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.
 

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Dear ​colleague,

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

This month’s Newsletter contains:
  • Upcoming Deadlines
  • Upcoming Events
  • Spotlight: RSC Division Review - Update for member networks
  • Communications from across the RSC
  • Latest updates on our policy work
 
Upcoming Deadlines
 
01 February
01 February
08 February
09 February
10 February
11 February
11 February
23 February
25 February
26 February
28 February
01 March
08 March
Deadline for 2021 ChemComm Emerging Investigators nominations
Deadline for 2021 ChemSocRev Pioneering Investigators nominations
Deadline for nominations to RSC Board and Division vacancies
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 18 February to additional networks
Deadline for submitting the 2020 Financial Reports
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 18 February
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 18 March
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 4 March to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 4 March
Deadline for registration for Schools' Analyst Competition
Deadline for February Research Development Grant applications
Application deadline for the Outreach Fund small and large grants
Deadline for applications for the 2021 Undergraduate Research Bursaries
 
Upcoming Events
 
04 February
09 February
18 February
23 February
02-03 March
04 March
18 March
Member e-alerts
IUPAC Global Women’s Breakfast 2021: Empowering Diversity in Science
Member e-alerts
Chemists' Community Fund Helping with debt webinar, 5pm UK time
#RSCPoster Twitter Conference
Member e-alerts
Member e-alerts
 
Spotlight: RSC Division Review - Update for member networks

The Division Review is looking at the function and structure of the nine RSC Divisions; the Advisory Group is currently developing its proposals to present to MCB in March 2021.

Read the key findings from the member survey and next steps on the Networks Newsletter blog, and please contact the Advisory Group with any comments or questions.

Read about the update and next steps 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.


Reminder: One week left to nominate your representative
The closing date for nominations for the Local Section and Interest Group representatives on Member Communities Board is Monday 8 February.

We have engaged with Mi-Voice, an external electoral services provider, to manage the process for our nominations. You would have received an email from our Interim CEO Helen Pain in early December, sent by Mi-Voice, inviting nominations for the vacancies on our Boards, Committee and Divisions. This email included a personalised link to make your nomination. There are two ways to nominate:
  1. Self-nomination
  2. Proposal nomination

Any member can self-nominate or propose another member; all nominations are required to be accompanied by names of two RSC members willing to second the nomination. If you would like more information about the vacancies, or if you have not received an email from Mi-Voice, please contact our Governance team.

Contact our Governance team for information or support



2020 Annual Report data and the 2021 Annual Report form
98 out of 137 member network Annual Reports have been received, describing 313 events in 2020 (not counting individual events as part of series). Thank you to all of you who have submitted your Annual Reports so far.

Almost 120 of the reported events were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, however you also shared more than 30 new events that came about as a direct result of the "new normal" we experienced in 2020. We are very excited to go through the data in detail and share the outputs with you all over the coming weeks.

If your committee has not submitted your 2020 Annual Report yet, please contact the Networks Team as soon as possible.

As promised, we have developed the 2021 Annual Report form based on your feedback. We will be sharing the form with Secretaries this week with additional training material and an updated video guide.



Planning your 2021 activities?
Have you thought about asking our Careers Team how they can support you and your members in 2021?

The team are available to run CV reviews, or present or take part in panel discussions on a wide range of career-related topics such as job searching in your sector, using labour market information in your career development, identifying your transferable skills and managing your CPD, and developing specific skills like leadership, communication or career resilience. We can work with you to shape our support to your needs.

You can find out more about what we do by visiting rsc.li/careers.

Contact the team to find out more about how they can support you



Zoom licence for member networks
We’re pleased to announce that we have now acquired a Zoom Meeting license for RSC Interest Groups and Local Sections to use free of charge. This Zoom license allows up to 300 participants and you can enable up to 50 breakout rooms per session.

We still have the GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar accounts to enable more networks to organise virtual events, particularly as Zoom is not accessible at some institutions.

Please use the Zoom Booking form to schedule your Zoom meeting. The booking form allows you to book a test session on Zoom so you can become familiar with the Zoom software. We are currently finishing a user guide for Zoom, and this will be available soon under the Virtual Events section of the Useful Forms and Documents webpage.


Book your Zoom meeting here



Exciting updates for #RSCPoster 2021
As you may know, #RSCPoster is a Twitter poster conference open to all chemists, at every career stage, to share their research with the global chemistry community.

This year, we’re adding two new elements to the #RSCPoster Conference. These are #RSCPosterPitch, short video pitches to accompany posters, in the same way you might give a quick presentation to someone at a physical conference, and #RSCPosterLive, a series of live webinars to accompany the main event.


#RSCPosterLive will bring together scientists from across the globe to discuss topics of relevance to the chemistry community, including pathways to becoming professor, mental health in STEM, and how to choose the right PhD or postdoctoral supervisor. The webinars will take place on GotoWebinar, to allow everyone, including people without Twitter, to be able to participate.

We would be very grateful if you could encourage your members to sign up for #RSCPoster and direct them to the #RSCPoster Conference webpage for further information about all aspects of the event.

One final thank you to all the Interest Groups who have supported us via sponsorship so far, your help is invaluable. If any further groups are interested in sponsorship opportunities, or if anyone has any other questions, please do get in touch with the team at rscposter@rsc.org.


Learn more about and register for the 2021 #RSCPoster Conference



Awarding 2020 and 2021 40-Year Gold Badges
In 2019 we implemented an anniversaries engagement plan for our members; this included a new process to ensure that all those entitled to received their 40-year gold badge (the process was shared in this June 2019 Spotlight article).

Obviously, last year we were not in the office to send these, but we will be working with our Brand Centre to get the 2020 badges mailed out as soon as possible. For the 2021 badges, we wish to safeguard all of the members involved in the sending and receiving of the badges, so we will be sending 2021 badges out directly to members.


If you would like to send congratulations from the Local Section to members reaching their 40th anniversary of membership in 2021, contact our Membership Team below.

Request contact details for gold badge recipients



2021 Undergraduate Research Bursaries are open
The Undergraduate Research Bursaries for Summer projects in 2021 opened today for applications and will close on Monday 8 March 2021. The scheme is open to students registered with a UK or Republic of Ireland institution looking for a wage contribution undertaking a 6-8 week research project. We have also updated our scheme this year to make it more flexible, so you can adapt your project should circumstances change.

Find out more and submit your application on our website



RSC Desktop Seminar Lectureship Series
We are delighted to announce our inaugural free, online-only RSC Desktop Seminar Lectureship Series, featuring virtual talks by our recent journal lectureship winners. Each session will include an introductory talk by a journal board member as well as a journal lectureship winner.

The seminars will take place during a variety of time zones to accommodate our winners from different regions, so we encourage any and all interested to register and attend.

Visit the webpage to find the full list of Desktop Seminar and to register



Hello from the RSC Public Engagement Officer!
Hello Networks! My name is Anna and I am the Public Engagement Officer here at the RSC. It is my job to work with people across the RSC, including members and networks, to support, develop, facilitate and deliver public engagement and outreach activity.

I know that there are many of you who are interested in public engagement and outreach, and I wanted to let you know that I am here to support you however you may need. I am currently working on an exciting piece of work looking at what provision the RSC has to empower and enable its members to develop and deliver their own activity and what we should be providing in the future – over the coming months I hope to speak with some of you to get your valuable input.

If you need any support or advice regarding any public engagement activity that you do or would like to do please do not hesitate to get in touch!

Talk to Anna about your public engagement ideas



Our Outreach Fund is 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.

Our next deadlines are Monday 1 March for both small grant (up to £5,000) and large grant applications (£5,000 to £10,000). Please visit our website for further details on applying during this period or get in touch with the team.


Find out more about eligibility, criteria and restrictions here



Analytical Division celebrates the 100th AMC Technical Brief
The Analytical Division’s Analytical Methods Committee (AMC) has published its 100th Technical Brief.
AMC Technical Briefs are free to access and provide reliable and up-to-date technical information about aspects of analytical science.

 Read the full article here

 
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.


