‘Global Challenges in Inorganic Chemistry’ (GCIC) is a free, virtual, half-day conference hosted by the OxICFM CDT. The aim of this student-led event is to encourage current undergraduate students to pursue graduate study in synthetic inorganic chemistry by showcasing inspiring and promising research from renowned groups from across the breadth of the field. Each year, a line-up of international speakers are invited, allowing the students to hear cutting edge science directly from the people who discovered it – an opportunity they probably would not otherwise get. Entirely organised by OxICFM CDT students, the aim of this annual meeting is to help improve understanding and foster motivation of graduate studies in inorganic chemistry.
This year's conference will take place on Wed 14th June, with four speakers lined-up, from different careers stages. They will be presenting the exciting science they work on, as well as a brief discussion of their personal journey through chemistry – from what motivated them to pursue chemistry beyond the undergraduate level, to how their career progressed and any barriers they faced.
The second edition of the GCIC summer conference took place on 22nd June 2022. The event featured talks from Prof. Clare Grey (University of Cambridge), Dr Patricia Rodríguez-Maciá (University of Oxford) and Prof. Kit Cummins (MIT), presenting on developing new batteries, semi-synthetic enzymes for energy conversion, and alleviating strain in organic molecules by incorporation of phosphorus. Each talk was followed by a short Q&A session, stimulating some interesting discussions from all involved. This provided undergraduate students with a chance to not only to experience a conference environment, but also to ask questions and interact with the speakers. After the talks, attendees had the opportunity to have an informal chat with current graduate students from the OxICFM CDT. Set-up in small groups and a relaxed environment, undergraduate students were able to clear any potential queries related to graduate studies.
The first edition of the GCIC summer conference took place on June 24th 2021, and was a huge success, with over 200 delegates registered and at least 65% of those being undergraduate students. The event featured talks from Teri Odom (Northwestern University), Danna Freedman (MIT) and Omar Yaghi (UC Berkeley) presenting on drug-loaded gold nanostars, quantum systems and the application of MOFs to harvest water from for example desert air.