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Ever wanted to know what the staff at the RSC get up to? In this blog, members of our graduate schemes describe some of the interesting (or unusual!) activities and projects they are working on...

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Just over six months into the Science Education and Industry (SEI) Grad programme and I am still enjoying every moment. I spent five months in the Education team and I’m about one month in to my Communications rotation.

The SEI Graduate programme has been a fantastic experience for me. Having had two years job experience beforehand, I wanted the chance to find something that I felt passionate and, more importantly, something I enjoyed doing. I instantly found this in the Education team, where I have been working on a series of projects and resources that form part of the RSC brand new education website Learn Chemistry website.

As I said to my colleagues within a month of joining the RSC, “I have learnt more in the last month than two years working in other jobs!” The experience and diversity of projects that graduates work on is second to none and I am continuing to develop and learn more every day. The Communications department is no exception. I have worked on a diverse range of projects from project managing our 2012 Policy lecture series to putting together articles for our internal newsletter.

Life in Cambridge has been great! I have been living here for about a year now and it’s a beautiful city to live in. Having previously lived in the picturesque town of Heidelberg in Germany, Cambridge was a nice transition.

Today is an exciting day for me as I have moved back to the Education team to take up a permanent position working on Learn Chemistry. Although I’m sad to leave the Grad scheme, this opportunity was too good to turn down. 

On Friday, I am going to Germany to film a new Faces of Chemistry video with BASF – watch the space!

 Richard is a Graduate working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Science, Education and Industry Department. To see if there are any current vacancies go to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' Blog or subscribe to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' by Email
Posted by Richard Grandison on Feb 6, 2012 11:59 AM GMT

Some of you may have noticed that I blogged before as a summer intern at the RSC ( and now I'm blogging in the Graduate Blog. Well, having really enjoyed my summer position here, I applied for the graduate scheme and joined the RSC as a permanent member of staff in early October. So I've now been here for four months full time (almost seven months if you count the internship!!) and it really has flown by.

Since October I have completed my Proofreading training, quickly progressed onto Editing training and now that is drawing to a close I am just about to start my Peer Review training. Along the way I have adopted a journal of my very own to look after - Integrative Biology ( - which involves co-ordinating the covers and building both the print and online versions of each issue.

I think organising the covers for the journals is one of my favourite jobs (so far) at the RSC, I get to invite authors to submit artwork for the covers of the each issue, and then choose which ones appear where in the journal (front cover, inside front cover, back cover). It involve
s a lot of communication with the authors, which I really enjoy, and it's always exciting to see the final product when we receive the first print copies of the issue.

Opporunities for career progression is something the RSC does really well- in just four months I have been given duties involving a lot of responsibility and roles which have a visible impact on the RSCs portfolio of journals. We are given lots of opportunities to take on new things, whether it's running journal covers or organising team events. It's a really good way to learn new skills and it looks really good on your CV if you've been proactive and really got involved. Certainly, it will help when it comes to moving on from the graduate positions and progressing through the company.

In other news, I'm running a stand at a careers fair at the University of Birmingham on the 29th of February, if anyone out there is interested in Graduate roles at the RSC, do come and ask me some questions. I'll be happy to talk about anything- about the graduate roles, about living in Cambridge, or even about what I'm having for dinner that night (probably a KitKat at Peterborough train station). I hope to have a lot of leaflets and information with me so if you're wondering what you are going to do after graduation, come along and find out about working with the RSC.

Alicia is a Graduate working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies go to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' Blog or subscribe to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' by Email
Posted by Alicia Parker on Jan 30, 2012 3:35 PM GMT

PhD student to Publishing Editor

Towards the end of my PhD, after a few months of indecision, I finally accepted that academia wasn’t for me and in the hope of gaining some direction and I attended an RSC postgraduate careers day. I learned about the graduate publishing scheme there and it sounded perfect for me, so I applied.

I was invited to the assessment day in Cambridge and I knew pretty much  as soon as I arrived that the RSC would be somewhere that I’d enjoy working; everyone I met was relaxed, helpful and friendly, plus the food we had for lunch was excellent! Even though I was very nervous to start with, I had a great day and got to meet some senior staff members as well as some current grads.

