Last updated 08/12/2022
You can submit projects, for which you want to make use of the EYCN resources.
You can apply using this form:
Please find information about the EYCN Projects:
You want to hear something about the latest chemistry research while walking the dog, washing the dishes, or doing your laundry? We have got you covered! In late 2020, the EYCN started a new science podcast to present current research topics in chemistry and related sciences to a general audience.
With this podcast, the EYCN wants to make current chemical research more accessible and demystify currently discussed science topics in the news. The target audience is not only chemists who want to explore topics beyond their own research, but also science-interested people in the general public. Each episode focuses on a highly discussed field or research topic. The EYCN gives a short introduction and interviews an expert in the field. Furthermore, they are highlighting some of the most interesting stories in chemical research in the last month.
The European Young Chemists’ Meeting – EYCheM
The European Young Chemists’ Meeting (EYCheM), the most relevant in-person scientific conference under the umbrella of EYCN, is a biennial event organized by and specifically devoted to supporting, connecting, and empowering European early-career chemists working across the chemical sciences.
The EYCheM collectively aims to:
- Bring together young chemists across Europe and allow them a unique opportunity to present, share and discuss their research across the chemical sciences in front of a global audience;
- Strengthen the visibility and confidence of young chemists;
- Enable young chemists to learn from each other, as well as from well-established academics and industrial representatives that could act as role models and become potential mentors;
- Discuss ideas, engage and foster prolific scientific and non-scientific interactions, and networking activities with peers, world-renowned scientists and professionals working at the frontiers of the chemical sciences;
- Build professional collaborative networks;
- Launch the seeds for fruitful and long-lasting collaborations;
- Provide an enriched personal and cultural exchange among young chemists;
- Expand the portfolio of soft transferable skills among early-career chemists by organizing soft skills’ workshops, CV clinics, meetings with industrial practitioners, among others;
- Assign a dynamic, inspiring, stimulating, inclusive, diverse, equitable, and memorable conference experience for young chemists.
The EYCheM already counts on three very successful editions. The first one held in Guimarães, Portugal, in April 2016 was organized by the Young Chemists Group (Grupo de Químicos Jovens – GQJ) with the support of the Portuguese Chemical Society (SPQ). The 2nd EYCheM, held in Bremen, Germany, in March 2019, was organized by the Young Chemists Forum (JungChemikerForum – JCF) supported by the German Chemical Society (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker – GDCh). After being delayed from 2021 to 2022 and ultimately having to be moved online, the 3rd EYCheM, which was organized by the young Swiss Chemical Society (ySCS) and their parent association the SCS, was held in January 2022. Despite taking place in an online setting the conference managed to attract a wider audience than ever and featured a healthy mix of world-renowned scientists like Omar M. Yaghi, Bettina V. Lotsch and Michael Gratzel while keeping the spotlight on young scientists.
Science for Policy
An overreaching objective of the Science Policy Team has been to provide a platform for young chemists to contribute to the policy-making process in Europe. Since such a platform has not existed previously, the initial milestone has thus been to set a path towards establishing it. As a result, early-career chemists would have a better understanding of policy-making as well as the opportunity for involvement, thereby having a broader impact on our society globally.
Some of the activities and initiatives lead by Science Policy Team:
- Supporting EuChemS in science (for) policy activities and identifying the opportunities for young chemists to engage with policy-makers in Europe.
- Providing a comprehensive overview of the activities and guidelines for the Delegates
- Contributing to a database of early-career chemists and their field of expertise
- information for surveys (such as the Employability Survey)
- Organizing seminars and workshops on topics related to policy advice. For instance, during the 15th Delegate Assembly in Sitges, an interactive “Science (for) Policy Session” took place. The main purpose was to identify key policy concerns, discuss options to actively engage, formulate strategies to address, and form a team for the European Youth Event (EYE).
- Communicating information about the projects and developments to the delegates and the public on different platforms, such as scientific journals, newsletters, and social media:
- Science Policy Handouts
- Articles – e.g. “The Role of Early-Career Chemists in European Policy-Making”
- Official letters to the EYCN Delegates
- Other guidelines and overviews for the team and young scientists
- Attending science policy events in Europe and abroad, such as:
- Pursuing independent collaborative opportunities and partnerships with academic, industrial, and governmental representatives (e.g. participation in events and dialogues around the initiatives and various legislations), such as with the European Commission and the National Science Policy Network, and others.