UK-EU deal: Horizon Europe
Following influencing by the research and innovation community, including the RSC and its members, the UK will associate to Horizon Europe, (subject to ratification of the deal and finalisation of the Horizon Europe Programme regulations). This will provide researchers and businesses access to all pillars of Horizon Europe (including the European Research Council and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions), as well as:
  • Joint Research Centre activities
  • Article 185 and 187 partnerships
  • The European Institute of Innovation and Technology
  • The European Research Infrastructures Consortium 12 January 2020
  • The European Research Area Committee.
  • Euratom Research and Training Programme
  • European Joint Undertaking for ITER (‘F4E’) and the Development of Fusion Energy
  • Copernicus

The UK will not participate in the new European Innovation Council fund, which provides equity based investment to SMEs, however UK entities will still be eligible to apply for the grant elements of the European Innovation Council. UK researchers will still be able to lead projects and participate in collaborative projects as they have done in previous European Framework programmes.

Our Brexit Preparedness pages contain up to date information about EU Funding, Mobility and Immigration and Chemicals Regulation



Chemicals strategy and future chemicals policy
In 2021 the government is looking to develop a new UK-wide chemicals strategy. During 2020, the RSC championed the way in our foundational work ‘A chemicals strategy for a sustainable chemicals revolution’. We are calling for UK investment in a green and sustainable innovation strategy and our interim chief executive Helen Pain shares the importance of scientists in this vision in her Opinion piece. There are many opportunities to get involved as the UK develops a new chemicals strategy from new jobs in the civil service to a new public consultation expected in the Spring of 2021. This year also sees evolution of the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and with the new trade and cooperation agreement in place, those developing a UK strategy will need to be cognisant of what is also happening in the EU on this topic.

The RSC has been working with the United Nations Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) Beyond 2020 program. Following engagement with senior scientists internationally, we call for a new intergovernmental panel for chemicals and waste to be established that is on a par with the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). The role chemical pollution plays in global health inequality, climate change and biodiversity loss needs to be higher up on national and global policy agendas, with greater involvement of scientists bringing their insights and experience to the table.

Download and read our full chemicals strategy policy position


 
Thank you for reading!

A tailored version of the Networks Newsletter is sent to all member network committee members each month, the complete version is published here. 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


Stay safe,

The Networks Team
Fiona, Aurora and Debbie


 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Feb 1, 2021 3:00 PM GMT
This month in the Spotlight, the Division Review Advisory Group are sharing an update on the ongoing review of the RSC Divisions. Contact secretariat@rsc.org with any comments or questions.


During 2020 we initiated a review of the structure, role and purpose of Divisions.

The review was proposed by the Member Communities Board (MCB) in response to the most recent Governance Review. MCB set up an Advisory Group consisting of Division Council members past and present to carry out the review with a view to ensuring that the full potential of the Divisions can be achieved with clarity over their function and purpose.

Part of the review has been to seek input directly from members through a survey. The survey was conducted in early July and 356 members responded to the survey (56% of whom were MRSC and 32% were FRSC). 78% of the respondents were from the UK.

Key findings include:

Motivation for joining Divisions
To keep up to date with developments in the sector (45%)
To feel part of a community of chemists (40%)

Most valuable aspect of being in the Divisions
To have visibility of RSC activities (37%)
The Division makes a positive impact in the community (23%)

Interactions with Divisions
Attendance at events, meetings and conferences (20%)
Involvement with committees and councils (20%)
Via Division communications (20%)
No interaction (18%)

Purpose of the Division
To bring together members with similar interest to form a network and represent the community (27%)
To promote and raise the profile of the chemical sciences (22%)


These data together with a series of interviews, external benchmarking and activity audits, has confirmed to the Advisory Group within its early discussions that:
  • Clarity is required around the role of the Divisions and their relationships with other RSC groups
  • More effective mechanisms are required for communication
  • The language and nomenclature associated with Divisions should be reviewed

The Advisory Group is now developing its proposals and will present a set of recommendations to MCB in March 2021. MCB will then submit its plans to the Board of Trustees in April.

Please keep an eye out for future communications around the outcome of the Division Review.

Please contact secretariat@rsc.org if you have any queries about the survey, and thank you in advance for your support.

 
In case you missed them, please see these previous updates about the Divisions Review in the Networks Newsletter:
  1. Launch of a review of the RSC Divisions (June 2020)
  2. Help shape the next phase of our Division Review (July 2020)

 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Feb 1, 2021 2:00 PM GMT

Dear Colleague,

Welcome to the first Networks Newsletter of 2021!

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

This month’s Newsletter contains:
  • Upcoming Deadlines
  • Upcoming Events
  • A message from the Networks team
  • Communications from across the RSC
 
Upcoming Deadlines
 
12 January
14 January
18 January
26 January
28 January
29 January
31 January
31 January
31 January
01 February
01 February
10 February
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 21 January to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 21 January

Close of nominations for Volunteer Recognition Prizes
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 4 February to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 4 February
Deadline for returning the 2020 Annual Report

Deadline for Local Section inserts into March Chemistry World
Deadline for 2021 JAAS Emerging Investigators Lectureship nominations
Deadline for January Research Development Grant applications
Deadline for 2021 ChemComm Emerging Investigators nominations

Deadline for 2021 ChemSocRev Pioneering Investigators nominations
Deadline for submitting the 2020 Financial Reports
 
Upcoming Events
 
07 January
20 January
21 January
27 January
04 February
18 February
Member e-alerts
Skills, the economy and Chartered Chemist, 10am UK time
Member e-alerts
Starting out right: financial advice with Better with Money, 5pm UK time
Member e-alerts
Member e-alerts
 
A message from the Networks team

At a recent member network committee meeting the Chair asked how everyone was feeling "on a scale from 1 being tired to 10 being almost comatose", and we couldn't help but feel that that summed up 2020 perfectly.

2020 put incredible strain on all of us, both personally and professionally. As we look forward to 2021 we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the last ten months, and to let you know that if you need us, we're here to help.


2020 Annual and Financial Reports
While we appreciate that many of you cancelled or postponed events in 2020 and thus have little or no activity to report, we still need every committee to submit their financial and annual reports.

For the Annual Reports, we ask for up to date committee information in the Committee section of the form. Even if you have nothing to report, please provide this information so that we can ensure our records are accurate. In fact, where relevant, we would like you to include information about events that have been affected by the pandemic so that we can fully understand the impact of Covid-19 on member network activities.

The 2020 form has been designed to be easy to complete, while also streamlining the collection and collation of the information you provide. You can watch our Introduction to the 2020 Annual Report form video to see how to complete the form, and please send any feedback about the form to us so that we can implement it in the 2021 process.

For the Financial Reports, please note that your 2021 grant will not be released until we receive your 2020 paperwork - this still applies even if your committee did not spend any money in 2020. Please ensure that the signed reports are returned to networksfinance@rsc.org by 10 February 2021.

 
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.


Did you miss our online event discussion sessions?
We hosted four online discussion sessions in December with the opportunity for committee members to share their experiences and learn from each other. We were delighted with the level of engagement and enthusiasm for the sessions and hope to share the outputs in the coming weeks.

In case you missed them, you can watch the recordings from the four sessions here:


Diversity data report 2020
Collecting and understanding data is key to improving diversity in the chemical sciences – as is transparency.

This is why our Diversity data report 2020 examines diversity across the breadth of our organisational activity – including membership, governance bodies and committees, prizes, grants, education, publishing and more.


Download the report



New year, new Brand Centre allocation
Every member network has a dedicated annual budget on the RSC Brand Centre to use on promotional items - this budget reset on 1 January.

Key things to remember:
  • Local Sections and Interest Groups receive £400 annually, AD Regions receive £300 (funded by the ACTF)
  • Postage is included in the allocation - please note that as there is no payment step postage will be added after you order has been placed
  • For international Local Sections, we will pay the postage for your first order on top of the £400 allocation
  • If you've not logged in in a while your account might have been paused - contact the Networks team to have it reset
  • Any 2021 overspend will be taken out of the 2022 member nework grants
  • FAQ and other resources are available on the Useful Forms and Documents page

Log in to the Brand Centre here



Prizes – two weeks left to nominate
Do you know an individual or team that deserves recognition?

