Global Award

Introducing the award

The Elsevier Research Scholarship is intended to encourage exchange of ideas, expertise and techniques and cultivate the scientific dialogue which Elsevier, Organic Geochemistry and the European Association of Organic Geochemists (EAOG) believe to be fundamental to the advancement of research.



Johannes Hepp (Martin-Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg) is undertaking a PhD investigating the sedimentary archives of Lake Bichlersee in Southern Bavaria and Gemündener Maar in the Eifel in order to contribute to the Late Glacial and Holocene paleoclimatic reconstruction of Middle and Southern Germany.

The research scholarship will fund complimentary research to validate fucose as aquatic biomarker and to evaluate the biosynthetic fractionation factor of 18O for fucose. The aim is to validate firstly, whether or not aquatic macrophytes show clearly higher fucose amounts than the leafs of terrestrial plants. This will inform about whether fucose can serve as robust aquatic biomarker in future studies. Secondly, the isotopic signal which is imprinted in the aquatic macrophytes, algae and in the leafs of the terrestrial plants will be analysed, and thirdly it will be determined if the 18O biosynthetic fractionation factor of hemicellulose sugar biomarkers and compare it with literature data available for sucrose and cellulose biosynthesis.

Helen Habicht (University of Massachusetts Amherst) is investigating the biogeochemistry of a sediment core from Lake El’gygytgyn (Siberia), a unique 3.6 Ma lacustrine record and the longest continuous sedimentary record in the terrestrial Arctic, thus an extremely valuable source of paleoclimate information. Her research focus is on using branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) to reconstruct past temperature in the interval from 340 ka to 730 ka. In the process of this research it was noted that several samples contained unknown compounds, and Helen will use the research scholarship fund to identify these whilst spending time at the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ).


Meredith Jennings (University of Miami, USA) is studying the biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nutrients in the ocean. The ocean plays a significant role in the carbon cycle and is a major reservoir of Earth's reduced carbon. Her research focuses on better understanding the transition between dissolved and particulate organic carbon, one of the least understood carbon transformations in the deep ocean, through exploring marine organic polymer gel dynamics. With this scholarship, Meredith will develop her research in collaboration with Dr. Monica Orellana at the Institute for Systems Biology (Seattle, USA) to analyze polymer microgels and further characterize the massive reservoir of organic carbon (662 PgC) dissolved in the ocean.

Natalie Ludgate (Open University, UK) will be investigating pertinent research questions arising from her PhD which focused on recovery of higher plant biomarkers from clastic cave sediments in Hang Trống, northern Vietnam. Hang Trống lies within a transition zone of the South-East Asian monsoonal weather system making an ideal location to study the monsoon during the last glacial.. The funding will be utilized on a project titled: "Molecular and D/H composition of n-alkanes from higher plant leaf waxes in Vietnam: Implications for palaeoclimate studies using cave deposits" in which she will analyse modern plant samples from Vietnam, specifically n-alkane δD values from plants, from different environmental conditions (i.e. temperature, humidity and insolation). The analysis will establish the relationship between n-alkanes, vegetation type and environment. A successful representation of the modern δD values recorded within leaf waxes of modern plants will enable Natalie to re-evaluate n-alkane data obtained during her PhD from Hang Trống sediments and to further investigate palaeo-precipitation.

This project will form an interdisciplinary collaboration between The Open University, The University of East Anglia, The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, furthering understanding in the field of plant chemistry within South-East Asia.


The Elsevier Research Scholarships are given every year, normally to two young scientists (Masters, Ph. D. or recently qualified Post Doc), working in the field of organic geochemistry who would benefit from the opportunity to undertake a period of research which may be at their home institution or at a different university or commercial/industry laboratory. The Elsevier Research Scholarship is intended to encourage exchange of ideas, expertise and techniques and cultivate the scientific dialogue which Elsevier and Organic  Geochemistry believe to be fundamental to the advancement of research. However, the Elsevier Research Scholarship, unlike the EAOG Travel Scholarship is not exclusively for laboratory exchange students, but may support early-career scientists at their home institution. The award is proudly sponsored by the journal Organic Geochemistry and Elsevier.

Applicants should submit the following for consideration by the Elsevier Research Scholarship Awards Committee:

  • CV or summary of education/academic record
  • Outline budget breakdown to show how the funds will be used
  • Covering letter (maximum 1000 words) stating why they are a suitable candidate and how they would benefit from the opportunity to undertake the research
  • Proof of eligible status from their supervisor/tutor, lab head or institution; please see Terms & Conditions for further information
  • If applicable, proof that any necessary visas for the travel proposed is in possession

The deadline for applications in 2015 is 30th September, view full application details

Award and Ceremony

Each award will normally be for 2,500 EUR except in exceptional circumstances where one candidate is travelling much further from their home institution and will incur greater travel expenses than the other, the split may be reviewed.

The prize will be awarded at the biannual IMOG meeting (odd years) and at the Goldschmidt conference during intervening years (even years).