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

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

Networks Newsletter November 2018

Dear all,

Welcome to the November edition of the networks newsletter. This month we have a special update about Brexit and our campaigning actions to date, please contact our Policy and Evidence team on with any comments or questions.
Upcoming Administration Deadlines
6 November      Deadline for E-alerts going out on 15th November to additional networks
8 November      Deadline for E-alerts going out on 15th November
27 November    Deadline for E-alerts going out on 6th December to additional networks
29 November    Deadline for E-alerts going out on 6th December
30 November    Deadline for Local Section inserts for January Chemistry World
Upcoming Events
6 November      Women’s retention and progression report launch
6–8 November  Pan Africa Chemistry Network Congress, Nairobi, Kenya
19–25 Nov        Chemistry Week: ‘Community Outreach – Chemistry for Everyone’
21 November    ChemCareer workshop for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
5–13 Dec          Joliot-Curie Webinar Series 2018
31 January        Retirement in Sight Workshop
Brexit Update

Brexit continues to dominate the news, with talks between the EU and UK on a Withdrawal Agreement (the ‘divorce settlement’) continuing at the time of writing. We know that the impact of Brexit on the chemical sciences and our chemistry community is an issue of huge concern, particularly in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.  Thank you to all the member networks who have provided us with feedback and evidence on this – please do keep that coming. The RSC continues to campaign for a Brexit that works for science and innovation, as set out in Our vision for a future EU-UK Science Agreement. There’s a list of our recent campaigning actions at the end of this piece, but first a word on mobility/ immigration rules.

At the time of writing, we expect the Government to publish its Immigration White Paper in early November. The post-Brexit immigration rules matter, as chemistry departments, research groups and businesses need to have access to European and global talent pools to attract the right scientists – and perceptions can be as important as the rules themselves. Government seems likely to accept many recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) reports on EEA migration in the UK and International Students in the UK, the subject of Jo Reynolds’ recent article. The MAC recommended that there should be a focus on high-skilled immigration and no particular preference for EEA or EU nationals, which the Prime Minister has suggested she supports. The MAC acknowledged that preferential treatment for EU nationals could be part of the agreement on the future economic partnership between the EU and UK, something we and other science bodies would support.

When the Government’s proposals are published, we would like your urgent help to understand in detail how they are likely to affect the chemical science and our community – and the top priorities for seeking to influence the legislation in parliament. We will be in touch with some questions soon and would appreciate your help here. We have clearly said, including in our to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry and in a recent that there must be easy movement of scientists between the UK and the EEA - and of scientists globally. This includes students and the dependents of those who move. We know this affects many members of our community, as individuals or because family members and/or colleagues are feeling the current uncertainty.

What is the RSC doing?

In 2016, Council agreed three priority areas for the RSC’s Brexit work. Our three ‘asks’ to implement these are:
  1. The UK needs to secure associated country status in the Horizon Europe programme, (the 9th Framework Programme for science and innovation). UK participation in EU framework programmes brings benefits to both UK and EU researchers.
  2. There must be easy movement of scientists between the UK and the EEA. This includes students and the dependents of those who move.
  3. Discussions between scientists globally are critical to achieving harmonised and proportionate decision-making in regulation. Effective cooperation and continued data sharing between the UK and the EU is essential in supporting our future trading relationship.
Recent actions in support of this include:

Horizon Europe
  • We work directly with the Government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to input on science and Brexit. Past President and Member Communities’ Board chair John Holman represents the RSC and others on the High-Lever Stakeholder Working Group and Tanya Sheridan on its sub-group.
  • We researched and published a set of members’ case studies illustrating the benefits of UK participation in Horizon Europe. We have shared these with Government and with other science bodies.
  • We developed our policy position on Horizon Europe and fed in to BEIS and European Chemical and Molecular Society (EuChemS) submissions.
Easy Movement
  • We submitted evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry on ‘an immigration system for science and innovation’ to emphasise the importance of easy movement for scientists, including for short-term visits.
  • We wrote up the findings from analysis of our conferences into an article and saw this data has influenced the Committee, as they mentioned it in their report.
Chemicals regulation
  • John Holman wrote to DEFRA ministers, setting out our concerns around chemicals regulation, in the context of Brexit – including the absence of clear arrangements for scientific collaboration to support chemicals regulation during the transition period.
  • We also raised our concerns with the Environmental Audit Committee in June 2018.
  • We flagged the lack of clarity around future chemicals regulation arrangements when responding to DEFRA’s Environmental Principles and Governance’ consultation. A group of members, with the Policy team, developed a set of principles for the management of chemicals in the environment ‘Principles for the management of chemicals in the Environment’ in response.
  • Cam Alexander-White proactively flagged our concerns on chemicals regulation to the House of Lords EU committee and followed up with two letters in August and October. This provided briefing material for the Committee to ask Michael Gove directly about the problems in chemicals regulation in the event of a no deal Brexit.
Communications from across the RSC

Help us shape the future of our prizes and awards
We are conducting a review of our Recognition Programmes this year, with a focus on prizes and awards.
We are proud of our heritage and at the same time open to the need to evolve, to ensure that our recognition programmes are relevant in a diverse and changing world, and exemplify the achievements and contributions that are at the heart of advancing the chemical sciences for the benefit of science and humanity.

Overseen by an independent group, chaired by Professor Jeremy Sanders (University of Cambridge), the review will develop an ambitious future-looking vision for recognition in science and for our own prizes and awards.
Help us shape the future of recognition by sending your views to us at
Interested in a career in defence science?
Join the representatives from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) for this ChemCareer webinar on 21 November at 12:30. Hear about this rewarding and challenging career and how you can make the most effective application ahead of their upcoming recruitment for chemical scientists. Register now.
Speak with a qualified Careers Specialist in a city near you
Appointments are still available to talk to a Specialist in Newcastle, Coventry and Bristol during November. You can also speak to us at our London office fortnightly (book online) and on request by phone, video conference or in Cambridge throughout the week early morning and evenings on specific dates. If you’re a member of our professional categories and want to talk about anything related to your career email We’re here to help.

Joliot-Curie Webinar Series 2018
Calling all post-docs looking for an independent career in academic research – join our free interactive webinars this December and hear from our panels of experts. The webinars will help you to:
  • Find out more about academic research careers and the different ways to access them
  • Get information and support on issues affecting your career progression in academic research
  • Ask our experts live online for hints, tips and practical guidance on a range of essential topics for aspiring academics.
Wednesday 5 December       12:30 – 13:15    Multiple pathways to success
Thursday 6 December
           12:30 – 13:15    How to stand out – make the grade                
Wednesday 12 December     12:30 – 13:15    Funding your research
Thursday 13 December         08:30 – 09:15    Women in academic leadership 

All webinars will include an interactive question and answer session.

Full details of panel speakers and information about how to register is here:
Pilot Retirement in Sight Workshop
After the success of the wellbeing workshops, the Chemists’ Community Fund will be piloting retirement planning workshops over the next few months. Aimed at members 5–10 years before retirement, these workshops are designed to assist with how to balance life now and the life they are hoping to live in retirement. The next pilot event will be held at Burlington House on 31st January 2019 from 9am–1pm, if any local sections would be interested in hosting an event later in the year then please contact Lara at

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 Oct 29, 2018 4:27 PM Europe/London

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