For 2021, we’re excited to introduce the first of a series of changes to our prizes in response to our independent review last year. These changes bring to the fore the importance of teams and collaborations, as well as the diversity of people and contributions that are important for 21st century science.


As well as the research and innovation prizes, our Volunteer Recognition Prizes celebrate those who go above and beyond to form communities and support and inspire others. This is your chance to recognise an individual or committee who has initiated a novel way to engage with or support your community. And please remember: if you don't make diverse nominations then we won't have diverse winners!

Explore the 2021 prizes and nominate before 5pm (GMT) 18 January 2021



Inclusion and Diversity Fund supports 15 projects through its special call supporting the Black chemistry community
This year, we created a special call through our Inclusion & Diversity Fund for projects that specifically focus on breaking down barriers faced by Black chemists. We received 65 applications, of which 15 projects were funded around the world including 11 in the UK.

A video of the some flash presentation highlights of these projects and other race-focused projects was shown as part of the Inclusion and Diversity Forum 2020: Further diversifying chemistry—a focus on race inequality, which was held on December 8.

Outside this year’s special call for projects, the ID Fund continues to support projects including those focused on improving the ethnic diversity of the chemical sciences. Learn more at rsc.li/id-fund.

Watch the highlights of race-focused projects supported by the ID Fund



Tailored events for international audiences
Each year RSC staff plan events outside the UK to support and engage with our international members. In 2020 many of these events were moved online, and several new online events were created.

As a result, our Publishing, Careers, Education and international teams can now offer you bespoke events for your members - perhaps you would like one of our editors to discuss Open Access publishing? Or a member of our Careers team to plan a ChemCareers workshop?

Take a look at the international events on the Events Database for ideas and contact us if you would like to know more.

Ask the Networks team about an event for your members



Registration for #RSCPoster opens 1 January - spread the word!
Registration for #RSCPoster, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s flagship virtual conference, opens in January and we’d be very grateful if you could spread the news to your members.

The event is free to register for and spans all research areas within the chemical sciences, enabling chemists of all disciplines, locations and career stages to come together, engage in scientific discussion and network with their peers. Participants will also be able to submit their #RSCPosterPitch - a short video to present alongside their poster and provide a more immersive virtual experience.

In 2020, the event saw around 5000 individuals tweeting from around 60 countries, and with your support, we hope 2021 will be even bigger and better. Contact the team at rscposter@rsc.org to learn how your committee can get involved!

44ef19f0445ea07c9e90153f03582ce3-huge-rs



Measuring Cancer Earlier - Expressions of interest welcome

Connecting Analytical Scientists and Cancer Researchers
Friday 05 February, 10.00 – 13.00

The Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Division and Cancer Research UK are hosting an online workshop and networking event to bring together analytical scientists and cancer researchers to facilitate new collaborations for early cancer detection research.

Our keynote speakers, Sam Janes (University College London) and Molly Stevens (Imperial College London), will give their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for developing new tools for the early detection of cancer. CRUK early detection sandpit award recipients, David Carter (Oxford Brookes University) and Bhavik Patel (University of Brighton), will share their experiences of the collaboration.

The remainder of the programme will focus on workshops and structured networking to enable the communities to connect with each other.


Learn more and express your interest on the event page by 13 January



Registration is open for the 2021 Schools’ Analyst Competition
The annual competition for Year 12 (or equivalent) students will be run differently in 2021 - we are providing kits for schools to host their own event for up to ten teams of three. Bursaries are also available for additional items.

Each school will be provided with certificates and prizes for the winning team. Winning entries will also be entered into a regional competition, where the best overall entry will also win a prize for their school.


Schools can register their interest before 26 February


 
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

Stay safe,

The Networks Team
Fiona, Aurora and Debbie



 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Jan 4, 2021 2:00 PM GMT
In Hassun’s fifth and final blog article about public engagement, he explains why no project is complete without an honest and detailed evaluation to measure success. Share your thoughts with Hassun via email at zafarh@rsc.org or on Twitter @HassunElZafar.


Evaluation. That pesky word that rocks up when you think it’s all done and dusted. When you’ve seen done all the planning and delivery. When you’ve pitched the idea, achieved something phenomenal… When you just want to have a break. It pops up: Evaluation.

Let’s start with a simple question: Why do we evaluate?

Here’re the answers I came up with in 30 seconds:
  • Improve and inform our current and future practice
  • Demonstrate the impact of your activity
  • Show value for money
  • Secure funding
  • Meet the terms of funding providers
  • Have recorded evidence of your activity
  • Clearly understanding what success looks like

It’s important that evaluation is planned as an integral part of any public engagement activity, not as an add-on. This could be done by placing it into the core part of your delivery plan. This is an example of how this may look:

e589be3a57d64b845a2127b519a81d84-huge-ev

I often find that our focus on successfully achieving our project outputs (delivery) overshadows our vision for the successful evaluation of our objectives. As mentioned in my previous blog articles, clear objectives (make them SMART!) really do help with not falling into this trap.

Let’s give a working example of how incorporating evaluation into every step of a project plan can improve a project.

 

Play

Scenario (as ever, this is not real, but applicable): We have a diverse group of chemistry researchers working on innovative and boundary pushing research on plastics in one of the UK’s top higher education institutions. The researchers are super keen to do more outreach, they don’t see it as an add-on – but a necessity.

Idea: The researchers have come up with an idea, to produce a video that is as concise as possible in explaining contemporary scientific research into plastics and celebrate the diversity of the team. They want to place the video onto the university webpage, use it at open days, school outreach programmes and summer society exhibitions.

 

Pause

Here’s where evaluation comes really handy. Let’s ask one of the above questions, and answer it using SMART methods:

Q) What does success look like?
  1. 2,000 primary aged students in the local area are engaged with reduce, reuse and recycle programmes ran by schools by the end of the academic year.
Now, let’s add… how we can measure that this has been achieved?
  1. Creating a survey that will be filled out by teachers capturing activity response, interviews with school head teacher on school actions and case study stories from students (via teacher-led focus groups).
 

Stop

Go back and look at the idea I presented to you, it’s not a bad idea – but now I’ve told you what I think success looks like, what I want to actually achieve, and how I plan to evaluate it… Is the idea the best way to achieve what I want to achieve?

Quick answer: No.

 

Rewind

I head back to working board; I need to come up with another idea… but this time, I’m going to inform myself using other people’s evaluations and by talking to my specific target audience (AKA primary schools) to see what works and what does not.

So after reading about excellent projects on websites like the NCCPE and having dialogues with experts and partners, I come up with another idea: To create resources for a project where primary schools are encouraged to collect every piece of plastic they use, while also using a specially designed and co-created tool kit to help them become plastic free.

At the end of the spring term, the schools are tasked with creating artwork with the plastics they have collected, alongside a scheme of work which has been co-created with teacher from those schools (by the way, this is not a full idea! It has flaws, I need to work on it, but hopefully you’ll see the point of it being a better idea, because of the evaluation thought process).

The art project attracts local media attention, which this boosts awareness of the programme – you should capture this, funders love local media attention.

The teachers fill out specifically designed questionnaires with questions on the co-creation process, timelines, resources and what worked well and what didn’t – you should also capture this, other teachers love to hear from other teachers.

The head teacher gives you an interview on how your resource has been applied in their school, the challenges they’ve faced, what they would do differently, and the value the programme has given students – capture this, it’s going to improve your project massively and, as for teachers, head teachers love to hear the thoughts of other head teachers.

With permission from the teachers, you capture group thoughts from the students – you can’t give them a survey, they’ll see it as work (the teachers told you that) so you’ve arranged for them to give their thoughts through a game of “pass the bean bag” – if you have the bean bag you tell us what you think of the plastics now you’ve done the project. They love it because it’s a great game, you asked the teacher to do this before the project too, so you can compare the answers.

 

Stop

I can go on, but I won’t. It goes without saying that the second idea is much more resource intensive – it’s going to take much more time and effort than simply making a video. But its impact… well, I think it’d much more significant.

