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.

Share this |

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linked More...

Latest Posts

Archive for May, 2019
 Dear all,

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

This month in the spotlight we have an update from the Chemists’ Community Fund team about recent changes to the Volunteer Framework and their ongoing activities.

This month’s Newsletter contains:
  • Upcoming Administration Deadlines
  • Upcoming Events
  • Spotlight: Chemists’ Community Fund Volunteer Network
  • Communications from across the RSC
  • Latest updates on our policy work

As always, full-length Spotlight articles will be published on the RSC Networks Newsletter blog.


Upcoming Administration Deadlines

07 May      Deadline for E-alerts going out on 16 May to additional networks
09 May      Deadline for E-alerts going out on 16 May
13 May      Close of applications for the Outreach Grant
28 May      Deadline for E-alerts going out on 6 June to additional networks
30 May      Deadline for E-alerts going out on 6 June
10 June     Close of applications for the Research Fund
11 June     Deadline for E-alerts going out on 20 June to additional networks
13 June     Deadline for E-alerts going out on 20 June
16 June     Close of applications for the Inclusion & Diversity Fund


Upcoming Events

02 May          Member e-alerts
14 May          Investment Catalyst
14 May          Building Personal Resilience webinar
16 May          Member e-alerts
3–5 July        Indo-UK Researcher Links Workshop on Waste Water Management, Chandigarh
8–11 July      14th International Conference on Materials Chemistry (MC14)
11–12 Sept   2019 Joliot Curie Conference

You can find all of our member network events here:


Spotlight: Chemists’ Community Fund Volunteer Network

Over the past year the Chemists’ Community Fund has been consulting with our volunteers to revise the volunteering roles that support the work of the Fund. The revised Volunteer Network Framework is now in place with distinct role descriptor and training resources for each role.

The work that all of our volunteers undertake is vitally important to enable us to provide the support that we do. To find out more about the new Framework and training, read the full blog post.

For more information about Chemists’ Community Fund activities, go to or email the team.


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.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 will take place from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2019.

On Tuesday 14 May, the Chemists’ Community Fund are hosting an interactive webinar on ‘Building Personal Resilience’ with Jo Twiselton, a change and engagement specialist and leadership coach. Please register for the webinar here and share this with members in your network.

Regional Celebrations 2019
Our 2019 Regional Celebration events are an opportunity to recognise the efforts and professional successes of local members and celebrate the International Year of the Periodic Table.

Check out for the Regional Celebration nearest you and register for a chance to network with RSC staff and other members in your local area. Refreshments and food will be provided.

The Royal Society of Chemistry – Royal Society International Exchanges Award
Application deadline: 30 May 2019 (3pm UK time)

Grants are available for new collaborations between researchers in the UK and Sub Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) for chemistry projects. These are for two-year projects and up to £12,000 is available for travel, including a maximum of £3,000 for research costs. The main applicant must be the UK researcher.

For more information go to:

First round of the Research Fund opens on Monday 6 May
The Research Fund will open for applications on 6 May and close on 10 June

This year, we are running two rounds of the Research Fund so that we can support even more excellent projects. The scheme enables members to conduct their own project of either high scientific or societal impact that may not otherwise receive funding. Applications are welcome from early career researchers, those at well less funded institutes and those in developing countries.

The second round of applications will run from 2 September to 7 October. Please note that members can only apply once this year.

Want to know more about the Research Fund and how it might benefit you? Take a look at Professor John Spencer's Story.

Go to for full terms and conditions and to submit your application.

Inclusion & Diversity Fund is open for applications
The 2019 I Inclusion & Diversity Fund closes on Sunday 16 June

What do raising the profile of female scientists, adapting resources for students with disabilities,
and research into inequality in the chemistry community have in common?

They are all supported by our Inclusion & Diversity Fund. Your project could be, too. Grants are available up to £5000.

