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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Archive for August, 2019
Pip Matthews gives an update on the latest developments from our Diversity team, plus tips and tricks to help you embed inclusion and diversity in your activities. To find out more about our diversity activities, contact the Diversity team.
Since we launched our Breaking the barriers report in November, we have been working hard to develop our next steps and work to tackle some of the barriers we identified to progression and retention of women in the chemical sciences.

The difficulty in balancing work life against expectations that women take on the majority of caring responsibilities come out of the research as a major factor in women’s career decisions. So, to make things easier we have launched our Grants for Carers. These grants will award anyone with caring responsibilities up to £1000 a year to enable them to attend a chemistry related meeting conference or workshop, or a professional development opportunity.

There’s no one type of care that fits all, which is why our grants are flexible, to be used however works for you to enable you to develop your career. It’s not just for childcare – we cover any types of dependents.

We have opened our grants up to all chemists in the UK, and RSC members worldwide. You can make multiple applications (adding to the total of £1000) so the fund can be used for committee meetings and regional events. There are no gender restrictions either - these grants are for men too! We want everyone to be able to balance a home life and their career.

Find more details, and the application form on our website.

Exploring the workplace for LGBT+ physical scientists

Despite progress, many LGBT+ physical scientists have experienced or observed exclusionary behaviour in the workplace. Feelings of discomfort are not necessarily the result of overt negativity, some of the actions that cause them might be almost imperceptible, or easily ignored.

There’s a wealth of evidence that science benefits from a diversity of thought, experience and background. Yet our workplaces are not always the inclusive environments we need to foster a diverse workforce. Tackling the barriers that LGBT+ physical scientists face can create broader benefits.

No one is definable by a single characteristic – we are all complex individuals subject to a whole host of different influences. But, to create an environment where the best scientists can flourish and the best science can be done, we need to make sure everyone feels comfortable.

If we can do that, it won’t just benefit our LGBT+ colleagues, but everyone in our workplaces.

Find more details, and the full report on our website, or download some of our inclusion and diversity resources to use when running events, managing committees and communicating information.

Tips and tricks for an inclusive committee

Finding a diverse pool of speakers and committee members can be a challenge. It’s hard to break away from using the same group of people. We’ve got some suggestions to help you to widen your search.
  • Professor isn’t always best – inviting postdocs to give higher level talks can increase the diversity of experiences in the room, and helps to develop the careers of people who are at a key transition point
  • Sponsor women – suggest women in your own networks them for roles and encourage them to apply for opportunities
  • If someone turns down an invitation, ask them to provide suggestions of alternative speakers
  • Don't hold events during half-term or school holidays
  • Mention our Grants for Carers in the invitation!
  • Ensure language is free from words that might imply discriminatory views, e.g. ‘the committee member’ rather than ‘he’ and ‘chair’ instead of ‘chairman’.
  • Refer to our guides to inclusive events and committees as a periodic check to make sure you are
For more information check out our diversity resources. For help with specific questions please contact and we’d be delighted to talk to you!
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Aug 1, 2019 1:00 PM BST
 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 information about the latest developments from our Diversity team. As always, full-length Spotlight articles will be published on the RSC Networks Newsletter blog.

This month’s Newsletter contains:
  • Upcoming Deadlines
  • Upcoming Events
  • Spotlight: Beyond breaking the barriers
  • Communications from across the RSC
  • Latest updates on our policy work

Upcoming Deadlines

06 August         Deadline for E-alerts going out on 15 August to additional networks
08 August         Deadline for E-alerts going out on 15 August
12 August         Deadline for Outreach Grant
27 August         Deadline for E-alerts going out on 5 September to additional networks
29 August         Deadline for E-alerts going out on 5 September
02 September   Researcher Mobility Grants open
08 September   Deadline for responding to survey on 2021-27 Horizon Europe framework programme
12 September   Deadline for ordering 2019 Christmas cards (UK and ROI Local Sections only)
12 September   Deadline for E-alerts going out on 19 September to additional networks
14 September   Deadline for E-alerts going out on 19 September
01 October        Deadline for Local Section and Interest Group Top-Up Fund applications
01 October        Nominations for RSC Prizes and Awards are open


