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 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
Last month the 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Royal Society of Chemistry was held online on Wednesday 8 July with 400 members in attendance.
During the AGM, we shared a video highlighting some of the successes of 2019 and Tom Welton, our incoming President, thanked you, our volunteers, for all of the incredible work you do. In 2019 you organised over 600 events catering to more than 45,000 members of the chemical sciences community, amplifying our reach and impact around the world.

The pandemic has changed how we engage with members, in some ways for the better.
Many of you have had to cancel or postpone physical events in 2020, but it has been inspiring to see how many of you have found alternative ways to engage with your community.

Since lockdown began, RSC member networks have held nearly 80 online events with a further 50 planned for the rest of the year. This includes 40 committee meetings using the Networks Meetings GoToMeeting account, and 31 events using the GoToWebinar account that have reached almost 4000 people from over 40 countries. Several Interest Groups have set up highly successful regular online seminar series with international speakers and audiences that would not have been possible as physical events.

Some highlights include:
  • A Surface Coatings Group webinar in April looked at anti-viral surfaces and their use in tackling Covid-19, sparking intense and ongoing collaborative online discussion.
  • In the height of lockdown our Italian Local Section hosted their 2020 General Assembly online to safely engage with members across the country.
  • Both MSILDG and CISG found that hosting their AGMs online let them engage with a wider international community than previous physical events.
  • The Downland Local Section Lockdown Lectures are a great blend of social and scientific events with two short talks with questions and discussion using GoToMeeting over lunchtime.
  • The recent Porous Materials Group Twitter Conference (#RSCPMGPoster) saw entries from 31 countries and thousands of posts and interactions during the 48 hour event.
  • The Colloids & Interface Science Group organised a flash presentation symposium with “enhanced posters” and audience participation to award prizes.
What are the next steps?
Many groups have seen the benefits of hosting online events and will be continuing their online events beyond the current climate. We are working with some of these groups to create tailored training resources for online event organisers. These will be announced in the Newsletter and by email.

If your committee would like to know more about developing, planning and hosting online events, please take a look at our new Frequently Asked Questions document. This and other helpful guides can be found on the Useful Forms & Documents page

 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Aug 3, 2020 2:00 PM BST
Dear colleague,

Welcome to the August 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: Looking back at 2019 and where we go from here
  • Communications from across the RSC
  • Latest updates on our policy work
 
Upcoming Deadlines
 
10 August
11 August
13 August
25 August

27 August
07 September
08 September
10 September
14 September
August deadline for Outreach Fund small grants
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 20 August to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 20 August
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 3 September to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 3 September

Deadline for Inclusion & Diversity Fund applications
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
 
Upcoming Events
 
06 August
06 August
11 August
13 August
19 August
20 August
26 August
28 August
03 September
17 September
Member e-alerts
Start outlining your retirement goals and plans, 9.30am-12pm (UK time)
Identify anxiety and explore ways to reduce it, 10am–11am (UK time)
Tackling bullying and harassment, 3.30pm-4.30pm (UK time)
Start outlining your retirement goals and plans, 6.30pm–9pm (UK time)
Member e-alerts
Identify anxiety and explore ways to reduce it, 2pm–3pm (UK time)
RSC Desktop Seminar, hosted by RSC Chem Bio, 4pm-5.30pm JST, KST
Member e-alerts
Member e-alerts
 
Spotlight: Looking back at 2019 and where we go from here

During the RSC AGM last month, incoming President Tom Welton thanked you, our volunteers, for all of the incredible work you do. In 2019 you organised over 600 events catering to more than 45,000 members of the chemical sciences community, and it has been inspiring to see how many of you have found alternative ways to engage with your community online or on social media in the current climate.

Read about how the pandemic has changed how we engage with members, and what this means going forward, on the Networks Newsletter blog.

Read the full article to see the long term effects of the recent changes

 
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.

Member network online events - new password and FAQs
For data protection reasons we will be changing the passwords for the GoToWebinar and GoToMeeting accounts this week. We will contact all event organisers with the new details in the coming days – please do not hesitate to get in touch if you are not sure if you have the correct details.