For details, visit

Chemists’ Community Fund Volunteer training
On Wednesday 26th June there will be training for Chemists’ Community Fund Local Section Coordinators and Ambassadors in the form of an online webinar. Any questions can be sent to the Fund office ahead of this date and we will endeavour to include this in the training session, and there will be options to ask questions and get involved throughout the webinar.

If you are a Local Section Coordinator or Ambassador, please do register for the webinar here.

‘GCMS Training: A Hands On Approach’ workshop, various locations in Africa
This Pan Africa Chemistry Network training course, supported by GSK, will cover the practical aspects of Gas Chromatography, method development, quantitative analysis and spectral interpretation of GC-MS.

Courses will take place in Ethiopia (30 Sep – 4 Oct) and Nigeria (18 – 22 Nov). To find out more and apply, visit – only 15 spaces available per course.

Chemcareers webinars
We have a series of different chemcareers webinar topics coming up including how to develop your teaching career, what to expect if you are looking to transition from an academic career, careers in science policy and becoming a professional member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Our leading webinars are with leading members of the community and our in-house career experts to help you explore your options or develop your career.

Our full 2019 programme:

What are your career goals for 2019?
It’s always a good time to think about developing your skills or planning your career. Our career management team are here to support you and your career, wherever it may take you. Our qualified Career Specialists will be visiting Bath, Dundee, Aberdeen, Brighton and York to speak with members. Book online or email the team to arrange a remote appointment or find out how we can support you.

Registration is now open for the Joliot Curie Conference 2019
11 – 12 September at the University of Nottingham

The Joliot-Curie Conference is the annual must-attend event dedicated to supporting the aspirations of early career post-doctoral researchers who are aspiring to an independent career in academic research, particularly those who are under-represented in academia.

Come and hear from our panels of eminent academics, take part in one-to-one sessions and workshops and explore career topics that are relevant to everyone.

Find out more, see the latest programme and register online 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.

Improving recognition of Higher Education teaching
Working with the Institute of Physics, the Physiological Society and the Royal Society of Biology, we’re conducting a survey to help us inform the HE STEM sector about developments in teaching and recognition of teaching staff.

Are you actively involved in teaching in a Higher Education setting in the UK? We’d love to hear from you. Please share your experiences:

Response on Scottish STEM education
As part of the Learned Societies’ Group, we responded to the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee on Scottish STEM education and expressed concerns about narrowing of subject choices at secondary level in Scotland.

International chemistry survey reveals scale of Brexit concern
Thank you to everyone who took part in our recent policy survey, which looked at attitudes to aspects of the UK’s future relationship with the EU. We had nearly 5,800 responses, which gives us a good understanding of what our community think:

On EU funding programmes:
75% of respondents felt that impact on UK science and innovation of UK involvement in EU framework programmes like Horizon 2020 had been positive, and only 3% felt it had been negative. 

We will: Continue to campaign for the UK’s full participation in the next framework programme – Horizon Europe.

On mobility and immigration:
84% of respondents felt freedom of movement had a positive impact on UK science and innovation, 71% felt it had a positive impact on their own career. 71% said the proposed new visa system would have a negative impact on UK science, in particular the proposed salary threshold.

We will: Use this as evidence when talking to Government about changes to the UK immigration processes and further explore your concerns about the proposed new visa system. Please get in touch if you can help us understand the impacts (positive and negative) of changes to visa and immigration policy on chemistry

On chemicals and product regulation after Brexit:
88% of respondents felt UK chemicals regulation should be harmonised with the EU (42%) or globally (46%), with only 4% preferring new and different UK chemicals legislation.

We will: Use this as further evidence to campaign for harmonised chemicals regulation, whether at the EU or global level and to campaign for a continued close partnership between the UK and EU agencies.

On the potential impact of No Brexit Deal:
84% of respondents said No Deal would be negative for UK science, compared with only 4% who thought it would be positive.