- Contributing to the “legislative process” in any appropriate capacity, such as through (a) actively monitoring the activities and the legislative process, as well as (b) providing expertise through the shared database of experts when required while keeping EuChemS informed.
- Striving to contribute to long-term sustainability in Europe as well as globally, such as through partnerships evolving around the European Green Deal and advocating for sustainability in education, as well as organising webinars and workshops on the topic.
The European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN) has hosted various webinars directed at a broad audience over the last years.
You can find detailed information about the individual series that were (co-)hosted by the EYCN below and in this article.
Mentorship: The Secret Key to Academic Life
Are you interested in learning more about mentoring, why we need mentors, and how to choose a good one? Then register for our upcoming webinar with Jen Heemstra!
November 10th, 5 pm CEST
Register here: eycn.eu/mentoring
Are you interested in industry-academia collaborations? Then, our upcoming discussion featuring everything from students over a start-up to an incubator and an international company is exactly the thing for you!
EYCN-IYCN Collaboration Webinars on COVID-19:
During the pandemic, the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN), had to find new and exciting ways of reaching our audience. Thus, the EYCN, in cooperation with the International Younger Chemists Network (IYCN), organised a series of webinars on COVID-19 and related topics. These webinars focused on dealing with COVID-19 (in terms of medical details, mental health, job hunting during the pandemic, and teaching) as well as various international awards relevant to early-career chemists.
Read more about this series in the article “Webinar Collaboration: COVID-19, Job Hunting and Awards” here.
CatalysisTalks – Early-career chemists presenting their work:
The European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN) and the Young European Catalysis Network (YEuCat) teamed up to start an online seminar series on catalysis research named CatalysisTalks. Each session of the series, which launched in Mid-May 2020, hosts three speakers from various countries and career stages with a particular focus on enabling early-career chemists to present their research.
Register for the series here (for free)!
Read more about this series in the article “CatalysisTalks – Bringing Research to the World during the COVID-19 Pandemic” here.
e-YCN@ECC Online Sessions:
The European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN) also hosted some of the 2020 in-person planned events online to continue supporting the young chemists’ community in remaining connected and keeping the interest in networking activities high. Among them, the e-YCN@ECC event was organized due to the postponement of the 8th EuChemS Chemistry Congress (ECC8) until 2022. The online event included multiple sessions about the future in chemistry, different career opportunities and professional development for young scientists in academia and industry. Particular attention was devoted to grant writing through two workshops aimed at providing useful tips for writing competitive MSCA and European Research Council grant proposals.
The following sessions are available to view online:
Each year, the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN) organizes a meeting with all national representatives from the member societies of the EYCN: the EYCN Delegate Assembly (DA). A large part of the DA is spent on the major events that the EYCN organizes, such as the EYCN Symposium at the EuChemS Chemistry Congress (ECC). The EYCN Board and Teams present ongoing projects and make plans and set goals for the new ones. There is always room for inventive and creative ideas, especially for the ones that promote chemistry in one way or another.
The Delegate Assembly offers a great networking opportunity to young chemists across Europe. The current and future professionals meet every year to discuss ideas among themselves and always strive towards the common goal: supporting younger chemists.
17th Delegate assembly – Part 2 Lisbon, Portugal
The first in-person DA in two years took place in Lisbon, Portugal, following the 8th EuChemS Chemistry Congress. It was organised in collaboration with the Instituto Superior Técnico Lisboa and hosted by our former delegate Carina Crucho. The delegates were welcomed by the Chair of the EYCN, Maximilian Menche, and the EuChemS President Prof. Floris Rutjes. The assembly has also elected a new board member: Tomasz Swebocki, who will be leading the Global Connections Team until the end of the current board’s term. The agenda was full of productive activities, and was enriched by welcoming several guests. Among them were Laura Howes, European Correspondent for C&EN, and Dr. Nineta Hrastelj, EuChemS Secretary General.
