Welcome to RAPS

Announcement #1: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we have taken the difficult decision not to host the RAPS meeting in 2020.

Announcement #2: We are pleased to announce the first of a RAPS virtual seminar series, commencing Wednesday 2nd September. Each seminar will include a talk from an established PI/industrial scientist, a new PI/industrial scientist and a PDRA. There will also be an opportunity for networking. Check out our LinkedIn group and Virtual Seminar Series page for more details.

Save the date: Provisional dates for the 21st RAPS meeting are 1st-3rd September 2021.

About us

Recent Appointees in Polymer Science (RAPS) is a network for young academic and industrial scientists working in any area of polymer science. RAPS membership is free and extended to all those in the early stage of their career, typically those within six years of starting their first permanent academic or industrial post, as well as research fellows and postdoctoral researchers who are keen to progress on a scientific track.

The RAPS committee organise an annual conference that provides an ideal opportunity for RAPS members to form networks and collaborations, as well as presenting their latest research. The RAPS meeting has a strong focus on career development and features a number of plenary speakers who provide an overview of their careers, as well as specialist talks and discussions on areas such as scientific publishing, technology transfer and science journalism.

RAPS maintains strong links with Macro Group, our parent organisation, whose membership is drawn from academia and industry, and spans the entire career range from research student to senior positions in industry and academia. Macro Group is dedicated to furthering Polymer Science in the UK by promoting meetings and fostering interactions.

The 20th RAPS meeting was held at The University of Leeds on the 4th - 6th September 2019. Invited speakers included Prof Lian Hutchings (University of Durham), Dr Rachel Evans (University of Cambridge), Prof Andrew Wilson (University of Leeds) and Dr Richard England (AstraZeneca). Please see the meetings page for further details.

To connect with members of the RAPS network, please join our LinkedIn group and follow us on Twitter.

Delegates at RAPS 2019 held at the University of Leeds

History of RAPS

RAPS (Recent Appointees in Polymer Science) was the brain child of Steve Howdle (Nottingham), Steve Rannard (Liverpool), Patrick Fairclough (Sheffield), Nigel Clarke (Durham) and Bill McDonald (DuPont) who, in a moment of inspiration at the High Polymer Research Group meeting in Moretonhampstead, observed that young scientists needed assistance in forming their own networks and contacts. Some time and a few meetings later an EPSRC grant was successfully acquired under the and RAPS was born, with Sharon Cooper and Neil Cameron of Durham taking the lead roles in the new society. Initially RAPS was an industry and EPSRC-funded organisation that aimed to provide a forum for Recent Appointees in all sectors of UK Polymer Science to forge links and networks for the future. Although the EPSRC funding has now ceased the main aims of RAPS have continued.