work and Q&A on Route Selection and Scale-up, and was delivered by John Hayler (GSK) and Andy Wells (CTC). The aim of the workshop was to consolidate training given at WP1 Workshop 1 (Manchester, Jan/Feb 2013) and the YRN Meeting (York, November 2013) by working through an example and expanding on scale-up issues and demands, including an introduction to SELECT criteria, safety and c-GMP. The training took the form of ca 1.5 hour exercise looking at synthetic routes to an API, and making a critical comparison of the route used for medicinal chemistry and the route selected for manufacturing. The YRN were divided into cross-WP groups to participate in small group work and then came back together for discussion and feedback.Young Researchers involved in small group work

The introduction to the workshop has been recorded, and this, alongside slides, references and presenters notes will form part of the process development topic in the CHEM21 Education and Training package, and will be made available to the public in future.

Feedback from the workshop was very positive – ‘“The content was good; a relevant, real-life example of the challenges faced in an industrial chemistry setting


Future YRN events & activities

  • RSA using bio-catalysis workshop in Stuttgart, April 2015
  • Joint webinars with NESSE and ACS GCI & other online training
  • Tailored training/workshops at F2F meetings e.g. Basic biocatalysis/biosynthesis training (for chemists)/Basic chemistry/green chemistry training (for biologists)
  • Training at AGM, Paris 2015
  • 1 to 1 assistance with greening reactions, particularly solvent related
  • Seek assistance of the YRN for prioritisation of topics/sub-topics and preferred delivery mechanisms for CHEM21 Education and Training package
  • Trial and feedback on E&T material developed