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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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Hello from the Publishing side of the RSC! The graduate scheme in Publishing is a year long traineeship to become a Publishing Editor. The job involves all aspects of handling a manuscript, from when it's first submitted right through to when it gets printed in an issue. I've been here for over six months and have so far been trained in both of the main aspects of the job: the peer review process and technical editing.
I am currently working on the Materials Team, which handles three RSC journals: Soft Matter, Journal of Materials Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry. My team has about 10-12 people, and currently there are four of us at different stages of the graduate program. I came directly from a research job, and have had a steep learning curve in going from bench work to sitting in front of a computer all day. The best bit? Never having to run a column again! It's definitely interesting being on the other end of the peer review process, and seeing how and why manuscripts get rejected or accepted. I find the most interesting part of the job is when you first read a paper, you have to judge whether it's suitable for the particular journal within about five minutes. The next part is finding the reviewers, which can be easy on popular subject areas, but pretty tricky when it comes to quite obscure topics.
Apart from handling manuscripts there are also other projects that come up. For instance, I have just started blogging about Hot Articles in Soft Matter. I even tweeted for the first time ever, thus joining the 21st century finally!
 

Serin Dabb 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 Serin Dabb on Feb 1, 2011 9:28 PM GMT

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I am getting near the end of my rotation with the Communication Team. I have really enjoyed being involved in some of the activities been organised for the International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011). As some of you will probably already have heard, 2011 will be an opportunity for everyone everywhere to celebrate the achievements of chemistry and its contribution to the well-being of human kind. 2011 will also be an opportunity to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of Maire Curie’s Nobel Prize, the founding of the International Association of the Chemical Societies and the publication of Rutherford’s Theory of Atomic Structure.

The official launch of IYC 2011 takes place in Paris at UNESCO headquarters on 27th-28th of January. But there will be a chance to celebrate earlier by taking part in Woman sharing a chemical Moment in Time for breakfast at the Chemistry Centre on 18th of January. The Global Experiment – Water: A Chemical Solution will also be launched next year. Experiments will be conducted at 1000’s of schools to measure acidity, salinity and look at methods of water purification. The data obtained will be available online and form part of the biggest chemical experiment ever conducted. There will also be an opportunity to attend Our Children on Water art exhibition on the theme Water: Refreshment or Responsibility? I have been involved in the planning stages of this exhibition and I am looking forward to seeing the exhibition in London and tour many prestigious locations around Europe.

To participate in any of the events outlined above or get a global view of IYC 2011 check out the International Year of Chemistry  website.
Happy Christmas and all the best for IYC 2011!


Anne 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 Anne Horan on Dec 21, 2010 2:27 PM GMT

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November in the Member Networks Team has turned out to be one of the busiest times of the year. With the General Assembly and ChemCareers 2010 taking place in consecutive weeks, it’s been all hands on deck to deliver events the whole team can be proud of. For the first time, MyRSC was crucial to both and as the feedback comes in, the team is already making plans on how to improve next year. If you haven’t yet got around to giving your feedback, you can do so here for ChemCareers and here for the General Assembly.

Having had a couple of weeks to catch my breath and get back in to my Member Networks stride, I thought I’d mention the other parts of my job in the team. From day one, I was trusted to liaise with RSC members and coordinate projects with members of staff across different departments. A scary thought for someone new to the business especially when even the telephone system can be completely baffling! But, I was given all the support I needed and as I’ve settled into my role, I’ve been given more and more responsibility. From coordinating registration and funding for Student Chemical Societies to working more closely with Local Sections, I’ve been given lots of opportunities to get involved with RSC Networks. I’m even the editor of the monthly Networks Newsletter which from January will be making its first appearance on MyRSC.

In the run-up to Christmas (which made its presence felt today in the spectacularly decorated restaurant) and before my next rotation, I’ll be making sure all of my projects are completed or ready to hand over to the next graduate. In the last four months, Member Networks has been a great place to find my feet at the RSC and I’ve really appreciated all the support I’ve been given. To find out more about the different Groups which make up the Member Networks, take a look at the RSC website.