17th Delegate assembly – Part 1 Online
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN) Board, together with the local organizers of the planned Delegate Assembly (DA) and European Young Chemists Meeting in Fribourg, had to cancel the in-person meeting. The 17th DA of the EYCN took place online on the 26th of March 2022. The short agenda served as an update for the delegates to bridge the time until the next in-person meeting in Lisbon, Portugal. The Delegates also elected a new Science Team Leader, Nathan Carpentier from Belgium.
16th Delegate Assembly
The 16th Delegate Assembly of the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN) took place in an innovative online format on 12th – 13th March 2021. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the EYCN Board, together with the local organizers of the planned Delegate Assembly and European Young Chemists Meeting in Fribourg, had to make this decision and transition into finding appropriate solutions for the different sections of the event e.g., the election of the next EYCN Board. Nevertheless, the team always wanted to maintain a productive atmosphere with an enjoyable evening networking session and, as in previous years, was very happy to have the strong support of the European Chemical Society (EuChemS). You can find the new members of the Board here.
15th Delegate Assembly
The 15th Delegate Assembly of the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN) took place in Sitges, Spain, on January 26–29, 2020. It was organized in collaboration with the Catalan Chemical Society (SCQ). During the DA, EYCN Delegates and board members presented their activities and discussed future plans. Moreover, this event hosted a number of special guests, including Prof. Javier García Martínez, the President-Elect of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), Prof. Pilar Goya Laza, the President of the European Chemical Society (EuChemS), and Dr. Haymo Ross, the Editor-in-Chief of Chemistry—A European Journal. The EYCN also held an election for a new treasurer and new Science-Team leader. See the new members of the Board here.
14th Delegate Assembly
The EYCN Board together with the German Chemical Society (GDCh) and the German Young Chemists (JCF) organized the 14th EYCN Delegate Assembly and the 2nd European Young Chemists Meeting (EYCheM) in Bremen (Germany) from March 17-20, 2019.
In addition to the Delegates and former Board Members, led by the Chair, Alice Soldà, who provided overviews of their respective activities, a number of guests contributed to the event. Among them, the GDCh CEO, Wolfram Koch, welcomed the EYCN delegates and guests virtually. Furthermore, the EuChemS President Pilar Goya Laza, and Science Communication and Policy Officer, Alex Schiphorst, talked about the role and activities of EuChemS. In addition to the European partners, the American Chemical Society (ACS) was represented by Jackie O’Neil and Juan Carlos Aponte-Santini from the ACS-YCC. Other insightful contributions were provided by Bibiana Campos-Seijo, Editor-in-Chief of C&EN, Catherine Rawlins (Conference Presence Chair of IYCN), Anni Siltanen (ECEG and the Finnish Chemical Industry), Christian Bürger (CEO of chembid GmbH), and Matthias Kleff from Evonik Industries, long-term partner and sponsor of the EYCN.
The 14th DA was also accompanied by the elections for the new, biennial Board of EYCN. Antonio M. Rodríguez García, a postdoctoral researcher was elected Chair of the EYCN for the next two years, taking over from Alice Soldà.
13th Delegate Assembly
The EYCN Board together with the young chemists section of the Italian Chemical Society (SCI – Gruppo Giovani) have the pleasure to announce that the 13th EYCN Delegate Assembly (DA) will take place in Torino (Italy) from 6th to 9th of May, 2018.
You can find all the necessary information and links here.
12th Delegate Assembly
In May 2017 the 12th Delegate Assembly was held in Heraklion, Greece. The event had representatives from 18 different European countries who discussed the work done by young chemists during the past year and made future plans. New Board was elected (see the new members of the Board here).
11th Delegate Assembly
In April 2016 the 11th Delegate Assembly was held in Guimarães, Portugal. The event had representatives from 16 different European countries who met to discuss the work of young chemists from the past year.
