There is plenty of anecdotal evidence for the erosion of analytical chemistry as a discipline. This is impacted by faculty appointments, funding structures and perception of the field as being a service function. Additionally, as instruments become easier to use there is a mistaken belief in some industrial organisations that there is a reduced need for highly trained analytical specialists. There have been warning signs that the current, university chemistry curriculum, often with a does not address the needs of chemistry graduates and future employers and does not enable analytical practitioners to maximise the value of their work. The project will reflect on the interdisciplinary curriculum development efforts which has been the trend in many universities worldwide. This is a significant economic cost, considering that in many economies the most used practical skills of graduates is actually related to chemical analysis. A deep and fundamental understanding of analytical chemistry is required to foster the next generation of analytical scientists who have the insight and capacity to contribute to fundamental new developments in this field as well as the generation of new disruptive technologies.
The project will document the status quo in various regions of the world regarding the health of the discipline, proportion of professorships, funding and quality of analytical chemistry education. It will examine current attempts to address these shortcomings and offer some ways forward. The findings will be published in the form of white paper to support future curriculum development, funding and hiring decision.
A. The project will be launched on the 1st/2nd month after approval with an online kick off meeting. The first phase will include the formation of focus groups to explore the current status of analytical chemistry three key stakeholder communities: i, academia, ii, industry and iii, analytical practitioners. The focus groups will design a survey to provide a quantitative description of current status of analytical chemistry with a focus on education. It is expected that the surveys will be launched at 0.5 year into the project and carried out in close collaboration with NAOs and or other national stakeholder organizations. It is expected that the survey would be made available on several major languages.
B. The findings from the survey by the focus groups will be collated and presented on a (likely) face to face meeting around 1 year into the project. This will be the first time when the sectoral teams would meet and share findings. It is expected that in this meeting the main sectoral outcomes would be approved and or request for more data would be made (follow up surveys, more consultation etc)
C. 1.5 y into the project a drafting group will be formed to combine the sectoral reports into a final report which is expected to be completed by the end of the second year.
D. A report will be prepared for submission at the beginning of the 3rd year, and during the 3rd year an active dissemination campaign will be carried out. The outcomes of the project will be presented to stakeholder communities, at various topical conferences and forums. As part of the dissemination campaign editorials and other opinion pieces will be published in topical journals highlighting the findings of this study.
Project announcement published in Chem Int July 2020, p. 29
Page last updated 16 July 2020