We will: Continue to highlight the risks of No Deal to policy makers (for example, this briefing to parliamentarians) as long as No Deal remains a possibility.



We welcome any feedback you have on what you would like included in this newsletter; please email any suggestions to

Please feel free to encourage other members of your committee to read the Networks Newsletter blog.

Kind regards,

The Networks Team
Fiona, Aurora & Becky

Posted by Aurora Walshe on May 2, 2019 5:16 PM BST
The May 2019 Networks Newsletter sees an update about the revised Chemists' Community Fund Volunteer Network Framework from Anna Dearden, the Chemists' Community Fund Manager. Contact Anna and the CCF team at with any comments or questions.

Over the past year the Chemists’ Community Fund has been consulting with our volunteers to revise the volunteering roles that support the work of the Fund. The key areas that we considered were:
  • the needs of our beneficiaries,
  • the priorities for the Fund (including the main need to raise awareness on the breadth of support and services available),
  • the practices of other benevolent funds, and
  • general good practice in recruiting, supporting and training volunteers (including managing risks and meeting our legal requirements).
The revised Volunteer Network Framework is now in place:

The Local Coordinators will enable us to retain the important links that we have with each local section.

The Ambassadors will link with the Local Coordinator to support us to raise awareness of the Fund locally; this role can include raising awareness of the Fund at events, helping with sending Christmas cards, and supporting wellbeing workshops or retirement planning workshops. 

The Visitor role is solely intended for undertaking visits to beneficiaries.

We currently have 50 volunteer Visitors, 17 Ambassadors and 32 Local Coordinators and we are actively seeking more members to volunteer with us in the new Ambassador role to raise awareness of the Fund to RSC members. It’s important to note that these roles are not mutually exclusive and a member can be in multiple roles.

To help our volunteers, we have developed distinct role descriptors and training resources for each role. In particular, each Visitor requires in-depth training and greater levels of support, due to the nature of the role and associated legal requirements. We are therefore limited in our capacity to provide this level of training for any volunteer who is not visiting beneficiaries.

Three bespoke training and guidance sessions for 35 Visitors have been delivered so far in 2019, working with a specialist charity, the Befriending Networks, to provide these training sessions. This training supported the new structure covering issues of confidentiality, regulation, and behaviours, and feedback from those who attended has been very positive.

Training for Ambassadors and Local Section Coordinators will now follow and this has been arranged for June 2019.

The work that all of our volunteers undertake is vitally important to enable us to provide the support that we do. We are very appreciative of their continued involvement with the Fund, enabling us all to support our beneficiaries.

If you have any questions or feedback on the volunteering roles, or are interested in joining us as a volunteer, please do let us know by emailing or call 01223 432 539.

Anna Dearden, Chemists’ Community Fund Manager
May 2019                            

What else is the Chemists’ Community Fund up to?

The Fund has recently partnered with the National Autistic Society, who have provided training for RSC Careers and CCF staff, and have recommended some books for us to purchase.

In addition to the autism books, shown below, we have also purchased some titles on wellbeing. These are all available for any RSC member to request at any time from the library at Burlington House.


We continue to have a busy schedule of wellbeing and resilience workshops, with 16 being held to date, welcoming a total of 226 Attendees, and five further dates have been organised for later this year. We have also finished our three pilot retirement workshops, with the 83 attendees all reporting excellent feedback. We have more events planned for 2019.

If you would like to read more about our Retirement Workshops, please check out this article on the RSC website.

If you would like to help organise a workshop local to you, or to receive further information on this initiative, then please do contact Lara Pocock in the Fund Office If you would like to attend one of these workshops, they can be booked on the RSC website.

We are also hosting a Building Personal Resilience webinar for all RSC members on Tuesday 14th May, which is part of our campaign for Mental Health Awareness Week.

For more information about Chemists’ Community Fund activities, go to or email the team.
Posted by Aurora Walshe on May 2, 2019 5:16 PM BST