EYCN Scientific Contribution Prizes
CRF-ChemCYS Poster contributions awardees:
Chemical Synthesis & Methodology
1. Ewoud Vaneeckhaute, KU Leuven
2. Lauren Voets, KU Leuven
3. Givi Kalandia, KU Leuven
Energy & Environment
1. Sander Stulens, Hasselt University
2. Tianhui Ma, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
3. Adriaan Ampe, Ghent University
1. Laura Van Bossele, Ghent University
2. Denis Dochain, UCLouvain
3. Mariana Arreguin Campos, Hasselt University
Chemistry meets Biology
1. Nada Savic, KU Leuven
2. Elias Denijs, Ghent University
3. Pepijn Heirman, University of Antwerp
Chemical Processes & Reactor Technologies
1. Milan Den Haese, Hasselt University
2. Cedric Devos, KU Leuven
3. Amine Lataf, Hasselt University
Renewables & Sustainability
1. Marthe Nees, University of Antwerp
2. Jonas Mortier, Ghent University
3. Hippolyte Meersseman, UCLouvain
8th Conference of Young Chemists of Serbia:
At the Conference, there was 113 participants presenting their scientific work as poster (103) and oral (10) communications. The participants are younger of 35 including chemistry students and young researchers.
At Conference, there were one plenary lecture, two invited lectures, on-line workshop, three sessions of oral communications and two poster sessions. Michael Menche, the chair of EYCN, presented on-line workshop about importance of Networking in Europe.
Award for the best oral presentation was given to Dr. Dušan Ružić, teaching assistant from Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade. Award for the best poster presentation was given to Nađa Živanović, student of Faculty of Sciences, University of Belgrade.
The Summer Meeting of the YSPCS was held in Szczecinek (Poland) from June 29 to July 03, 2022. The conference was attended by participants from numerous academic centers all over Poland.
The EYCN Scientific Contribution Prize for the best communication presented at the Convention was awarded to Zuzanna Błocka, for the communication: ‘Bioremediation potential of selected fungal species in the light of studies on their’ metabolome’.
Joshua-Philip Barham (Universität Regensburg) was awarded the EYCN Special Sponsor Award at the 3rd European Young Chemists’ Meeting for his oral presentation entitled ‘Electrifying’ Photocatalysis: A New Frontier in Light-Powered Organic Synthesis.’ .
Sofiya Runikhina was awarded for an oral presentation “Carbon Monoxide as a Powerful Tool in Catalytic Reductive Addition”, A.N. Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
Alexandra Sysoeva was awarded for a poster presentation “Prediction of Catalytic Activity of Azolium-Based Halogen Bond Donors: An Experimentally Verified Theoretical Study”, Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Elien Derveaux (University of Hasselt) was awarded the EYCN Best Poster Presentation Award at the ChemCYS 2020 conference for her poster “NMR-metabolomics to predict therapy response of resectable lung cancer: The Prolung Project”.
Nikolaos Eleftheriadis (University of Leuven) was awarded the EYCN Best Poster Presentation Award at the ChemCYS 2020 conference for his poster “Deciphering the mechanism and dynamics of SecA using single molecule FRET”.
Sarah Lentink (University of Leuven) was awarded the EYCN Best Poster Presentation Award at the ChemCYS 2020 conference for her poster “Development of hybrid polyoxometalates as building blocks for supramolecular assemblies of biomolecules”.
Andrea Guidetti (University of Antwerp) was awarded the EYCN Best Poster Presentation Award at the ChemCYS 2020 conference for his poster “Mechanistic studies of photocatalysed thyolation reaction of aryl-allyl species”.
Greg Quintens (University of Hasselt) was awarded the EYCN Best Poster Presentation Award at the ChemCYS 2020 conference for his poster “Muconic esters as bio-based building block towards polyacrylate mimics”.
Jochen Vanderspikken (University of Hasselt) was awarded the EYCN Best Poster Presentation Award at the ChemCYS 2020 conference for his poster “Near-infrared optical cavity organic photodetectors”.
One poster presentation prize was awarded during the Merck and Elsevier Young Chemists Symposium in Rimini (Italy) to Mariarosaria Tuccillo for the poster “Ab initio study of Li-rich layered transition metal oxides as positive electrodes in Li-ion batteries”.
Jovana Tubak (University of Novi Sad) was awarded the EYCN Best Poster Presentation Award at the 7th Conference of the Young Chemists of Serbia for her poster presentation “Influence of the ionic liquids based electrolytes on the tomato growth, development and oxidative stress”.
