IRDG Chalmers and Dent Student Travel Award

The Chalmers and Dent Student Travel Award has been established to recognise and support an outstanding PhD student through financial support to present their research to an international audience at the annual SciX meeting.  The award is named after two previous chairs of the IRDG, John Chalmers and Geoff Dent, in recognition of their continuing support for the IRDG and in particular for their support of students and early career researchers. Throughout their careers, both John and Geoff have been highly active in the development and promotion of the vibrational spectroscopists of the future in both academia and industry through mentoring, encouragement and inspiration.


2016 IRDG Chalmers and Dent Student Award Recipient

Carl Mensch, University of Antwerp

Carl Mensch obtained his Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Antwerp in June 2013. During his undergraduate studies, Carl’s passion for science was further developed throughout his summer jobs at the Molecular Spectroscopy Group in Antwerp, where he was introduced to the world of vibrational optical activity. Particularly, the symbiosis of theoretical and experimental approaches in physical chemistry sparked his interest.

In his Master thesis work under the supervision of Prof. dr. Christian Johannessen, Carl became submerged in the world of Raman optical activity (ROA) and the application of this spectroscopic technique to the structural studies of proteins and  other biomolecules. This initial work paved the way to a PhD in the Molecular Spectroscopy Group, where Carl currently is investigating the detailed relations between the ROA spectral patterns of proteins and how these can be informative about the solution structure of proteins. Ultimately, making detailed spectral assignments might aid in the comprehension of the poorly understood intrinsically disordered proteins that play central roles in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, which is the key goal of Carl’s PhD.



This student award will enable an outstanding student to attend and present their research, in the area of vibrational spectroscopy, in one the IRDG sessions at the SciX conference.


  1. This is an annual IRDG award which will be presented to an outstanding PhD student to allow them to attend and present their research on vibrational spectroscopy at the SciX conference.  The 2017 SciX conference is taking place in Reno, Nevada, USA (see
  2. The IRDG Chalmers & Dent award will consist of a guaranteed oral presentation in an IRDG organised SciX session, free registration and £500 towards travel to attend the conference.
  3. The student awardee must be a member of the IRDG on 1st January of the year of the award and still be a registered PhD student at the time of the SciX presentation. 
  4. The student must be carrying out research in the area of vibrational spectroscopy.
  5. Applicants must submit a copy of the conference abstract that they would submit to SciX, their CV and a supporting statement (no more than one side of A4 paper) outlining their achievements and why the attendance at SciX would benefit them.
  6. The deadline for applications will be the 31st March 2017 and applications should be sent to