Given the high number of events booked on the Networks Meetings accounts, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the booking process and protocol:
  • All events must be booked through the Networks team.
    For one off meetings, webinars and practice sessions, please complete the relevant booking form. If you would like to book a series of events, please contact the Networks team so that we can work with you to find a suitable time slot.
  • You can log in up to 30 min before your start time
    We would recommend that you log in 15-20 min before your event to ensure that there are no equipment or connectivity issues. We keep gaps between events on the calendar to facilitate this.
  • The Networks team will not log in to start your meeting/ event
    Due to the high volume of events we cannot log in to each one. However, we can provide training for event organisers and recommend booking a practice slot to familiarise yourself (and your speakers) with the technology.
We have created a Frequently Asked Questions document for member network committees wishing to plan and host online events for their members and the wider chemical sciences community. This and other helpful guides can be found on the Useful Forms & Documents page.

Check out our FAQ for advice on planning and hosting online events


2020 Regional Celebrations
We are looking for your input in re-shaping the Regional Celebrations that were originally due to take place in June and July this year.As a team, we look forward to these events as they provide a rich touchpoint with our members and enable us to recognise the achievements of our community. Whilst our face-to-face events were unable to take place, we have been building on the opportunities that online events can bring instead.

We value your feedback, so if you are interested in shaping an alternative format to our Regional Meetings this year, please complete our very short survey by clicking the button below. We will then be launching a series of online events to meet members’ preferences over the next few months.

Complete our survey and help shape the online Regional Celebrations


Changes to Chartered Chemist (CChem)
Over the last twelve months, a Working Party made up of members from our Professional Standards Board, Admissions Committee, CChem assessors, RSC staff and representatives of other chartered marks been conducting a review of our current CChem award. The aim of the review is to ensure that our CChem award is fit for purpose and relevant to today’s chemical scientist as well as continuing to be a high standard of professionalism for the future.

Currently, some members have difficulty finding a suitable mentor due to a number of factors such as working in a small organisation. A recommendation from the review is to form a pool of mentors to support these members.

In August we will be contacting all of our current CChem members to invite them to create our pool of CChem mentors. If you hold CChem status, please look out for our email. Training will be given and we will match you up with applicants.

We will be in touch with all of our CChem members later in the year to let you know what other changes are taking place and how this may affect you. The revised CChem award will be launched to all of our members in early 2021 and we hope to have a pool of mentors ready for then.

Contact Jonelle Harvey to learn more about chartership and the changes


Retirement in sight and reducing anxiety webinars
The Chemists’ Community Fund is hosting two series of online workshops for members to replace the highly successful wellbeing and resilience and retirement in sight workshops. These have been promoted particularly to rural Local Sections to support members who might not have made it to a physical workshop in the past.

Click on the button below for more information about the webinars, or contact the Chemists’ Community Fund team directly by email at ccfund@rsc.org.

Learn more about the CCF webinars here


Would your members want remote career consultation?
Our Careers team are hosting remote career consultations in Newcastle, Manchester, Darlington, Bristol, Doncaster or Oxford to provide confidential professional development advice, CV reviews, redundancy support and more.

Contact the Careers team if you would like to organise a virtual Careers Hub for your Local Section.


Analytical Division Council Changes
After the RSC AGM in July, Diane Turner (Anthias Consulting Ltd), has started her three year term as Analytical President. Duncan Graham (University of Strathclyde) will remain on Council for another year as Immediate Past President.

We welcome the following new appointments to Council:
  • Zoë Ayres (Hach Company) - Honorary Secretary
  • Melanie Bailey (University of Surrey)
  • Philip Dunn (LGC)
  • Karen Faulds (University of Strathclyde)
  • Ruchi Gupta (University of Birmingham)
  • Derek Stevenson - AMC Chair
We thank outgoing Members Perdita Barran (University of Manchester) and David Perrett (Barts Medical School) for their commitment and dedication during their time on AD Council.

Read the new AD Council Member biographies


ACTF Logo Competition Winners
After the cancellation of the Schools Analysts Competition events in March 2020, trustees of the Analytical Chemistry Trust (ACTF) launched a competition for students to design a new logo for the trust fund.

Trustees reviewed 30 entries and were very impressed with the range of logo’s submitted and the quality of the designs. Finally, they selected two winners who will both receive a prize of £300. It is hoped that these can be used as inspiration for a new logo that will be completed by a professional designer.