Sophie 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

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Posted by Sophie Boldon on Dec 1, 2010 3:40 PM GMT

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A huge part of the RSC is the diverse range of subjects that it covers. Its 9 divisions focus on a wide of chemistry that includes traditional subject areas such as Organic Division to wider applied areas such as the Industry and Technology Division. Each Division organises a wealth of activities to support their subject area, some of which I have had the opportunity to get involved in.

This has included everything from helping to run activities for small businesses with the Industry and Technology Division to organising lectures to inspire the next generation of chemists with Materials Chemistry Division. The recent lecture ‘Materials Chemistry at the Origin of Life’ by Professor Tony Ryan (University of Sheffield) proved to be an exciting journey through the world of the polymers that form the basis of all life. Professor Ryan spoke about the complexities of DNA and the potential for making muscles in the lab, complete with demos featuring jelly and bubble guns! Over 50 students attended this event at Burlington House in London and most left with a fresh perspective on a subject that many of them had yet to encounter.

Professor Tony Ryan will be delivering this lecture as part of a tour, the next event takes place at the University of Sheffield on Wednesday 8th December, for further information, click here.


Mindy 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 Sophie Boldon on Nov 17, 2010 5:39 PM GMT

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To say that the start of the academic year is a busy time for the membership sales team would be putting things mildly! Between university recruitment visits and ChemNet schools visits, the team are constantly out and about. It can be hard to be away so much of the time but overall it is a rewarding experience.

As the grad on the team, my main responsibility has been coordinating and carrying out ChemNet visits. ChemNet is the RSC's network for post 16 chemistry students, developed and run by the education team, the membership sales team promote the network and recruit members through schools visits. As part of these visits the benefits of studying chemistry and the career options it can open up are explained to the students while introducing them to the support the RSC can offer them through ChemNet. During August all the team were out training willing RSC members to be ChemNet Ambassadors to visit schools in their areas so as staff we have just a handful of visits to do.

My visits have taken me all over Great Britain! Along with improving my geography, it's been a great experience getting out into schools, learning about the problems facing teachers and getting a chance to inspire the young minds of tomorrow, with the added bonus of getting to see some of the most beautiful parts of the country.



Brigid 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

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Posted by Brigid Lanigan on Nov 8, 2010 6:22 PM GMT

I have been on the grad scheme at the Royal Society of Chemistry for over a month now working in the Communication Team. Commencing the scheme, I didn’t really know what to expect and I have to say the transition from student life to the working world takes some adjustment. Saying that I have enjoyed every minute and I have not been bored since I started. I have also realised that my project management skills gained as a PhD student have been invaluable on this scheme. The RSC really is a wonderful place to work, people are approachable and highly talented. I have gained so many skills that I know I made the right decision working on the scheme.

So far I have been working on an international art exhibition. I have seen this project take shape and had the opportunity to make contact with members of chemical societies all over Europe and Africa. I have also worked on producing and editing video material. I had the privilege of interviewing the CEO of the RSC, Richard Pike, before he delivered a public lecture at Burlington House entitled The Elements of Scientific Success. This lecture was part of The Story of London Festival, it covered the history of chemistry, the RSC and what the future will hold.

I was also involved in running Nuclear Policy Lecture at Burlington House. Lady Barbara Judge was the key note speaker; she had an amazing presence and gave an interesting and entertaining lecture. There was a lively discussion after the talk that really got people thinking about the issues that surround nuclear power. Four ChemNet members were in attendance, it was great to see younger people taking an interest in Chemistry.


Anne 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 Anne Horan on Oct 22, 2010 12:00 PM BST

I’ve only been at the RSC a short while (11 weeks to be exact) having hopped over from the dark place (otherwise known as Oxford) where I was finishing up a DPhil in Organic Chemistry. My first rotation has posted me in Member Networks and I couldn’t be more central to the action.

The Member Networks team look after a wide range of networks supported by the RSC. These include the Local Sections which are postcode based, the Interest Groups which cover any and every aspect of Chemistry as well as MyRSC – our very own professional online networking tool. Since I started in August, I’ve been involved in a variety of interesting projects. These have ranged from organising a conference day to brief new committee members on their role to putting together resource packs for the Local Sections so they can get involved with RSC activities more easily. I’ve also travelled to both ends of the country to meet members at careers talks and industry events.

