Welcome to RAPS

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 present 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.

Previous RAPS meetings can be found here. And the information about the next meeting will be shown here

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 students to senior positions in industry and academia. Macro Group is dedicated to furthering Polymer Science in the UK by promoting meetings and fostering interactions.

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

Recent meeting

The 23rd Annual RAPS Meeting (RAPS 2023) was successfully held in person at the University of Birmingham on the 6th - 8th of September 2023, and organised by Dr Maria Chiara Arno. Plenary speakers include Prof. Rachel O’Reilly (University of Birmingham), Prof. Paul Topham (Aston University), and David Ring (Synthomer). We are very thankful to the sponsors: Agilent, Synthomer, Polymer Chemistry (RSC Journals), Polymers (MDPI), Radleys, University of Birmingham, Shimadzu, Julabo, and Asynt Ltd.

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.