If I did something like this, I’d target one school in a really underserved community, and do it well, and by doing it “well”, I mean having a solid evaluation of the project. If one school is too much, then try one class – less can mean more impact, more lessons for me and more legacy to my project.

It all goes back to one question: What does success look like?

Answer that question in the most detailed, and honest, way you can. Because that is going the measure to which you evaluate any project.

So the next time that pesky evaluation question comes up, think beyond the words “quantitative” and “qualitative”, dig deeper than just using questionnaires and survey forms: define success, set yourself an ambition, and keep evaluation in mind from the very start.



This is our fifth blog article from Hassun, you can read the others in the series here:
  1. Know Your Audience 
  2. Co-Create, Co-Create, Co-Create
  3. What now?
  4. Outputs ≠ Outcomes
more...
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Dec 1, 2020 11:00 AM GMT
Dear ​colleague,

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

This month’s Newsletter contains:
  • Upcoming Deadlines
  • Upcoming Events
  • Spotlight: Public engagement – Evaluate
  • Communications from across the RSC
  • Latest updates on our policy work
 
Upcoming Deadlines
 
06 December
08 December
10 December
18 December
18 December
31 December
Registration deadline for RSC Inclusion and Diversity Forum 2020
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 17 December to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 17 December
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 7 January to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 7 January
Deadline for December Research Development Grant applications
 
Upcoming Events
 
01 December
03 December
04 December
08 December
08 December
09 December
15 December
15-16 December
17 December
07 January
20 January
21 January
Sharing scientific advances, 12:30 GMT
Member e-alerts
Using social media effectively, 12:30 GMT
Organising online social events, 12:00 GMT
RSC Inclusion and Diversity Forum 2020, 14:00 GMT
Interest Group Forum, 13:00 GMT
Virtual networking, 12:00 GMT
Royal Society of Chemistry Tokyo International Conference 2020
Member e-alerts
Member e-alerts
CChem relaunch: Skills and the economy, 10:00 GMT
Member e-alerts
 
Spotlight: Public engagement – Evaluate

In Hassun’s fifth and final blog article about public engagement, he explains why no project is complete without an honest and detailed evaluation to measure success.

Read the full article on the Networks Newsletter blog, and if you have any questions or suggestions for public engagement activities please let Hassun know!

Learn the value of evaluation


 
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.


End of year e-alert deadlines

Do you want to send a wellbeing message to your members to celebrate the holiday season or welcome in the New Year? All e-alert deadlines are provided above - please note that with office closures all e-alert requests for Thursday 7 January must be received by Friday 18 December.

Download our guide for creating more effective e-alerts



Virtual discussion sessions for member networks

Following the cancellation of the 2020 Member Networks Conference we are running four online sessions to bring together RSC network committee members to share ideas and knowledge. This is an opportunity to hear from some networks who have been active during the pandemic and to share your own experiences.

Sharing scientific advances - Today, 12.30 – 13.30
The Statistical Mechanics & Thermodynamics Group and Downland Local Section will lead this session about sharing scientific advances online and will share their tips and tricks to set up and coordinate a virtual seminar series using GoToWebinar and GoToMeeting.


Register here

Using social media effectively – Friday 4 December 2020, 12.30 – 13.30
In this session we will hear from the Formulation Science & Technology and Porous Materials Groups who will share tips and tricks to start conversations on social media, engage your community through different platforms, and advice about hosting a Twitter conference.

Register here

Organising online social events – Tuesday 8 December 2020, 12.00 – 13.00
At the session we will hear from the East Anglia Local Section about their chocolate tasting event and the Lancaster and District Local Section will chat about their wine tasting event. Attendees will be encouraged to share ideas and knowledge with other members about online social events.

Register here

Virtual networking – Tuesday 15 December 2020, 12.00 -13.00
Join Dermot Hanna (Consultancy Group) and Magda Van Leeuwen (Royal Society of Chemistry) in discussing and sharing ideas on virtual networking. Dermot and Magda will discuss how we often associate networking with physical events but it can be key part of online events. They will look at some of the tools available to facilitate networking and share their experiences of running virtual networking events.


Register here

If you are unable to attend, please still register and submit your questions. We can send you a link to the recording afterwards.




Committee membership – Under 18s
We wanted to make you aware that we now have some members of the RSC who are under the age of 18 years old. While we hope to engage these members in attending suitable events and activities as part of their membership, we are not able to allow them to sit on our committees or to volunteer in any way. This is because this type of engagement with a minor takes us outside our normal core activities as a professional body, and our existing safeguarding processes and insurance would not cover this exceptional circumstance. These members should be notified of this upon admission to membership but we have recently amended our processes to ensure that they are not included in calls for nominations for committee positions.

If you have any questions about our safeguarding policy please do get in touch and one of our colleagues will be happy to respond.




Register by Dec 6 for the RSC Inclusion and Diversity Forum
Further diversifying chemistry – a focus on race inequality
8 December 2020, 14:00 GMT


Join us on 8 December for our virtual Inclusion and Diversity Forum, which this year will focus on race inequality in the chemical sciences and the role that each of us has to play to ensure a working culture that is more inclusive and fair to everyone.

Keynote lecturers will be Professor Christopher Jackson, Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu, Dr Yalinu Poya and Professor Robert Mokaya. We will also hear from current Inclusion and Diversity Fund grant holders to learn from their community-driven projects.

We want to hear from you! Our breakout discussions will explore retaining talent, evidence-based approaches, a welcoming community, champions and allies and taking a look back at 2020.


Register and see the full programme



Our 2021 prizes are now open for nominations
Do you know someone who deserves recognition for their work in the chemical sciences? What’s an amazing piece of science that you want to celebrate? Our prizes celebrate people who are making a positive impact and achieving great things.

Categories open for nomination are:
  • Research & Innovation Prizes: Celebrating exceptional people advancing the chemical sciences across industry and academia
  • Our new Horizon Prizes: Celebrating discoveries and innovations that push the boundaries of science
  • Inclusion & Diversity Prize: Celebrating people improving access and progression for all in the chemical sciences
  • Volunteer Recognition Prizes: Celebrating people who go above and beyond to form communities and support and inspire others.

This is your chance to tell the world about the amazing work that you, or someone you know, is doing to advance the chemical sciences. Who will you nominate?

Explore prizes and nominate



Planning your 2021 activities?
Have you thought about asking the Royal Society of Chemistry Careers team how they can support you in 2021?

The team are available to present or take part in panel discussions on a wide range of career-related topics such as job searching in your sector, identifying your transferable skills and CPD, developing leadership skills or can talk generally about the careers support available to Royal Society of Chemistry members. We can work with you to shape our support to your needs.


Drop us an email to find out more about how we can support you.

Find out more about what we do



Bullying - Support for You and How to Support Your Colleagues
This upcoming live webinar is to learn how to support a colleague if you witness bullying in the workplace, and support for you if you experience bullying. Prof Tom Welton, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Dr Laura Norton, Senior Programme Manager, Inclusion & Diversity, Royal Society of Chemistry will share resources, advice and support available from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Can't make it? The recording will be available via our YouTube channel after the live broadcast.


Register now for 2 December 12:30 GMT



Latest issue of Analytical Matters now available online
Find out about the latest Analytical Division activities including:
  • Ways to recognise excellence in analytical science through our Research & Innovation Prizes and new Horizon Prizes
  • Networking opportunities at our upcoming online events: Analytical Division Online Symposium and Measuring Cancer Earlier
  • Funding opportunities including new Researcher Development Grants
  • CPD Resources including the latest AMC Technical Briefs

If you have any items you wish to be included in the next newsletter please email analyticalmatters@rsc.org by 31 January 2021.

Read the newsletter



Sponsor the 2021 #RSCPoster Twitter Conference
#RSCPoster is the RSC’s flagship virtual event, pioneering the virtual conference field and bringing together the global chemistry community to network and share their research and engage in scientific debate.

In 2020 we attracted around 800 posters from 59 countries and reached a potential audience of over 32 million. The conference spans the chemical sciences, with participation from disciplines across the field of chemistry and at every career stage.

