These monthly newsletters aim to keep all member networks updated with news describing how to get involved, as well as information of relevant events, services and new initiatives from the RSC Networks team. If you require further information about any of the items in the newsletter, or have any comments or ideas for content please contact the Networks team.

Committee members and representatives are encouraged to disseminate this information, as appropriate, to colleagues and other members. E-alert request forms can be downloaded from the Useful Forms and Documents page. Up to date lists of members can be obtained by emailing the Networks Team.

Networks Newsletter – May 2020

Dear colleague,

Welcome to the Networks Newsletter, our way to keep our member network committee members and representatives up to date with RSC activities, services and new initiatives.

COVID-19 and isolation measures require different ways of working, we have made changes to our programmes and activities to continue to provide the support you need. If you want to know more about anything contained in this month's newsletter, or have suggestions for ways to support our community, please let us know.

This month’s Newsletter contains:
  • Upcoming Deadlines
  • Upcoming Events
  • Spotlight: Launching an online seminar series
  • Communications from across the RSC
  • Latest updates on our policy work
Upcoming Deadlines
11 May
12 May
14 May
26 May
28 May
01 June
09 June
11 June
Close of applications for Outreach Fund
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 21 May to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 21 May
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 4 June to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 4 June

Close of call for nominations for the 2020 Journal of Materials Chemistry Lectureship
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 18 June to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 18 June
Upcoming Events
07 May
14 May

21 May
21 May
04 June
18 June
Member e-alerts
Chemists' Community Fund Curing Your Finances Webinar
Member e-alerts
Mental health webinar: Kindness – Building a better chemistry culture
Member e-alerts
Member e-alerts
Spotlight: Launching an online seminar series

The Main Group Chemistry Group have recently launched a highly successful online seminar series showcasing different early career and established scientists every fortnight.

Dr Michael Cowley from the University of Edinburgh has put together a guide for members who want to set up a similar online seminar or webinar series to support their community while following advice of social distancing measures.

Read the guide on the Networks Newsletter blog, and if you have any questions you can contact Dr Cowley through the the Main Group Seminar website or via

Read Dr Cowley's guide to launching an online seminar series here

Communications from across the RSC

Here are updates about events and activities from our Outreach, Careers, Events, International, and Research & Innovation teams, as well as the Chemists’ Community Fund and RSC Publishing.

The chemical sciences’ COVID-19 response
Can you help the chemical sciences’ COVID-19 response, or do you need support from us or other organisation to overcome challenges posed by the crisis? We have collated information and resources on how you can help and where to find support. This information is updated regularly as new opportunities arise and additional support becomes available, keep an eye on our social media channels as well for the latest updates.

We are also recognising the chemical science community’s role in our response to COVID-19. We’ll be sharing your stories, and we want you to share more with us - either by email at, or using the hashtag #ChemVSCovid on social media.

Can you help the COVID-19 response?

Find support from us or others

Extending our Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and following a consultation with our community we are very pleased to announce that we are extending the purpose of our Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants schemes.

The primary purpose of these schemes is to help you to attend a chemistry-related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event by covering the cost of care that you usually provide or specific assistance or support that you require.

However, we are now also accepting applications to cover the cost of:
  • any extra equipment you may need to work from home and/or home-school those you care for (maximum £500 total cost)
  • care that you usually provide whilst you attend an online meeting, conference, workshop, professional development or teaching responsibility.
Please note, where appropriate, it is expected that you have already approached your employer and other sources for the related funds are not available.

For further information please see our webpages:

Our Outreach Fund remains open and welcome to applications
Our Outreach Fund provides financial support to members, individuals and organisations in order to enable them to run chemistry-based public and schools engagement activities.
We recognise that during this period the nature of projects and delivery mechanisms may need to be revised and that individuals and organisations may choose to use this period to either reflect and evaluate current activity or develop new initiatives. In response to this and the changing needs of the community we are relaxing our restrictions to funding, in particular those costs associated with salary and freelancers fees. In addition, to lower barriers to funding we are increasing the upper limit of the small grant scheme to £5,000 and moving to consider applications for small grants on a monthly basis, our first deadline is Monday 11 May.

Please visit our website for further details on applying during this period or get in touch with the team.