And the winners are…
  • Katie Hartwright of Comberton Sixth Form in East Anglia
  • Sandali Narasinghe of Hymers College in the North East Region
Trustees also invited students to submit TikTok videos labelled #SchoolsAnalyst2020 that show them doing analytical or measurement science at home.

The three winners of this competition are:
  • @ktyson2 - Experiment to determine the refractive effect that concentrations of nail varnish have on water
  • @im_d.prest - Can I disprove Phlogiston in my garage? Of course.
  • @gjrocks17 - Combustion of cereals to get kJ energy
Many congratulations to all the prize winners!

 
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.

Government Survey on Research and Development Plans
Following the publication of the R&D Roadmap on the 1st July, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are inviting responses to their open survey on UK R&D Policy. We would encourage our members to add their voice, and contribute to development of the government R&D plan.

Take the survey before 12 August

 
Thank you for reading!

A tailored version of this Newsletter is sent to all member network committee members and International Representatives. 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 Aug 3, 2020 2:00 PM BST
This month Hassun El-Zafar, our Public Engagement Officer, discusses the difference between objectives and outputs when planning outreach and public engagement activities. What do you want to achieve? How do you think you can do it? Share your thoughts with Hassun via email at zafarh@rsc.org or on Twitter @HassunElZafar.


We’ve now lost track of our time in lockdown. But as I sit at my newly made workspace at home, facing directly into our front room window, it’s time to write another blog article.

Over the last months we’ve been relooking at how we do public engagement, what we want to achieve and how we can achieve this within the time, resources and new normal we find ourselves. It is indeed a strange time, but also one that demands creativity, imagination and ideas, and requires us to not just think outside the box, but to make a whole new box, or to throw the box away and be radical, brave and bold.

Public engagement thrives when boundary-pushing ideas give audiences experiences that are memorable, enjoyable and/or empowering. I recently did a masterclass with Aaron Sorkin on story ideas, and I think some of it is applicable for this blog. Sorkin states that there’re two parts to having an idea, the first is knowing what an idea is. Something as broad as “chemistry of food” isn’t an idea, but a concept. It’s helpful in giving a sense of direction, but it’s not an idea yet.

Something like “chemistry of food” becomes an engagement idea when we start thinking of the objectives that we want to achieve and the outputs that we use to do to help us achieve this.

This brings me to the purpose of this article: to talk all matters outputs and outcomes – what they are, how they often blur into each other and how effective public engagement can make the most of them being clearly defined and differentiated.

I like to think of objectives in the same frame as what organisations call “visions”. The objective is the purpose behind the project, the reasons why it needs to be done and the motivation for why people should get involved. On the other hand, outcomes are what those same organisations would call “working plans”: what you’re going to set out to do and the mechanisms through which your objectives will be met.

I understand why the two can get confused, from experience it is usually due to one of the two being defined very weakly. Successful organisations have bold objectives, for example, Nike’s objective, even in its early days was never simply to sell running shoes, but rather Phil Knight (co-founder of Nike) wanted to make ordinary people feel like Olympic winning athletes. It sounds impossible, but it’s that vision that propelled Nike into being a world-renowned sports brand. The selling of shoes, signing of sponsorship deals (e.g. Air Jordans) and expansion into attire were all outputs in achieving that one objective.

Let’s go back to the “chemistry of food” idea:

You want people to engage with the Chemistry of Food… Why?
Because I live in a food desert filled with liquor stores, fast food restaurants and vacant lots. The obesity rate is five times what it is in a more affluent area just eight miles away.

I’m hooked, you got a plan?
To install a vegetable garden on the strip between the footpath and the street that the city owns but the resident has to maintain.

Ok, but how’s that going to address the problem?
The garden becomes a tool for the education, a tool for the transformation of my neighbourhood. To change the community, you have to change the composition of the soil. We are the soil. Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus you get strawberries.

Sounds great, and strawberries too? Sold!

Now, I’ve obviously simplified this. But this is actually a real idea by Ron Finley, AKA the Gangster Gardener from South Central LA; his brilliant TED talk can be seen here.