I’m now in my seventh month of the grad scheme and I’m fully trained in peer-review and proof reading. I’ve learnt so much since I started and there’s still loads to come. I’ve recently started my editing training which I’m really enjoying , I’ve also been assigned two associate editors to look after and given the task of putting together whole issues of journals.

As you can see, there’s quite a variety of skills needed to do all the different tasks of a publishing editor, which is all part of the fun of the job! I arrived here never having had a professional job and as well as learning all the specialist skills needed for this job I’ve gained general professional skills. On top of the work-related benefits, I’ve also met some great new people and have got to know a new city having moved to Cambridge from Bristol to start at the RSC.

Lucy is a Graduate working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies go to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' Blog or subscribe to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' by Email
Posted by Lucy Gilbert on Jan 20, 2012 11:55 AM GMT

Four and a bit months in, I have just completed a rotation within the Education team, and am 5 days in to my new rotation in Science.

The last 4 months at the RSC have been a non-stop learning process. It seems infinitely long ago that my working days were concerned with the operating properties of lasers and the intricacies of lab mug use etiquette, and it's a change that I don't regret in the slightest.

Working in the Education department I was lucky enough to be involved in a wide variety of projects. From helping put together the data for our Visual Elements Periodic Table, to managing the production of a new interactive game, and even getting to spend a day in North London video production suite working on the promo for our Faces of Chemistry videos.

Leaving was sad, especially as the new Learn Chemistry site is launched, but more than anything I'm looking forward to my time in Science. I'd been hoping to get involved in policy work, and by the looks of it, there's a lot to come.

Posted by Richard Walker on Jan 9, 2012 1:16 PM GMT

I have now been at the RSC for 2 months working as a development editor in the Inorganic Team (Dalton Transactions, CrystEngComm and Catalysis Science & Technology)
I joined the RSC straight from University having finished the experimental work for my PhD in August, so I’m now balancing working life with writing my thesis. The RSC is a very friendly place for graduates to join as there are a great number of us in the same boat!
The role as Development Editor is very varied and every day I am doing something completely different. For example yesterday I wrote blog posts for ‘Hot Articles’ in Dalton Transactions and liaised with board members about promoting the journal at different conferences. Today I’ve designed journal flyers and found some leads for commissioning review articles.
So far one of the most exciting parts of the job is having leading authors accept review invitations. It can be really time consuming looking for suitable authors and topics and then inviting them to submit a paper, so it’s great when they accept.
Switching from research to publishing has been a great change and I’ll keep you updated as I progress through the Graduate Training Scheme 
Matthew is a Graduate working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies go to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' Blog or subscribe to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' by Email 
Posted by Matthew Cude on Jan 6, 2012 11:59 AM GMT

I am just coming to the end of my first rotation as an SEI graduate at the RSC. I have spent the past 3 months working in Membership Sales which has involved visiting lots of universities and talking to students about the benefits of joining the RSC.

It has been a real baptism of fire into the working world! A lot of driving and training round the country, staying in hotels and early mornings to get through rush hour traffic to get to campuses far and wide! But I have had a great time and met a lot of lovely people on the road as well as learning so much about the RSC in such a short space of time.

Our visits usually involve arriving at the university around 8.30 in time to set up the stand before the first lecture at 9. We often get the opportunity at the start of lectures to talk briefly to students about why we are around and what we can offer them. At the stand we get people who are already members coming up for a chat as well as interested potential members.

As well as learning about the world of work I have been house-hunting and finally, after many weekends of searching, found one to buy. I cannot wait to stop doing my 80 minute commute into work!

Alex Kersting is a Graduate working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Science, Education and Industry Department. To see if there are any current vacancies go to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' Blog or subscribe to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' by Email
Posted by Alexandra Kersting on Dec 19, 2011 3:32 PM GMT

As soon as I started my graduate job as a publishing editor, I realised I had landed on my feet at the RSC. 
I began work in the General Chemistry Team in October having completed a Masters degree in Natural Sciences. The General Chemistry Team deals with Chemical Communications and Chemical Science, which is great as the articles span all subject areas of the Chemical Sciences and tend to be of high impact.  I began training in proof reading to start with and, by the end of November, I was given permission to proof read without assistance and publish articles on the web.  At the moment, I am really enjoying learning to summarise  articles into keywords and, from these, find scientists suitable to contact for the peer review process.  Hopefully, I will be independent in this task in a few weeks as well.