We’re currently looking for sponsors for the 2021 event – if any Interest Groups are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please email rscposter@rsc.org for more information.

Find out more about #RSCPoster at rsc.li/rsc-poster-2020


 
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.


School science technician workforce report
School science technicians are often overlooked as a profession. That’s why we – in partnership with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and with input from the Association for Science Education (ASE) – commissioned a piece of research analysing how the school science technician workforce in England has changed since 2011/12.

The report found that technician numbers are falling and pay and conditions are often unsatisfactory, and that schools with a less affluent pupil intake tend to have less technician support than those with a more affluent intake.


Read the report and our recommendations

 
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


Kind regards,

The Networks Team
Fiona, Aurora and Debbie

 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Dec 1, 2020 11:00 AM GMT
Dear Colleague,

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

This month’s Newsletter contains:
  • Upcoming Deadlines
  • Upcoming Events
  • Have you received the 2020 Annual Report form?
  • Communications from across the RSC
  • Latest updates on our policy work
 
Upcoming Deadlines
 
03 November
03 November

03 November
10 November
12 November
24 November
26 November
30 November
30 November
30 November
30 November
30 November
Registration deadline for Air quality in megacities Faraday Discussion
Deadline for 2020 Research Fund applications

Deadline for applications to the Research Enablement Grant
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 19 November to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 19 November

Deadline for E-alerts going out on 3 December to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 3 December

Deadline for Local Section inserts into January Chemistry World
Deadline for 2021 Biomaterials Science Lectureship nominations
Deadline for 2021 Soft Matter Lectureship nominations

Deadline for 2020 EES Lectureship nominations
Deadline for November Research Development Grant applications
 
Upcoming Events
 
05 November
13 November
17 November
19 November
25 November

03 December
08 December
17 December
Member e-alerts
LGBT+ inclusivity – Building a better chemistry culture, 15:30-16:30 GMT
Faraday Discussion: Air quality in megacities
Member e-alerts
Volunteering in Schools–best practice for RSC Members, 18:.30 GMT

Member e-alerts
RSC Inclusion and Diversity Forum 2020, 14:00 GMT
Member e-alerts
 
Have you received the 2020 Annual Report form?

As hard as it to believe, 2020 is almost over, meaning it is time to consider the 2020 Annual Report!

The Annual Report is a report on the activities of your committee during the past year. In line with the rules for member networks, all member networks must submit an Annual Report to the Networks team each year. The information from the reports is used by the Networks team to identify common challenges and opportunities for us to work on to support our networks. It is also used to report to the Member Communities Board (MCB) and as part of our formal charity reporting to demonstrate impact.

While we appreciate that many of you have had to cancel or postpone physical events in 2020, we still need every committee to submit a report. In fact, we would like you to include information about events that have been affected by the pandemic so that we can fully understand the impact of Covid-19 on member network activities.

We have sent the new 2020 Annual Report form to all member network Secretaries - if your network has not received the form please let us know!

The 2020 form is a protected Excel spreadsheet - please watch our short introduction video to see how to complete it, and if you have any questions please get in touch. All of your feedback and suggestions will go into updating the 2021 report form, which we will share with you in January.

 
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.


RSC Inclusion and Diversity Forum 2020
Further diversifying chemistry – a focus on race inequality
Friday 13 November 2020, 15:30-16:30 GMT

The Royal Society of Chemistry Inclusion and Diversity Forum 2020 will take place virtually on 8 December, with a focus on race inequality in the chemical sciences and the role that each of us has to play to ensure a working culture that is more inclusive and fair to everyone.

We will look at evidence of race inequality within the chemistry community, discuss the experiences behind the data, question the inclusivity of current systems and begin to investigate how to break down barriers. Our keynote lecturers will be Professor Christopher Jackson, Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu, Dr Yalinu Poya and Professor Robert Mokaya.

During this event, we will also present the new RSC Inclusion and Diversity Strategy to 2025 – Enabling Inclusive Access and Progression in the Chemical Sciences.

There will be the opportunity to hear from current Inclusion and Diversity Fund grant holders and learn from their community-driven projects that aim to address issues experienced by underrepresented groups in the chemical sciences.


Find out more and register


Skills, the economy and Chartered Chemists
Over the last 18 months, we have been engaged in a review of our Chartered Chemist (CChem) award. During the review, we focused on maintaining relevance of the CChem award now and for the future across all chemical science sectors in industry and academia, improving access for those in SMEs, education and members not based in the UK whilst upholding standards for all.

Please join us on Wednesday the 20th January for our key event celebrating the launch of our revised CChem award.

Discussions will be centred on the role that skills and skills development have across the chemical science sector, and the role that Chartered Chemist plays in supporting this. There will be opportunities for you to contribute to the discussions where we will encourage you to share your perspectives about skills in the chemical sciences.

We hope you can attend and help us make this the CChem event of the new year.

Learn more about the programme and register here


RSC Hardship Grants for non-RSC members
The RSC is currently offering one-off support grants to chemistry students and chemists who are not members of the RSC and whose financial situation has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

We are offering one-off grants of up to £500 to chemists or up to £250 to those in full-time chemistry education or working as an apprentice.

To date we have been able to award in excess of 240 grants to those who were in urgent financial need.

We would be very grateful if you could help us make contact with chemistry students, postdocs and chemists, to encourage them to apply for these grants if they are in genuine financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19.

For any further information regarding this grant, please contact hardshipgrants@rsc.org

Royal Society of Chemistry members can contact the Chemists’ Community Fund directly by emailing us at ccf@rsc.org as we may be able to offer members an enhanced support package.



RSC Science Divisions Online Symposia

Join us for our free fortnightly online Symposia. You’ll hear about the latest research from our RSC Award Winners, alongside short talks from early career researchers and an opportunity to network online with colleagues.

Find out more and register here


LGBT+ inclusivity – Building a better chemistry culture

The sixth webinar in the Building a better chemistry culture series focuses on how the chemical sciences can best support and retain LGBT+ individuals. In advanced celebration of #LGBTSTEMDay, we will hear from LGBT+ scientists, who are also leaders in inclusion and diversity, to learn about the impact that being supported to bring one’s full self to work can have on scientific output and mental health.

BSL interpretation is provided by Rachael Dance, Cambridgeshire Deaf Association.

Learn more and register


Call for Content for Next Issue of Analytical Matters

Please let us know if you have any items that you would like included in the autumn issue of the Analytical Division newsletter, Analytical Matters.

Submit your content here


How to Volunteer in Schools: Best Practice for RSC Members

We’re continuing to host training sessions to support Royal Society of Chemistry members in the UK and Ireland who want to engage effectively with schools. The one-hour session will be delivered online and will include hints and tips on what to expect in the classroom, ideas of how to promote careers in chemistry to young people and next steps to put everything into practice.

Following feedback from previous successful events, these are repeats of these sessions. You only need to attend one event to obtain all the information.

Learn more and save the date here


CCF Support Members with Care Home Top Up Fees

The Chemists' Community Fund can consider help with care home top up fees for RSC members, their partner or dependants who are required to contribute to the amount the local council pays to better meet their personal care needs.
Please watch the video to find out how we can help and please do share within your local network, with any RSC member who may find this information useful.

Watch the video to find out how we can help


 
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.


Your views: Real Time REF Review

A new study led by RAND Europe and involving researchers from Cardiff University and the University of Sheffield will conduct a real time review of REF 2021, evaluating researchers’ perceptions of the assessment process while they are preparing and submitting their work.

This study provides the opportunity for researchers in UK universities to give their views on the REF process and help shape and improve it in the future. This work will be used by policy makers to inform proposals for research assessment after the completion of REF2021. We encourage all members who are undertaking research in a UK institution that takes part in the REF to take this opportunity to influence national policy development and ensure that the experiences of the chemical sciences are captured. The timetable for this work is in-line with REF 2021 reflecting the pause to the exercise as a result of COVID-19. The study is currently due to close in mid-November and can be completed here

Find out more about the study on the UKRI website, or click the link below to have your say.


Take your opportunity to influence national policy development

 
Thank you for reading!