Ron’s objective was to make his community understand the importance of healthy eating and the value of food production. His outputs included changing old green sidewalk grass areas into fruit and vegetable gardens, abandoned car lots into gardening schools, old trailers into farm markets, and much more.

Note, each output fits into being a mechanism into achieving the overarching objective, which is his source of motivation, the reason why he started his project and continues to pursue it every day.

What I love is that he thought outside the box, started small, learnt more about his audience and continued to build ways to better and better engage his community. His project still runs today and he’s become a community and global role model (and he didn’t even need a camera to do it).

So on your next outreach project, think about your motivation and be bold and aspirational like Ron. I think the world needs creative engagement projects like his more than ever.



This is our fourth 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?


 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Jul 1, 2020 11:00 AM BST
Dear colleagues,

Welcome to the July 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: Outputs ≠ Outcomes
  • Communications from across the RSC
 
Upcoming Deadlines
 
01 July
07 July
09 July
13 July
28 July
30 July
31 July

10 August
Deadline for Local Section and Interest Group Top-Up Fund applications
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 16 July to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 16 July
July deadline for Outreach Fund small grants
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 6 August to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 6 August
Deadline for Local Section inserts into September Chemistry World issue
August deadline for Outreach Fund small grants
 
Upcoming Events
 
02 July
10 July
16 July
06 August

20 August
29-30 September
Member e-alerts
Effective communication with Journal editors (8am BST / 4pm JST)
Member e-alerts
Member e-alerts
Member e-alerts
Chemical Science Symposium 2020 - now being held online
 
Spotlight: Public engagement – Outputs ≠ Outcomes

What do you want to achieve? How do you think you can do it?

This month Hassun El-Zafar, our Public Engagement Officer, discusses the difference between objectives and outputs when planning outreach and public engagement activities.

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!

Read the full 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.

Volunteer recognition award winners announced
The 2020 Prizes and Awards winners were announced last week, and we would like to congratulate all of the volunteer recognition award winners!

Award for Exceptional Service
  • David Evans
    For outstanding service to the Royal Society of Chemistry through the activities of our inorganic and biochemical member-led communities.
  • William Griffith
    For outstanding service to the Royal Society of Chemistry through our Historical Group and for advising on activities celebrating the history of the chemical sciences.
  • John Hepworth
    For outstanding service to the Royal Society of Chemistry through our Local Sections, governance committees and Board of Trustees.
  • Jackie Morton
    For outstanding service to the Royal Society of Chemistry through the activities of the Sheffield and District Local Section and the Atomic Spectroscopy Group.
Inspirational Committee Award Inspirational Member Award
  • John Dean
    For dedication to the planning, coordination and ongoing development of the Schools Analyst Competition.
  • Amanda Hardy
    For her dedication to the diversification of the committee and programmes of the Chilterns and Middlesex Local Section.
  • Steve Lancaster
    For dedication to the development of an analytical chemistry training programme in Africa.
  • Gemma Scotney
    For dedication to expanding the public engagement activities of the Kent Local Section.

We will be sharing more information about these great projects later in the year.

Explore the 2020 Prizes and Award winners gallery here


Celebrating the Analytical Division Award Winners
The 2020 Analytical Division Award winners have been announced and congratulations to the following:
  • Anne Bennett Memorial Award for Distinguished Service:
    Dr Mike Foulkes (University of Plymouth) for long-standing service to the RSC Analytical Division and the sustained promotion of analytical chemistry, particularly atomic spectroscopy.
  • Industrial Analytical Science Award:
    Dr Alex Shard (National Physical Laboratory) for pioneering accurate chemical measurements of surfaces and interfaces.
  • Joseph Black Award:
    Dr Anna Regoutz (University College London) for outstanding contributions to the development and application of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in the area of electronic materials and devices.
  • Robert Boyle Prize for Analytical Science:
    Professor Kourosh Kalanter-Zadeh (University of New South Wales) for the development of commercialised ingestible sensors for gut disorders, gas sensors for pollutants and point-of-care biosensors.
  • Ronald Belcher Award:
    Ms Hayley Simon (University College London) for outstanding and innovative research on the conservation of Mary Rose iron cannonballs, which has produced unique insights to the field of conservation.
  • Theophilus Redwood Award:
    Professor Richard Brown (National Physical Laboratory) for excellence in theoretical and practical aspects of chemical measurement leading to the recent redefinition of the mole, and communication of these changes.