Anđela Mrkobrad (University of Novi Sad) was awarded the EYCN Best Oral Presentation Award at the 7th Conference of the Young Chemists of Serbia for her oral presentation “Synthesis and characterization of new cadmium(II) complexes with 2-acethylpyridine-aminoguanidine”
Katharina Pfennigbauer (Technical University Vienna) was awarded the EYCN Poster Award at the 18th Austrian Chemistry Days for her poster “Synthesis of clickable N-heterocyclic carbenes for the functionalization of gold”.
One poster presentation prize was awarded during the 11th International Conference on Chemistry for Young Scientist Mendeleev 2019 in Rimini (Italy) to Julia Strelnikova for the poster “Rh(III)-catalyzed reaction of pirazoles with 1-sulfonyl-1,2,3-triazoles”.
Róbert Rončák (Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice) was awarded with the EYCN Poster Award at the 71st Congress of the Slovak and Czech Chemical Societies for his poster “Nové sacharidové tiomočoviny ako potenciálne organokatalyzátory”.
María Pilar Martínez Moral (University of New York at Albany) was awarded the EYCN Best Oral Presentation Award at the SEQA 2019 for her oral presentation “Advancements in the determination of biomarkers of oxidative stress: the importance of a multiparameter approach”.
Andrzej Kałka (Jagiellonian University in Cracow) was awarded the EYCN Best Oral Presentation Award at the Spring Meeting of SSPTChem 2019 in Ustroń for his oral presentation “The burning Gordian knot of UV-Vis spectroscopy, namely the compensation of the temperature effects in a few words”.
Hadi Hachem (University of Rennes) was awarded the EYCN Best Oral Presentation Award at the Journées Scientifiques Société Chimique de France – Bretagne et Pays de Loire for his oral presentation “Single component conductors based on Ni(R-thiazdt(s))2 complexes”.
Malte Fischer (Carl-von-Ossietzky University Oldenburg) was awarded the second price of the EYCN Oral Presentation Award at the 21st JCF Frühjahrssymposium & 2nd EYCHeM for his oral presentation “Electrophilic cationic complexes of group 4 metals: establishing novel types of tridentate ligands and their applications”.
Veit Hänsch (Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology) was awarded the first price of the EYCN Oral Presentation Award at the 21st JCF Frühjahrssymposium & 2nd EYCHeM for his oral presentation “Metal-free synthesis of pharmaceutically important biaryls by photosplicing”.
- One poster presentation prize was awarded during the Merck Young Chemists’ Symposium 2019 in Rimini (Italy) to Veronica Caratelli for the poster „Origami multiple paper-based electrochemical biosensors for pesticide detection“.
- One oral presentation prize was awarded during the XV Simposio de investigadores jóvenes de la Real Sociedad Española de Química in Toledo (Spain) to Ángela Martín-Serrano Ortiz.
- One poster presentation prize was awarded during the 2nd Chemistry Conference of Graduate, Postgraduate students and PhD candidates at the Aristotle Universityde in Thessaloniki (Greece) to Despoina Andriotou.
- One oral presentation prize was awarded during the 6th Conference of the Young Chemists of Serbia in Belgrade (Serbia) to Marta Spasić, and one poster prize was awarded to Stefan Pavlović at the same event.
- Two poster prizes awarded during the Congress SCF18 in Montpellier and Toulouse (France) to Angelica Laurita and Vuk Vuković.
- One poster prize awarded during the 70th Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium in Queen’s University Belfast (Ireland) to Vincent Duong.
- One poster prize awarded during the 6th Portuguese Young Chemists Meeting (PYCheM) in Setúbal (Portugal) to Pedro Ferreira.
- One poster prize awarded during the 35th Spring Meeting in Skorzęcin (Poland) to Zuzanna Lawera.
- One oral presentation prize was awarded during the 20th JCF Spring Symposium in Konstanz (Germany) to Sebastian Lamping, and two poster prizes were awarded to Anna Gruszkiewicz and Natalia Wilkosz at the same event.
- Six poster prizes awarded during the 14th Chemistry Conference for Young Scientists (ChemCYS) in Blankenberge (Belgium) – partial financial support by the EYCN.
