POSTPONED - Faraday joint interest group conference 2020

6 - 8 April 2020, Sheffield, United Kingdom

Postponement of Faraday joint interest group conference
After careful consideration of the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, we have made the decision to postpone the Faraday joint interest group conference. The Faraday joint interest group conference is very important to us, but given the latest health news and travel restrictions that delegates are experiencing we have made the difficult decision to postpone. The wellbeing of everyone attending any of our events is our number one priority and we believe that postponing is the most sensible approach at the current time. We are grateful for the continued support and commitment of the scientific committee and speakers, and we plan to reschedule the conference in the near future. All delegates will be contacted and an announcement made on this page as soon as new dates are available. Please contact us at if you have any questions.

Showcasing UK physical chemistry research


You are warmly invited to join us in Sheffield in April 2020. This Faraday Division joint interest group conference is the second in the series, the first in 2017 being a big success, it is set to be a highlight for the physical chemistry community in 2020 - and you can be a part of it.
The first meeting of this conference series was held in Warwick in 2017, and we are excited to bring the second edition to Sheffield. 
Organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry and their Faraday Division, this meeting will host some of the leading physical chemistry researchers from the UK. It promises to be a great forum for researchers to network with and build strong collaborations within their community and related disciplines.

I look forward to welcoming you to Sheffield on behalf of the Scientific Committee.
Anthony Meijer, University of Sheffield
Scientific Chair

Grants for Carers

Grants for carers have been introduced following the Royal Society of Chemistry Breaking the barriers report where 78% of chemists working in UK academia felt that managing parenting and/or caring responsibilities has an impact on women’s retention and progression. This fund is not limited to women scientists and welcomes applications from anyone with caring responsibilities, for more information please refer to the ‘bursaries’ section on this page.


The programme will explore various aspects of physical chemistry:

Advances in materials
Current advancement of materials suitable for solving global challenges in the area of energy generation and storage, materials for information technology and materials for environment

Biophysics and imaging
Advanced imaging techniques for understanding biology

Chemistry at cold temperatures
Study of molecules and reactions at cold to ultracold temperatures. From rate measurements to formation of ultra-cold molecules

Chemistry at surfaces
Investigation of chemistry on surfaces including catalysis, photocatalysis and thin films

Excited state processes
Developing experimental and computational probes of light-induced chemical dynamics and reactivity

Machine learning methods in material property prediction
Recent developments in the application of machine-learning tools to predict and interrogate the properties of molecules, liquids and solids

Magnetic Materials
Investigations of magnetic and spintronic materials using theory and experiments focusing on analysis and new generation applications

Neutron spectroscopy and allied techniques
Neutron spectroscopy and related techniques, such as IR, Raman and NMR, highlighting current status and future perspectives

Next-generation quantum chemical methods: From development to applications
Recent developments in quantum chemical methods for calculating the properties of molecules, liquids and solids. Applications to model important chemical systems such as catalysts, batteries and enzymes

Observational Astrochemistry
Using observations to find evidence molecules in space. These can be obtained using both space and terrestial telescopes

Theory and applications. Understanding how photocatalysts, be it molecular or solid, can accelerate or initiate chemical reactions when illuminated, including the discovery of new photocatalysts and new photocatalysed reactions

Photophysics of functional and solar cell materials
Light-induced processes in materials ranging from photoactive proteins to transition metal oxides, perovskites, nanoparticles and organic semiconductors with applications in artificial photosynthesis, solar cells and devices

Simulation and Modelling of astrochemical and atmospheric processes
Chemical networks, large scale modelling

Structure of Molecules
Developments in the determination of electronic and geometric structure of molecules and intermolecular interactions using spectroscopic and computational methods