This Newsletter is sent to all member network committee members as a tailored communication; this blog post contains all of the information sent out. 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


Kind regards,

The Networks Team
Fiona, Aurora and Debbie

 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Nov 2, 2020 2:00 PM GMT
This month in the Spotlight, we're looking at the Annual Report data from 2019 and the changes to the Annual Report for 2020 and 2021

The Royal Society of Chemistry has 71 Interest Groups, 35 Local Sections in the UK and Ireland, 22 international Local Sections in 17 countries, and 8 Analytical Division Regions in the UK and Ireland.

All of our Interest Groups carry out activities for the general advancement of chemical science in their subject area by the dissemination of knowledge. All of our Local Sections carry out activities to support RSC members in their local area. Analytical Division Regions carry out activities to support members of the Analytical Division in their area and for the general advancement of analytical chemistry.

Each member network (within and outwith the UK) is required to submit an Annual Report detailing their activities to RSC staff each year.


Overview of 2019 Annual Report data
110 of 136 Annual Reports were received, reporting almost 600 member network events in 2019 attended by approximately 48,000 people.
 
Network type Reports received Reports expected % received No. events in 2019 % of 2019 events
Analytical Division Region 7 8 88% 20 3%
Interest Group 56 71 79% 160 27%
International Local Section 16 22 73% 112 19%
UKROI Local Section 31 35 89% 302 51%
Total 110 136 81% 594 100%

More than half (51%) of all reported 2019 activities were organised by Local Sections and almost one in 5 (19%) of all member network events was organised by an international Local Section, catering to over 15000 people in 11 countries outside of the UK and Ireland. Our Local Sections plan events and activities to support RSC members in their local area; a large proportion of these are social and networking events to bring members together. Our international Local Sections also organise and support local scientific meetings for their members.

Our Analytical Division Regions and Local Sections are essential for helping us to fulfil our purpose of advancing excellence in the chemical sciences on a local level; they each organise education and outreach activities for students and members of the public in the local community.


Most Interest Group events are scientific meetings and conferences to aid in their purpose of advancing their subject by the dissemination of knowledge. In 2019 our 71 Interest Groups held 86 half- or full-day scientific meetings and 51 multi-day meetings, catering to over 10,000 attendees. Many Interest Groups also offered bespoke networking and training opportunities for their members.


Financial support offered in 2019
Our Interest Groups and Local Sections awarded 193 grants and bursaries and sponsored 53 events in 2019.

Our Interest Groups sponsored and supported 28 conferences and meetings (in addition to the ones they organised), and offered over £50,000 in Travel Grants to support 136 members to attend national and international conferences.

Within the UK, our Local Sections supported 7 schools with grants to participate in Top of the Bench, take pupils on chemistry themed trips, and support the creation of chemistry clubs. Local Sections sponsored 13 local scientific and public engagement activities and offered over £3000 in Travel Grants to support 20 members to attend local and international conferences.

Outside of the UK, our Local Sections supported the International Spring School of Electrochemistry in Sicily and 11 scientific meetings in Ireland. Our Malaysia Local Section also offered Travel Grants to attend international conferences.


Highlights of 2019
We asked all member networks to tell us about their best event of 2019. Four of the six AD Regions who responded indicated that the Schools’ Analyst Competition was their most successful event; three of the 28 Local Sections who responded indicated that Top of the Bench was their most successful event.

2019 was the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT) and many of our Local Sections used this as a platform for highly successful public engagement and outreach activities, including:
  • Our Glasgow and West of Scotland Local Section knitted the periodic table and generated a considerable amount of interest amongst those that otherwise might not have engaged with IYPT.
  • Our Peninsula Local Section had an IYPT Sir Humphry Davy event in Penzance to mark the end of the IYPT to celebrate Sir Humphry Davy's achievements in his hometown.
  • Our Malaysia Local Section organised an IYPT Instagram competition that created awareness of the IYPT with many creative entries and generated interest in chemistry among schoolchildren.
  • Our Nigeria Local Section reached out to 350 secondary school students and their teachers to motivate them about the periodic table and careers in the chemical sciences

Other Local Section highlights included:
  • Our North Staffordshire Local Section’s Pottery about Chemistry event attracted a wide cross-section of the public.
  • Our Bristol & District Local Section Murder Mystery Howlers received the best feedback of their events; and the central location and early evening time-slot ensured a larger than normal audience.
  • Our Republic of Ireland Local Section’s Chemistry Wikithon event pulled together a diverse range of practicing chemists, and left a future legacy for promoting accuracy in a world of 'fake science'.

34 Interest Groups responded with descriptions of highly successful conferences and collaborations, some key highlights included:
  • The Toxicology Group biomonitoring meeting provided a welcome opportunity for the UK biomonitoring community to meet and share recent findings and good practice and a JISC group has evolved as a result.
  • For the Food Group, Plastics from Cradle to Grave and Resurrection was their best event based on high attendance and attendee feedback, which led to a second event planned for June 2020. The subject matter was also highly relevant to current and future challenges to food sectors and the environment.
  • The Photochemistry & Photophysics joint meeting with the Italian Photochemistry Group was an excellent event that received good feedback from those attending. This was the first time that the PPG had run a joint event with an equivalent national group from overseas. It was agreed by both groups that it was a success – initial discussions about a reciprocal meeting in the UK in 2022 have begun.
  • The Theoretical Chemistry Group highlighted their graduate student meeting as their "best" event, but not for the reason we expected. In short, this meeting gave the committee a direct insight that they needed to be much more pro-active in attaining gender balance at events going forwards. This has changed how the committee plan this event and will be a priority for TCG events organised from 2020 onwards.

What do we use this information for?
The information in the Annual Report is used:
  • to promote to existing and potential members the breadth and quality of our community-led activities,
  • to identify common challenges to develop bespoke training and resources for our committees, and
  • to demonstrate and report how our grants and networks are contributing to our charitable aims.
The 2019 Annual Report data was analysed by the Networks team and shared with Member Networks Committee and Member Communities Board in 2020. Summaries of the 2019 data for the Local Sections and Interest Groups have been attached below and will be shared on the respective member network websites.

What is new for 2020?
The 2019 Annual Report was submitted using an online form in an attempt to streamline the data collection process. However, you told us that you need a report form that can be shared among the committee to be updated and edited easily, and want to be able to see an overview of all of your activities at once.

In line with this feedback, we have created a new Annual Report form. This new form is an Excel spreadsheet with clear instructions and drop-down menus that will be easy for you to complete, while maintaining the integrity of the data collection process.

We asked for volunteers to test the form and we are making changes to the form based on their feedback and suggestions. The final version of the form will be circulated to committees in October.


What is the plan for 2021?
Once the 2020 Annual Report form has been circulated we will begin to make the necessary changes to prepare the 2021 report form so that we can circulate it to committees in January 2021 to allow them to be completed throughout the year.
 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Oct 1, 2020 2:00 PM BST
Daniele Gibney, our Programme Manager for Curriculum, Qualifications and Assessment, has provided an update on our education policy activities and how you can get involved.

In the middle of an extraordinary and unsettling year for all of us, I’d like to share some things that we’re working on in the education policy team at the RSC. I manage our programme on curriculum and qualifications, and there has been plenty to keep on top of in that area alongside our ongoing projects.

Firstly, I want to tell you about an opportunity to get involved in a project related to higher technical education across the UK. If this is an area of interest to you, or if you have a broader interest in the development of technical skills for the chemical sciences, then read on. Other readers may want to skip to more general updates a few paragraphs down.

 

Help us influence the future of higher technical education

The contribution of technicians to the chemical sciences is vital; however, we’ve been hearing concerns about shortages of technical skills in the UK for many years. It’s therefore important that high quality education routes exist to help people gain those skills, and we want to be in a position to influence future reforms. The Government has big plans to improve the quality and uptake of higher technical qualifications – post-18 qualifications at levels 4 and 5 – in England. Currently, not many people take qualifications at that level in most of the UK (Scotland’s system is an interesting contrast); the numbers in subjects related to chemistry are particularly low.