Upcoming Events

01 August                    Member e-alerts
15 August                    Member e-alerts
22 August                    Using GoToWebinar - RSC webinar for member networks
03 September              Using GoToMeeting - RSC webinar for member networks
05 September              Member e-alerts
11–12 September        2019 Joliot Curie Conference
19 September              Member e-alerts
03 October                   Member e-alerts
17 October                   Member e-alerts


Spotlight: Beyond breaking the barriers

Pip Matthews gives an update on the latest developments with our breaking the barriers programme looking at women’s progression and retention, the results of our new report on the experiences of LGBT+ scientists in the workplace, plus tip and tricks to help you embed inclusion and diversity in your activities.

To find out more about our diversity activities, read the full blog post, or contact the Diversity 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.

New Chemists’ Community Fund video
The Chemists’ Community Fund have recently produced a promotional video to explain a little bit about what they can offer to members and their dependents. The aim of this video is to be played at local events, please do share the video with your networks and contact the Fund team with any feedback and ideas.

2019 Royal Society of Chemistry Christmas cards for UK and ROI Local Sections
All UK and ROI Local Section Secretaries should have received an email last week asking them to confirm their 2019 Christmas card order details. Once again, those committees who chose to include either the letter from the Chemists’ Community Fund or include some text from the Fund outlining new services and contacts will be able to reclaim the costs of postage from the Fund.

If you have not already done so, please can you confirm your order by Thursday 12 September? Please note that if we do not hear from you, no cards will be ordered for your committee.

PACN Congress 2019: ‘Riches of the Natural World: Sustainable Use of Africa’s Natural Products and Materials’
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 5–7 November

This annual flagship event will take place in Addis Ababa from 5th – 7th November 2019. The theme of the congress is natural resources and their sustainable management in Africa, and will include scientific sessions on natural products, raw materials and biomaterials, and climate change and water resources.

Abstract submissions are now open and full funding is available if you are selected for a presentation and you are an African scientist working in Africa. Don’t miss out – deadline is 12 August 2019.

Find out more and apply at:

The Royal Society of Chemistry – Royal Society International Exchanges Award.
Applications open Wednesday 14 August

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.

For more information go to The main applicant must be the UK researcher.

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

The Joliot-Curie Conference is dedicated to supporting the aspirations of early career postdocs aspiring to a career in academic research, particularly those who are under-represented in academia.

In 2017, 100% of delegates said they would recommend it. Come and hear from our expert speakers in an informal setting including Saiful Islam, Tom Welton, Cecilia Fenech-Brincat, Hazel Phillips, Jeremy Sanders, Peter Licence, Robert Parker, Carol Robinson and many more. Also included is 1-2-1 mentoring sessions, poster sessions, dinner and our highly-rated funding workshops. Registration costs £25.
Find out more and register 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.

EU survey on the €100bn 2021-27 Horizon Europe framework programme
The European Commission are seeking views from organisations and individuals on the priorities and impact measures for Horizon Europe. We have been making the case for the programme to maintain its focus on excellence and to enable broad third country participation for the benefit of both the EU and its citizens and third countries. These recommendations will form the basis of our response to the European Commission’s survey.

We would like to encourage you to respond to the survey by September 8 2019 to ensure our community’s views are well-represented: the Commission have made it clear that all submissions will be given equal weight. You are welcome to use our recommendations, but insights from your own area of chemistry will be particularly valuable for the last question on impacts.


Thank you for reading!

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

Kind regards,

The Networks Team
Fiona, Aurora & Becky

Posted by Aurora Walshe on Aug 1, 2019 1:00 PM BST