Recent Appointees in Physical Chemistry 2020

The Recent Appointees in Physical Chemistry (RAPC) meeting is an opportunity for recently appointed researchers in the field of physical chemistry to form a collaborative community, share experiences, and create a network of support. RAPC 2020 will be held as part of the Faraday joint interest group conference in Sheffield.
There will be an RAPC session on the afternoon of Wednesday 8 April. Participants will have an opportunity to present a lightning presentation of their research, and to share and discuss their experiences of becoming a research leader with peer-to-peer support and advice. There will also be opportunities to network throughout the conference, including an RAPC dinner on Monday 6 April.
RAPC attendance is included as part of the conference registration fee, so please select the option at registration if you would like to take part. There will also be opportunities to submit questions for the group discussion at registration and during the conference.
Majed Chergui, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Majed Chergui FRSC, is professor of Chemistry and Physics at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Director of the Lausanne Centre for Ultrafast Science (LACUS). He received his BSc degree in Physics and Mathematics from Chelsea College (University of London) in 1977, his Ph.D. in Physics from the Université Paris-Sud (Orsay) in 1981 and his Habilitation from the Université Paris-Nord in 1986. He then spent six years at the Freie Universität Berlin till 1993, when he was appointed Full Professor of Physics at the Université de Lausanne, Switzerland. In 2003, he joined the Chemistry Institute of the EPFL.  
Majed's research includes matrix-isolation spectroscopy of molecular systems to ultrafast spectroscopy of large molecules, biosystems and nanoparticles in solution, and bulk transition metal oxides. Most importantly, he is known for pioneering time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy in the picosecond, then the femtosecond time domain, which he successfully applied to a wide range of scientific questions. He also made pioneering contributions to the development of ultrafast deep-ultraviolet methods, in particular 2-dimensional spectroscopy and circular dichroism. In recognition for his contributions, he received several awards and prizes, which include the Humboldt Research Award 2010, the 2015 Earle K. Plyler Award of the American Physical Society, The 2015 Edward Stern Prize for Lifetime Achievements of the International X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Society and the 2019 Liversidge Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK). He is Fellow of the RSC, APS, OSA, EPS, ACA (American Crystallographic Association) as well as Foreign correspondent of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences.

Ewine van Dishoeck, University of Leiden, Netherlands

Ewine F. van Dishoeck is professor of molecular astrophysics at Leiden University, the Netherlands. She graduated at Leiden in 1984 and held positions at Harvard, Princeton and Caltech before returning to Leiden in 1990.  The work of her group innovatively combines the world of chemistry with that of physics and astronomy to study the molecular trail from star-forming clouds to planet-forming disks.  She has mentored several dozens of students and postdocs and has been heavily involved in planning new observational facilities such as the Herschel Space Observatory, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array and the James Webb Space Telescope.  She has received many awards, including the 2000 Dutch Spinoza award, the 2015 Albert Einstein World Award of Science, and the 2018 Kavli Prize for Astrophysics. She is a Member or Foreign Associate of several academies, including that of the Netherlands, USA, Germany, Norway and Russia. Since 2007, she is the scientific director of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA). As of 2018, Ewine serves as the president of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Marsha I. Lester, University of Pennsylvania, United States

Marsha Lester has risen through the academic ranks at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is currently the Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry of the School of Arts & Sciences.  She completed a four-year term as Chair of the Department of Chemistry in 2009.  Lester was Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Chemical Physics from 2009-2018.  Lester’s research group has developed innovative methods for stabilizing ‘entrance channel complexes’ and reaction intermediates of environmental significance.  Her group has employed novel spectroscopic methods to rigorously characterize these important, yet previously uncharted, regions of chemical reaction pathways.  Lester has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.  In addition, she has been awarded the Herbert P. Broida Prize of the American Physical Society, the Garvan-Olin Medal of the American Chemical Society, and the Bourke Lectureship of the Faraday Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Roel Dullens, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Roel Dullens obtained his MSc in Chemistry from the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands) in 2001. In 2005 he completed his PhD in Physical and Colloid Chemistry at the same University, under the supervision of Professor Willem Kegel. After that he joined the group of Professor Clemens Bechinger at the University of Stuttgart (Germany) as an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow to work on optical tweezing in colloidal systems. In August 2007, he was appointed as a University Lecturer at the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), combined with a Tutorial Fellowship in Physical Chemistry at Lincoln College. In 2014, he became Associate Professor and, in 2016, he was promoted to his current position of Full Professor of Chemistry. He has been the recipient of an ERC Starting Grant in 2011 and an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2016, and has recently been awarded the 2019 Corday-Morgan Prize and the 2019 McBain Medal from the RSC. His research interests cover a wide range of topics in soft condensed matter, with an emphasis on colloidal systems. In particular, he combines the development of novel colloidal systems using synthetic colloid chemistry with state-of-the-art optical manipulation and imaging techniques to study fundamental problems in condensed matter science.

Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts

The oral abstract should outline current research in progress, the deadline for submission is 13 January 2020.

Poster Abstracts

Submit your poster abstract by 03 February 2020. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening.

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 4 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.
Please read the registration information before registering.
You can register by clicking on the online registration link on this page.
Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the sessions
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting
  • Lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster session
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on Tuesday 7 April 2020
  • For non-member registrants, membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2020.      

Registration Fees

All fees are sbuject to VAT at the prevailing rate
Earlybird (24 February 2020) Standard (16 March 2020)
Member* £200 £225
Non-member** £225 £250
Student member* £91.67 £108.33
Student non-member** £125 £141.67

* If you are an Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

**For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2020, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event. 

Members of the IOP or RAS can register for the conference at the RSC member rate. IOP or RAS members should contact us at for a discount code.

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner on Tuesday 7 April 2020 and is included in the regsitration fee.

Travel and Health Insurance

Delegates are advised to ensure that they have appropriate travel and health insurance.

Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry

We have two types of grants available to attend this meeting:
  • A limited number of non-competitive travel grants of up to £200 are available for PhD students and early career scientists. These are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Applicants must be Royal Society of Chemistry members of any level at the time of making their application.
  • Competitive grants of up to £800 are available to assist with international travel expenses for PhD students, postdocs within 10 years of completing their PhD and early career scientists (including technicians and industrialists) within 10 years of leaving full time education.  In addition, applicants must be Royal Society of Chemistry members of any level at the time of making their application.
To take advantage of these grants and many other benefits, become a member. Follow the link on the right hand side to find out more and join today!

Applications for either grant should be submitted as early as possible, but at least 8 weeks in advance of the start of the meeting. Please see respective terms & conditions for full eligibility information.

Grants for Carers

You can apply for up to a maximum of £1000/year to assist with additional financial costs that you incur for care usually provided by you whilst you attend a chemistry related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event.
Caring responsibilities are wide and varied, and so each application will be individually assessed, examples of applications that we will consider include:
  • paying for extra home help or nursing care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • additional medical/respite care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • travel expenses for a relative to travel with you to care for dependents whilst you attend a meeting or event
  • paying for extended hours with a care worker/childminder/play scheme to cover time when you will arrive home later than normal.
You are eligible to apply if:
  • you are a chemist
  • you will incur additional caring expenses whilst attending a chemistry-related meeting, conference, event or workshop or a professional development event
  • you will use these funds to cover the cost of care that you usually provide
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland or if not, you will normally have held three years RSC membership (past or current).
These grants for carers have been introduced following the Royal Society of Chemistry Breaking the barriers report where 78% of chemists working in UK academia felt that managing parenting and/or caring responsibilities has an impact on women’s retention and progression. This fund is not limited to women scientists and welcomes applications from anyone with caring responsibilities.

These grants have been supported by The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemists’ Community Fund.
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities are available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the Faraday joint interest group conference 2020.

As well as booking a table top exhibition space, there are opportunities to sponsor social events, advertise in the abstract book or place a promotional item in delegate packs. A sponsorship menu document is available to download from this page with more details and prices.

If you would like more information about sponsoring the Faraday joint interest group conference 2020, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on Sponsorship Menu
The Diamond Building

The Diamond Building, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S3 7RD, United Kingdom



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