Although a new recruit, I already feel part of the team because of the people and the opportunities there are to socialise outside work.  Since starting here, I’ve played badminton with other RSC staff every week.  Recently, I’ve organised a meal out for all the members of the General Chemistry team, (which I think was a success) and I’ve been to the RSC Christmas party and to the staff Christmas lunch organised by the RSC’s own Sports and Social Club.

I’ve found that I really enjoy the tasks the job has involved so far, such as writing to authors to answer their queries and keeping up with and learning more about the chemical sciences through reading submitted articles.  It seems I have landed on my feet here with a career that suits me.

 Rowan Frame is a Graduate working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies go to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' Blog or subscribe to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' by Email

Posted by Rowan Frame on Dec 19, 2011 11:16 AM GMT

I have been to university, I have my degree – now what do i do?!

After finishing my degree in chemistry I decided I wanted to move on from the world of dirty lab coats and safety goggles. For me the RSC Graduate Scheme in Publishing was the way to go. Not only am I able to put the chemistry I know to good use, I am also able to learn about new and cutting-edge science.

In August I joined the Organic Applications team. It was all so daunting at first, but my team and everyone else I came in contact with made me feel so welcome. I started at the RSC on the same day as three other graduate scheme publishing editors. We all went through proof reading training together, which made starting the first stage of my training much more relaxed. Since then training has gone really well and after just four months I am now fully trained in both proof reading and editing.

A few weeks ago I began to embark on more in depth aspects of my training, such as peer review for Green Chemistry. I am finding this particular aspect very interesting and enjoyable. This month I have been involved with issue make up (Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, issue 1, 2012) and I find that it is really satisfying to take a set of individual manuscripts and compile them into an issue ready for print.

The job so far is varied and fascinating. I have enjoyed everything that I have done so far and I am looking forward to completing my training and taking on new challenges....I will let you know how I get on!

Rachel is a Graduate working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies go to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' Blog or subscribe to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' by Email

Posted by Rachel Jones on Dec 15, 2011 9:00 AM GMT

24a937e4d66d6a369b61949752b33332-original-bacheh.jpg Proof-reading, editing, peer review, putting issues together and being a point of contact for five Editorial Board members... The RSC Graduate Scheme in Publishing is still providing challenges eight months in.

When I wrote my last blog post, I was just starting to select referees and make decisions on papers. My peer review training has flown by since I started in April, as has the rest of the eight months I have been with the RSC! 

My favourite part of working in peer review is carefully reading the reports from referees and making decisions on manuscripts. It's great when you get an e-mail back from an author who is really happy with the decision to accept their manuscript, and it is sometimes a challenge to write e-mails rejecting manuscripts that ensure the author completely understands the decision. Every decision is important when authors have worked so hard to get their research to the point of trying to publish a paper.

The most recent new role I have taken on is being the point of contact for five Associate Editors (explained by Tamsin in the previous blog post). Like Tamsin, I also had the opportunity to meet some of them face-to-face last Monday at the Chemical Science Editorial Board Meeting. They were really friendly and had some fantastic ideas about taking our new flagship journal forward.

With all these new things to do, as well as editing and proof-reading, I'm busier than ever dealing with papers at every stage of the process. Certain tasks, such as making up an issue, are getting easier with experience. Others are different every time and I'm still learning so I'd better get back to work!

Helen is a Graduate working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Science, Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies go to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' Blog or subscribe to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' by Email
Posted by Helen Bache on Jul 18, 2011 9:39 AM BST
So I’m 9 months in and now it’s time to write my second blog about my job here!  Before I sat down to write this I was just writing another blog about a great paper we recently published about some exciting new anti-malarial drug leads in development at the University of Liverpool (you can see my entry soon over on the MedChemComm blog if you’re interested).  Looking back at my timesheet for the day I have also accepted a couple of papers after peer review and revisions.  We make the accepted version available online immediately so that the research community doesn’t have to wait for the final typeset version before finding out the exciting new work we are publishing every day.  Other papers have been dispatched to reviewers I’ve selected and yet others sent back to authors for revisions—every day is a mix, just like the weather in Cambridge today...  Anyway it is time I posted this and settled down to edit a Perspective article for Org. Biomol. Chem.! more...
Posted by Stephen Montgomery on Jun 22, 2011 5:13 PM BST
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