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 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 previous meetings page for further details.

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

Register Now! The 21st RAPS meeting will be held online on the 2nd & 3rd September 2021.

Next Meeting

Given the uncertainty around organising face-to-face meetings in September 2021, the RAPS committee have decided that this year’s RAPS meeting will be hosted online. We are therefore pleased to announce that the 21st Annual RAPS Meeting (RAPS 2021) will be held virtually on the 2nd and 3rd September 2021. This meeting will include talks from established academic/industrial scientists, opportunities to present your own work and networking sessions.

The Meetings page has the latest information and registration information.

Check out our LinkedIn group or follow us on Twitter to receive up-to-date announcements.

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.