Learn more about the updated eligibility, criteria and restrictions here

Chemists’ Community Fund – Covid-19 Support
The Chemists’ Community Fund (the benevolent fund for RSC members) have seen a significant increase in enquiries for support over the past month. If current events are having a negative financial impact for any member that you know, please do share the below contact details with them.

While we recognise that the support we can offer will be limited, we may be able to offer financial support to members and their families at this challenging time.

The Fund offers a completely confidential service. Please get in touch by phoning +44 (0)1223 432227, or by emailing us at

Learn more about support from the Chemists’ Community Fund

Career and Professional Development team – here to help in uncertain times
In these unprecedented days some of you will be anxious about job stability, dealing with your career being on hold, or facing a redundancy situation. The RSC Careers Team is running a near-normal service to members so do get in touch if there’s anything you’d like to talk about regarding your job, your professional development, or simply coping with an uncertain professional future. There’s more information about our services online and you can email us at

We are offering one-to-one career consultations by phone, Skype and Zoom to Associates, Members and Fellows, so do get in touch if you’d like to book, or if there’s anything else we can help with.

See how the Career and Professional Development team can help you

Chemists’ Community Fund – Curing your Finances Webinar
The Chemists’ Community Fund is supporting a webinar to assist RSC members with information to help their personal finances at this challenging time.

Even before the Coivid-19 pandemic, 60% of us worried about money and paying bills. Sadly, this is likely to continue as job insecurity and confusion over money increases.

The one-hour ‘Curing Your Finances’ webinar on 14th May at 1pm will be hosted by Better with Money. It aims to help members during this uncertain time with information on what they may need to think on a variety of matters including:
  • Mortgages
  • Credit cards and loans
  • Overdrafts
  • Savings
  • Pensions, investments and insurances
Register using the below, or for any questions please get in touch by emailing us at

Register to attend the Curing your Finances Webinar

Webinar for Mental Health Awareness Week
Registration is now open for the first of a monthly webinar series by the Royal Society of Chemistry and Chemistry World to support the chemical sciences community in response to and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kindness – Building a better chemistry culture
Thursday 21 May 2020 at 3:30–4:30 pm BST

This new webinar series is launching during Mental Health Awareness Week (
MHAW, 18–24 May) and will first highlight the MHAW theme of kindness. Throughout the themes in the series, we will illuminate the science behind the issues being experienced and provide support tailored to the needs of chemical scientists including sharing coping strategies and reducing stigma around mental health and wellbeing.

Register for the first of our mental health webinars here

Online support for teachers
Are you a teacher? Join your Education Coordinators as they deliver live online sessions to support you to teach from home. There are lots of different sessions designed for primary and for secondary teachers, including some that look at specific resources that can be given to your students to support their learning at home, and others that provide opportunities to speak to other teachers and share ideas.

There are new sessions each week, so have a look at the timetable and join us soon. We also welcome your suggestions for topics by email to

Explore this week’s sessions

Latest updates on our policy work

With a programme of activities spanning research funding, mobility of scientists, open access, chemicals regulation, teacher supply, curriculum and much more, our goal is to shape the development of policy relevant to the chemical sciences.

Review of the impact of Covid-19 on doctoral candidates and early career researchers in the UK
Vitae has teamed up with the UKRI-funded Student Mental Health Research Network (SMaRteN) to conduct research into the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the working lives and wellbeing of doctoral researchers and research staff.

From the first 1,000 responses, over 90% have commented on the challenges they face, while half have also commented on benefits from the lockdown.

The findings could be used to inform institutional policies for meeting the needs of these groups during the current and future public health crises.

Please forward the survey to doctoral candidates and early career researchers in your organisation or networks so that they can complete the survey by Sunday 3 May.

Learn about the survey and methodology here

Thank you for reading!

This Newsletter has been tailored to you, but the full version can be found on the Networks Newsletter blog. Please read the online version and get in touch with suggestions for what you would like included or feedback about what we've sent you!

Send us your feedback

As you know, the RSC offices are closed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning that the Networks team are all working from home for the time being. Please know that we are still available by email and phone and are working hard to support you during these uncertain times.

Once again, we would like to encourage all of you to please abide by your local guidelines and stay safe.

Kind regards,

The Networks Team
Fiona, Aurora and Debbie

Posted by Aurora Walshe on May 1, 2020 11:00 AM Europe/London

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