Find out more about our 2020 Prizes and Awards winners here


Help shape the next phase of our Division Review
You will be aware from previous communications that we are currently undertaking a review of our Divisions to ensure there is clarity over the function and purpose of the Divisions and to achieve their full potential. The main objectives of the Review are:
  • To define the purpose and function of the Divisions
  • To define the relationship between Divisions, interest groups and other RSC groups
  • To ensure staff fully understand the purpose and potential of divisions and can support them effectively
  • To review effectiveness of member engagement with the Divisions
  • To review the management of any financial responsibilities held within the Divisions
We will be inviting input from all members from 10 July, and we would like to encourage you, as our most engaged and active members, to tell us what you think - this is your opportunity to shape our recommendations for the Divisions and define the relationship between Divisions, Interest Groups and other RSC groups.

Please contact secretariat@rsc.org if you have any queries about the survey.

Have your say: Complete our survey between 10 and 17 July


Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants
We are pleased to share with you that in light of feedback we have received we have been able to extend the 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 continue to be available on the funding webpages.


Additional redundancy support available for members
If you or your members are being affected by redundancy we offer a number of resources designed to help you navigate this challenging time

This includes our redundancy support page, which summarises how we can support you through 1:1 career consultations via phone or Zoom, a recorded webinar outlining practical information and advice and financial support via the Chemist’s Community Fund.

If you are being affected by redundancy then we'd encourage you to contact the Careers team via email (careers@rsc.org). They have significant experience in supporting members through career transitions.


 
Thank you for reading!

A tailored version of this Newsletter is sent to all member network committee members and International Representatives. 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 Jul 1, 2020 11:00 AM BST
The current environment has seen a dramatic shift in the public attitudes to science and scientists, and has shown the importance of science engagement programmes. Hassun El-Zafar, our Public Engagement Officer, is wondering about the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on public engagement. Share your thoughts with Hassun via email at zafarh@rsc.org or on Twitter @HassunElZafar.


At 2am I wake up to have my pre-sunrise breakfast and prepare for my 16 hour-long fast for Ramadan. For billions of people across the globe Ramadan marks a time of community, solidarity and reflection. This year feels much stranger than any other; we are experiencing Ramadan under lockdown, which means family gatherings are not happening, evening meals with friends are cancelled, annual charity fundraising initiates cannot take place and community hubs like mosques across the world are closed.

One of the most remarkable things I’ve learned from this Ramadan is that despite the odds, the essence and spirit of Ramadan has been more alive than ever. My family have found creative ways of staying in touch with each other – most impressively, my Grandma learnt how to video call me every day without any assistance, a remarkable feat. Friends have taken it upon themselves to host weekly zoom quizzes, in which I’ve learned things about them I’d never known before. Local fundraisers and campaigners have started incredible local covid-19 community support groups, with numerous examples of community hubs becoming makeshift food banks, shelters and crisis alleviation centres.

Over the last few months some unprecedented (yep, I used that word…) things have taken place. The covid-19 pandemic has changed the public engagement landscape. That change is here, whether we like it or not. And just like Ramadan, an entire community needs to find new, creative and pioneering ways to keep the spirit and impact of public engagement activities alive.

Public engagement in science is now more important than ever, it is not mere coincidence that the communities most affected by the covid-19 pandemic globally are also the same communities that have been continually underserved and underrepresented within science engagement programmes. We must ask, what is the purpose of our public engagement if we cannot reach those who need it the most? What changes must we make to do this? How can we share practise across the sector?

Here at the Royal Society of Chemistry, we’ve already adapted our funding model to help organisations and individuals do exactly this. We created a rolling Outreach Fund application process and I’ll be curating a series of online webinars over the next few months to help share best practise and ideas across the sector. As ever, I’m always up for hearing your ideas of how public engagement can be done in our new circumstances to!

Stay safe and well, I’ll end this blog with a quote from my childhood reading of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, which I found incredibly fitting for the circumstances we find ourselves:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”




This is our third blog article from Hassun, you can read the others in the series here:
  1. Know Your Audience
  2. Co-Create, Co-Create, Co-Create
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Jun 1, 2020 1:30 PM BST
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