As I approach the half-way point of my rotation in Member Networks, I’m looking forward to getting more involved in MyRSC. Having launched just over a year ago, it’s an exciting time at the site as we grow its base and influence. One of the most interesting projects coming up soon is ChemCareers 2010. For the first time, this well established ‘careers fair with a difference’ is going electronic. So from the 15th-19th November 2010, ChemCareers will be hosted exclusively on MyRSC. Registration for the event is free and there’ll be a whole host of information available as well as numerous ways to interact with employers and companies directly. There’s even a competition to win an iPod Touch! To register and find out more, visit the ChemCareers 2010 site on MyRSC.

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Posted by Sophie Boldon on Oct 12, 2010 2:11 PM BST

This grad scheme has offered me many new opportunities and experiences.  From meeting some of the top chemists in the country to getting breakfast cereal to follow a magnet, you never know what new projects you might be working on!  My favourite thing I have done so far has to have been working at the “Science and the General Election” debate at Portcullis House in Parliament.  Delicious buffet aside, this event was great not just in terms of the experience but also the atmosphere and its potential impact.

Each of the major political parties sent a representative (Adam Afriyie of Conservative Party, Lord Drayson of the Labour Party and Dr Evan Harris of Liberal Democrats) who gave their opening 5 minute pitches and then the floor was open to discussion.   As somebody who is pretty oblivious to the world of politics, I found it really interesting and informative.  There was the usual to-ing and fro-ing of political point scoring but some really important issues were discussed and real sense of each party’s position given.  It even inspired me to register to vote in the UK for the first time!

If you want to see what the evening was like, and possibly catch a glimpse of me running around with the roaming mic, the video is still online at http://www.rsc.org/ScienceAndTechnology/Parliament/Events/2010Election.asp


Brigid 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

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Posted by Brigid Lanigan on Oct 5, 2010 1:43 PM BST

The graduate scheme at the RSC allows you to work on a range of projects from day one. In my first four months here, I have managed to fit in everything from organising lectures to preparing articles to spending a day at Portcullis House in the Houses of Parliament.

During my first few months, alongside the other graduates on the scheme, I helped to organise a series of Policy Lectures linked to the top-ten challenges identified by the Chemistry for Tomorrow’s World Roadmap. As manager of the series, I was given responsibility of the overall organisation, including delegating tasks and managing the budget. As a team we’re in charge of everything from liaising with the speakers and the venue through to inviting audience members, designing the invitations and web pages and running things on the night. It’s been a good project that has involved working with staff from across the organisation and a great way to get to know everyone.

The most recent of these events, ‘Fundamental Science – Fundamental to Health’ took place in Edinburgh earlier this month. Both of the speakers, Prof Roger Tsien (Nobel Prize Laureate 2008, Chemistry) and Prof Anne Glover (Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland) delivered engaging talks on the importance of fundamental scientific research and the vital part that research must play in policy making. To find out more about forthcoming events in the Policy Lecture series, please follow this link: http://www.rsc.org/ConferencesAndEvents/RSCEvents/SciencePolicyEvents/Roadmap/index.asp


Mindy Dulai 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

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Posted by Anne Horan on Oct 5, 2010 1:42 PM BST

I have been on the RSC graduate scheme for a few months now and one thing it cannot be described as is mundane or monotonous. You really do get a chance to get involved with many different activities and aspects of the organisation and build on many important skills. You get to meet a variety of people, from Nobel Prize winners and politicians, to budding young chemists eager to find out more about what a future in chemistry could hold for them

I have been involved in a variety of different activities such as the organisation of large events like the RSC summer party, approaching and negotiating with companies for funding for outreach programmes run by the RSC and the RSC public events at the Chemistry centre in Burlington House. I have recently started a new rotation in which I get to do some science journalism which I am really enjoying

The working atmosphere at the RSC is great for graduates because the staff are very friendly and welcoming. You are given responsibility from day one and are treated like one of the team straight away and although you are definitely given challenging work, it is interesting and people are very approachable if you need a push in the right direction. This scheme is a really great way to engage with your creative mind and if you do have a good idea you are actively encouraged to share it. This is just a glimpse of the graduate scheme; other graduates would have worked on different projects and would have different experiences. To find out more about the kind of work the RSC does please follow this http://www.rsc.org/AboutUs/index.asp


Sotonye 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 Anne Horan on Sep 22, 2010 1:28 PM BST
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