- Seven oral presentation prizes awarded during the 10th Trobada de Joves Investigadors dels Paisos Catalans in Barcelona (Spain) – partial financial support by the EYCN.
- One poster prize awarded during the 25th Anniversary of Students’ Section of Polish Chemical Society Winter Meeting in Bydgoszcz (Poland) to Natalia Jurga.
- One best oral presentation prize awarded during the 1st Conference of Graduate and Postgraduate Chemistry Students in Thessaloniki (Greece) to Afroditi Vlachou.
- One poster prize awarded during the Merck Young Chemists’ Symposium (MYCS) in Milano Marittima (Italy) to Francesco Distante.
- One poster prize awarded during the 5th Conference of the Young Chemists of Serbia in Belgrade (Serbia) to Dragana Barjaktarević.
- One poster prize awarded during the 17th Austrian Chemistry Days in Salzburg (Austria) to Nastaran Hayati.
- Two poster prizes awarded during the 69th Irish Postgraduate Colloquium in Dublin (Ireland) to Aishling Dunne and Vuslat Buk.
- One poster prize awarded during the V Portuguese Chemistry Students Meeting Chemistry (ENEQUI) in Coimbra (Portugal) to Andreia Espirito Santo Cunha.
- One poster prize awarded during the 22nd Hellenic Chemistry Conference in Thessaloniki (Greece) to Constantina Diamanti.
- One poster prize awarded during the 4th Conference of the Young Chemists of Serbia in Belgrade (Serbia) to Sanja Stojanović.
- One poster prize awarded during the 4th Journeys of Mediterranean Young Researchers (JMJC) in Nice (France) to Elena Bovio.
- Two poster prizes awarded during the Merck Young Chemists Symposium (MYCS) in Riccione (Italy) to Claudia Caprini and Flavio di Pisa.
- One poster prize awarded during the 4th Royal Society of Chemistry Early Career Symposium in Glasgow (UK) to Stacey Webster.
- Two poster prizes awarded during the 15th Sigma-Aldrich Young Chemists Symposium (SAYCS) in Rimini (Italy) to Claudia Cioce and Arianna Rossetti.
- One poster prize awarded during the 3rd Conference of the Young Chemists of Serbia in Belgrade (Serbia) to Stepan Stepanović.
European Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST)
- COST Action CM1407 “NATCHEMDRUGS” International Award for a young chemist awarded to Elena Lenci in Kracow (Poland) in 2017. Topic: “Challenging organic syntheses inspired by nature – from natural products chemistry to drug discovery”.
Prof. Bruno Botta (chair of COST Action), Elena Lenci (COST Action 2017 winner), Dr. Federico Bella (EYCN representative)
- COST Action CM1201 “Biomimetic Radical Chemistry” and the ITN “ClickGene” Prize awarded to Stella Totti in Grenoble (France) in 2016.
Ilya Vorotyntsev (EYCN representative), Stella Totti (COST Action 2016 winner)
The main purpose of the “EYCN Short Stories” is to bring the latest scientific achievements closer to other scientists, who are working in a different field of chemistry (or a related discipline) and the general public, as well as to promote the early-career researchers.
Therefore, we would like to invite you to explain your latest published work in such a short story. The text should be written in a fashion so that a non-scientific person is able to understand and should follow the requirements below:
- The story should be written in a Word document. Any submitted story should not exceed 150 words in the main text (i.e., the words for title and the references do not count). The number of references, which are supporting the content of the story should not exceed three (3). The references should be cited in the following order: Author(s), Journal title year, volume(issue), page numbers.
- The author(s) in references should be listed with Initial(s) and last name, separated by comma (e.g., A. Author1, B. Author2).
- The text can also contain an original figure or reproduced figure that meets the requirements in Section 3.2.1 of the Rules and Regulations (regarding copyright).
- The application should include information about the author (last name, first name, age, country, affiliation, level of education, date of completion of PhD (if completed) and e-mail address).
- The documents should be sent to per e-mail.
- In the case of acceptance, the story might be published on our website, social media, and the EYCN newsletter.
Please check the full rules and regulations.
We are looking forward to your contributions. Please feel free to contact us for further information or if you have questions!