To steer the future, we need to understand the present. Therefore, through Shift Membership, we are conducting a research project to understand experiences relating to current higher technical qualifications in chemistry and related subjects. The type of qualification we are looking at includes things like HNC/HNDs and Foundation Degrees, and we are looking across the UK. We want to understand the viewpoints of:
  • employers, including those involved in hiring or training employees for technician roles, including through apprenticeships; you don’t need to know much about any specific qualifications to offer valuable insight here
  • education providers, either currently or previously offering higher technical qualifications in this subject area, or who have considered offering them but decided against
  • learners currently studying, or who have recently studied, a relevant qualification.

Taking part involves a 40-minute interview, and you can express an interest through the links above. If you can’t take part yourself but know someone who might be interested, please spread the word.

 

Responding to covid-19 in education

Turning to other matters; as you can imagine, much of our year so far has involved understanding how the covid pandemic is affecting chemistry education. It is clear this is a difficult time for both educators and learners, with ongoing changes to regulations, uncertainty and the rise in case numbers bringing further challenges. If you are a teacher or lecturer, or are otherwise involved in education, thank you for all you are doing to provide a good learning experience in these circumstances.

Over the summer, we responded to a range of consultations to highlight issues we were seeing to decision makers. For example, we argued in favour of lightening the assessment load in secondary and post-16 qualifications in chemistry for the coming year, including reducing the range of content covered. This recognised that a significant proportion of learners saw interruptions to their learning during the lockdown period. We’re still awaiting final decisions on this in some regions, and of course arrangements may be further affected by developments over the winter; we’re keeping an eye on it.

That is just one of a long list of issues, ranging from primary to higher education. We’ll continue to monitor developments, honing in on areas where our subject is particularly affected and our voice can have an impact. Practical work in education setting is presenting particular challenges, which could have implications for skills development in the long term. We’re highlighting particular needs as they arise; for example we recently flagged to government officials that we are seeing supply issues with PPE for practical work such as safety specs and gloves.

 

A busy schedule in curriculum and qualifications

All this comes at an already busy time in education policy world. Alongside the higher technical qualifications review already mentioned, T-levels are being developed and rolled out in England, and as I write we are awaiting announcements that will influence the future of further and post-18 education. Curriculum reform is progressing in Wales, and with a consultation on approaches to new GCSEs due early next year. Reform is also the word in the Republic of Ireland, where a new Leaving Certificate in chemistry is on the way. In Scotland, the OECD are conducting a review of the Curriculum for Excellence. All these developments offer us the opportunity to advocate for chemistry education and supporting the development of valuable knowledge and skills for society and the chemical sciences.

To support our ability to do this, we have background projects on the go, of which the higher technical qualifications research is an example. There is also our ongoing work to develop a vision to underpin our curriculum influencing at all levels of education. Earlier this year we published our curriculum framework for ages 11–19. We have work on primary curriculum ongoing, and are developing thoughts around higher education. Following the recent publication of Digital Futures, we also want to think more about integrating digital skills in chemistry learning.

I hope you appreciate this glimpse into our world. If you have any questions about any of the above, or would like to share any experiences to inform our understanding, feel free to drop me a line.
 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Oct 1, 2020 2:00 PM BST
Dear colleague,

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

This month’s Newsletter contains:
  • Upcoming Deadlines
  • Upcoming Events
  • Spotlight: Member network Annual Report: from 2019 to 2021
  • Communications from across the RSC
  • Latest updates on our policy work
 
Upcoming Deadlines
 
01 October
06 October
08 October
26 October
27 October
29 October
31 October
03 November
03 November
03 November
Deadline for Local Section and Interest Group Top-Up Fund applications
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 15 October to additional networks

Deadline for E-alerts going out on 15 October
Application deadline for the Outreach Fund small grants
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 5 November to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 5 November
Deadline for October Research Development Grant applications
Registration deadline for Air quality in megacities Faraday Discussion
Deadline for 2020 Research Fund applications
Deadline for applications to the Research Enablement Grant
 
Upcoming Events
 
01 October
05 October
06 October
13 October
13 October
15 October
20 October
20 October

22 October
27 October
05 November
Member e-alerts
RSC Desktop Seminar: RSC Advances Emerging Investigators, 4pm UK time
Environmental Science Desktop Seminar: Peter Vikesland, 4pm UK time
Faraday Discussion: Cooperative phenomena in framework materials
Environmental Science Desktop Seminar: Krista Wigginton, 4pm UK time
Member e-alerts
Environmental Science Desktop Seminar: Neil Donahue, 4pm UK time
Volunteering in Schools – best practice for RSC Members, 6.30pm UK time
RSC Desktop Seminar: Progress in singlet fission and photon upconversion, 1pm UK time
Environmental Science Desktop Seminar: Delphine Farmer, 4pm UK time
Member e-alerts
 
Spotlight: Member network Annual Report: from 2019 to 2021

More than half of all reported 2019 activities were organised by Local Sections in the UK and almost one in 5 of all 2019 member network events was organised by an international Local Section. In 2019 our Interest Groups held 86 half- or full-day scientific meetings and 51 multi-day meetings, catering to over 10,000 attendees. Our Interest Groups and Local Sections awarded 193 grants and bursaries and sponsored 53 events in 2019.

You can learn more about 2019 member network activities and the changes to the Annual Report for 2020 and 2021 in the full article on the Networks Newsletter blog.

Learn more about 2019 member network activities in the full blog article

 
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 2020 Annual Report form will be with committees this month
Thank you to all of you who volunteered to test the new Annual Report form!

We are making changes to the form based on your feedback and suggestions, the final version of the form will be circulated to committees in the next two weeks. Once the 2020 Annual Report form has been circulated we will begin to make the necessary changes to prepare the 2021 report form so that we can circulate it to committees in January 2021 to allow you to complete it throughout the year.


Data protection - a few quick reminders for committees
Following on from our data protection top tips for committees, here are some reminders about how you should handle member data.

What to do when a committee member leaves
If a committee member has recently left you should do the following to be compliant with data protection legislation:
  • Remove the ex-committee member’s contact details (e.g. email, address, phone numbers) from your records
  • Ask the ex-committee member to delete any contact details they have for committee members
What information is stored by the committee?
At your next committee meeting you can ask:
  • What information members of the committee hold and how it is stored (e.g. on a spreadsheet, memory stick, phone, etc.)
  • How is the information being protected? Do you have passwords, etc.?
  • Is anyone storing any other information (e.g. lists of delegate details from past events, etc.)? Is there a reason for storing old contact information or can it be deleted? Can you show how consent was given to hold this data?
You can use this record processing activity sheet to note all the data you store, how consent was gained and when it should be deleted.

Communicating with your members
If you want to send an email to your members you can:
  • Send an e-alert via the Networks team. The e-alerts go out twice a month, and can be sent to your own members and also other networks. The Networks Team will contact the secretaries of the other networks you wish to send the email to, and check they consent for their members to receive the email.
  • You can request the email data of your members from the RSC to send your own email. You will need to complete a data protection form. You must delete the data after six weeks and use blind copy on a bulk email so the email addresses are not visible to others in the list. You cannot share this email data with anyone else. If you receive any emails requesting to be removed from the mailing list please forward these to the Networks team.
  • Maintain your own mailing list. Some networks maintain their own mailing list, but they must complete a Compliance Checklist document. The checklist ensures the RSC is kept informed, explains where the data is stored and how it is being used etc. For a Compliance Checklist, please contact our Membership team.
Awards and grants
With the onset of the pandemic you might not be giving away as many awards or grants this year, but you will still need to consider data protection in your processes! Once the award is given you should delete any contact details (e.g. email, address, phone numbers, etc.) for anyone who applied.


If you have any data protection questions please contact the Networks team


Two new grants to support our community during COVID-19
We have developed two new grants to help members during the current circumstances:
  • Our new Research Enablement Grants give up to £10,000 to members in the UK and Republic of Ireland to initiate new research directions or to complete research disrupted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: rsc.li/researchenablementgrant
  • Our new Research Development Grants of up to £250 provide PhD students and post-doctoral researchers support for activities to develop a broad set of skills to further their research careers, including (but not limited to) registration for a virtual conference or funding towards organising an online meeting: rsc.li/researcher-development-grant


Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants
We are pleased to share the RSC has been able to continue with the extended purpose of our Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants schemes to include:
  • Extra equipment that may be needed to work from home and/or home-school those you care for (maximum £500 total cost)
  • Specific assistance or support needed to attend an online meeting, conference, workshop, professional development or teaching responsibility as restrictions ease
Eligibility criteria are available on the funding webpages.


Sponsor the 2021 #RSCPoster Twitter Conference
#RSCPoster is the RSC’s flagship virtual event, pioneering the virtual conference field and bringing together the global chemistry community to network and share their research and engage in scientific debate.

The conference is held online via Twitter for 24 hrs each March, with the 2020 instalment attracting around 800 posters from 59 countries, 4700 attendees and reaching a potential audience of over 32 million. The conference spans the chemical sciences, with participation from disciplines across the field of chemistry and at every career stage.

We’re currently looking for sponsors for the 2021 event – if any interest groups are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please click on the button to contact the team!


Talk to the #RSCPoster team about sponsorship opportunities by 1 November


Commonwealth Chemistry survey for early career chemists
We need your help to support us with shaping the future of chemistry: we are looking for early career chemists from Commonwealth countries to tell us about training and funding, working environment, career progression, networks and collaborations.

We want to uncover the challenges, needs, and opportunities that early career chemists are facing; this feedback will be used to influence the strategy and direction of the Commonwealth Chemistry. Please complete the survey if you are eligible, and please share this survey with early career chemists in your area.

To encourage participation and show our appreciation, everyone who completes the survey can enter our prize draw to win a £100 Amazon voucher. Three winners will be selected at random and announced in November.

Complete and share the survey by 14 November: rsc.li/eccsurvey


Chemistry Week 2020: ‘Inclusion’
16 – 22 November 2020

Chemistry Week is an annual celebration of the chemical sciences. This year we are encouraging member groups to help celebrate the theme of ‘Inclusion’. This is in recognition of the shift in nature of events that many groups have had to make during this time and the additional factors that need to be taken into consideration to run inclusive events, whether that supports members directly or reaches out to public and school audiences.

We want to support you with any activities and events you may have planned for Chemistry Week, from inspiring the next generation to celebrating the diversity of chemistry within our community. Grants for activities are still available through the Outreach Fund, the deadline for applications in October as been extended to Monday 26th October.

Talk to the Outreach team if you have any Chemistry Week questions


Latest issue of Analytical Matters now available online
Find out about the latest Analytical Division activities including:
  • Opportunities to network at the Analytical Division Symposia
  • New Council members
  • 2020 Analytical Division award winners
  • CPD Resources including the latest AMC Technical Briefs
If you have any items you wish to be included in the next newsletter please email analyticalmatters@rsc.org by 31 October 2020.

Read the latest issue here


 
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.

Help us influence developments in post-18 technical education
We have an opportunity for you to help shape our policy work in technical education. We’re looking for research participants who would be happy to take part in a 40-minute interview, and would love to hear from people with the following viewpoints:
  • employers, especially if you are involved in hiring or training employees for technician roles. You don’t need to be very familiar with post-18 technical qualifications.
  • educators, if you currently offer, used to offer or have considered offering post-18 technical qualifications in subjects related to chemistry.
Technicians and the skills they bring are vital to the chemical sciences. We want to influence future developments in relevant education routes. This research will help us understand the current qualification landscape: are existing qualifications recognised by employers, attractive to providers and appealing to learners? How do they prepare learners for entering the workplace or further study?

The research is being conducted on our behalf by Shift Membership. You can express an interest as an employer or an education provider, or find out more on the Networks Newsletter blog.

Read the blog article to learn more about this project and our broader education policy activities

 
Thank you for reading!

The Networks Newsletter is sent to all member network committee members as a dynamic newsletter with tailored content, this is the full version. Please get in touch with suggestions for what you would like included or feedback about what we've sent you!

Send us your feedback

Kind regards,

The Networks Team
Fiona, Aurora and Debbie


 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Oct 1, 2020 2:00 PM BST
Dear ​colleague,

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

This month’s Newsletter contains:
  • Upcoming Deadlines
  • Upcoming Events
  • Spotlight: New Annual Report form for 2020
  • Communications from across the RSC
  • Latest updates on our policy work
 
Upcoming Deadlines
 
08 Sept
10 Sept
14 Sept
14 Sept
22 Sept
24 Sept
29 Sept
01 Oct
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 17 September to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 17 September
Application deadline for the Outreach Fund small and large grants
Deadline for PCCP Emerging Investigator Lectureship nominations
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 1 October to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 1 October
Registration deadline for Cooperative phenomena in framework materials
Deadline for Local Section and Interest Group Top-Up Fund applications
 
Upcoming Events
 
03 Sept
15 Sept
17 Sept
29-30 Sept
01 Oct
13-16 Oct
Member e-alerts
Meet the Editor: Kaushik Chatterjee, RSC Advances - 4pm-5pm IST
Member e-alerts
Chemical Science Symposium 2020
Member e-alerts
Cooperative phenomena in framework materials: Faraday Discussion
   
Spotlight: New Annual Report form for 2020

Last year, we asked you to submit your 2019 Annual Reports using an online form.

We felt that this was a balance of collecting the information we needed in a simple and clear manner, while also streamlining the process of collating data from over 100 reports. However, much of the feedback we received was that you want a report form that shows you an overview of all of your activities, which can be shared among the committee to be updated and edited easily.

Some committees very generously shared spreadsheets they use to gather information about ongoing and future events, and we have used these to create a new Annual Report Form using Excel.

We are looking for volunteers to beta test this new form over the coming weeks. We want to be sure that the new process works for you while maintaining the integrity of the data collection process - we want to use the information to celebrate the impact of our networks and your achievements, particularly during this tumultuous time.

Contact us if you would like to test the new 2020 Annual Report form

 
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.

Free RSC Affiliate Membership for online event attendees: IG100
One positive outcome from the new online events has been the opportunity to engage with the global chemical sciences community. We have created a discount code for you to share during your events to encourage your event attendees who are not RSC members to become RSC Affiliate members for free and to join your network.

Affiliate membership doesn’t need a degree transcript or CV, your attendees simply need to complete the application form at rsc.li/affiliate and use the discount code IG100.

Download slides to use to promote the offer during your events


RSC Science Divisions Online Symposia
Our Science Divisions warmly invite you to join a fortnightly Wednesday series of free online symposia to hear about the latest research in your community and network with colleagues.

During each online event you will hear from keynote speakers, including RSC Prizes & Awards winners, alongside short talks from early career researchers. Each symposium includes an online networking session, open to all, which we hope you will take advantage of to discuss the latest research and make new connections.


The symposium series kicks off on Wednesday 9 September with the Organic Division, and will run once every two weeks.

Learn more and register here


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 September deadlines are Monday 14 September for both small grant (up to £5,000) and large grant applications (£5,000 to £10,000). Please visit our website for further details on applying during this period or get in touch with the team.


Find out more about eligibility, criteria and restrictions here


Announcing our new journal – Environmental Science: Atmospheres
We are excited to announce our new gold open access journal, Environmental Science: Atmospheres, a cross-disciplinary journal spanning the entirety of Earth’s atmosphere, advancing the understanding of atmospheric science and related challenges.

Led by Neil Donahue (Carnegie Mellon University), Environmental Science: Atmospheres is a new space for connecting communities and inspiring new ideas.


Visit rsc.li/esatmospheres to learn more or submit your paper

 
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.


Research and Development Landscape Collective
Our Research and Development Landscape Collective is a new group for members who want to provide their evidence and insights to help us inform and shape UK government policy on research and development (R&D) – everything from funding for R&D to commercialisation of research, international collaboration, mobility of researchers, open science and research culture.

You can contribute as and when you want. In return, we’ll keep you informed of our research and development landscape policy work and how we’re using it to change UK government thinking.

Join our Research and Development Landscape Collective now


 
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

Kind regards,

The Networks Team
Fiona, Aurora and Debbie

 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Sep 1, 2020 2:30 PM BST
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