Faraday joint interest group conference 2021

29 - 31 March 2021, United Kingdom

The Royal Society of Chemistry are pleased to announce that this event will be moving online. 


You are warmly invited to join us online in March 2021. 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 2021 - 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 online. 
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 on behalf of the Scientific Committee.
Anthony Meijer, University of Sheffield
Scientific Chair


The programme will explore various aspects of physical chemistry:

Astrochemistry and chemistry at cold temperatures
Studying chemical reactivity in extreme conditions, such as those found in the interstellar medium and at cold temperatures.

Biophysics and imaging
Advanced imaging techniques for understanding biology

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

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

Soft matter and biological structures
Soft matter and biological structures: The use of experiment, simulation and theory to probe the behaviour of soft matter, such as fluids, emulsions and colloidal suspensions, and biological structures, such as bacterial films, cell membranes and the thermodynamics of a virus.

Structure of Molecules
Developments in the determination of electronic and geometric structure of molecules and intermolecular interactions using spectroscopic and computational methods
Rosalind Allen, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Rosalind Allen is a biological physicist who studies how bacteria grow, how they are inhibited by antibiotics, and how they evolve resistance to antibiotics. She uses a combination of computer simulations, theory and lab experiments in her work. Rosalind studied Natural Sciences (Chemistry) at Cambridge University, graduating in 1999, before obtaining a Master's degree in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania (2000). She then returned to Cambridge where she obtained her PhD in theoretical chemistry in 2003, under the supervision of Professor Jean-Pierre Hansen, simulating the dynamics of water molecules in nanopores. Rosalind did post-doctoral research as a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the FOM-AMOLF Institute in Amsterdam, in the group of Professor Pieter Rein ten Wolde, where she developed a novel way to simulate rare events. In 2005 she was awarded the RSC's Edward Harrison Memorial Prize. In 2006 she moved to the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh, where she has been supported by fellowships from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Society, and by an ERC grant. In Edinburgh she has focused her research on modelling bacteria, as well as developing the experimental component of her work.

Arantxa Arbe, CSIC-UPV, Spain

The scientific carrier of Arantxa Arbe (Research Professor of the Spanish National Research Council, CSIC, since 2009) has been closely linked to the Group of Polymers and Soft Matter in San Sebastian (Spain). There she carried out her PhD (1990-1994), under the supervision of Prof. Colmenero, combining dielectric spectroscopy with neutron scattering techniques for the investigation of the dynamics of linear homopolymers. In her post-doctoral stay in the Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany) (1994-1996), she acquired a solid background in the use of scattering techniques. Her achievements during that period were recognized with the Young Scientists Award of the European Neutron Scattering Association (1996). Later, she translated her experience to the San Sebastian group, in which she integrated as responsible for the application of scattering techniques (first, neutrons, and later, also X-rays). These methods constitute one of the main pillars of the well-known methodology developed in this group, that combines experimental techniques (relaxation, calorimetry, microscopy and scattering) and computer simulations (coarse grained and fully atomistic). Along her carrier, she has investigated structural and dynamical properties of polymers systems of increasing complexity (homopolymers, polymer blends, solutions, nano-composites, nano-structured systems, polymeric nano-particles, etc). Her scientific achievements have given rise to 175 publications in international journals, including five reviews. She has also participated as a member in the Scientific Advisory Committee of prestigious neutron scattering research centers (like the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum in Garching, the European Spallation Source, ESS, in Lund, and the Institute Laue-Langevin in Grenoble), and in diverse proposal selection panels in neutron facilities, sometimes as chairperson.

Paola Caselli, Max Planck Institute, Germany

Paola Caselli studied Astronomy at the University of Bologna, where she graduated in 1990. In 1994 she obtained the PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Bologna, after spending nine months as visiting student at the Ohio State University with Professor Eric Herbst and two years at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) as a pre-doctoral fellow with Professor Phil Myers. After a Postdoctoral Fellowship at CfA, in 1996 she became Researcher at the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory in Florence, where she remained until 2005.  In 2006 and 2007 she was Visiting Scholar in the Department of Astronomy, Harvard University, and in 2007 she became Professor of Astronomy at the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds. Since 2014, she is Director of the Centre for Astrochemical Studies at the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and Honorary Professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

Jenny Clark, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Research Interests
I am interested in understanding the physics of carbon-based pi-conjugated materials from organic semiconductors to biological materials using a range of spectroscopic techniques.
Current Position
2015-present part-time VC Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK.
Research Experience
2009-2013 Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, Cambridge University, UK.
2009 Visiting Scholar, Hyderabad University, India.
2007-2009 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Supervisor: Prof. Guglielmo Lanzani
2003-2007 PhD in Physics, Cambridge University. Supervisor: Prof. C. Silva.
Career Breaks
2012-2015 Maternity leave (2 children)

Andy Cooper, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

Andy is a Nottingham graduate (1991), also obtaining his Ph.D there in 1994. After his Ph.D, he held a 1851 Fellowship and a Royal Society NATO Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, and then a Ramsay Memorial Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. In 1999, he was appointed as a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in Liverpool.  In 2007, he was the founding Director of the Centre for Materials Discovery—the forerunner of the MIF—which cemented a long-term strategic collaboration between Unilever and the University of Liverpool. He was Head of Chemistry and then the first Head of the School of Physical Sciences in the period 2007-2012, during which time he served on the University Council.  In 2017, he co-founded a spin-out company, Porous Liquid Technologies, with collaborators at Queens University Belfast, based on an entirely new class of material, porous liquids, invented in the UK as part of an EPSRC-funded project (Nature, 2015, 527, 216).
Andy led the bid to establish the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF) via the UK Research Partnerships Infrastructure Fund and he is its first Academic Director. He is also the Director of the £10 M Leverhulme Centre for Functional Materials Design. His main research interests are organic materials, supramolecular chemistry, and materials for energy production and molecular separation. This is underpinned by a strong technical interest in high-throughput methods and robotics.  A unifying theme in his research is the close fusion of computational prediction and experiment to discover new materials with step-change properties (Nature, 2011, 474, 367; Nature, 2017, 543, 657). This has involved close collaboration with Graeme Day, Professor of Chemical Modelling at the University of Southampton.
Andy was elected to the Royal Society in 2015.  He has been awarded the Macro Group Young Researchers Award (2002), the RSC Award in Environmentally Friendly Polymers (2005), the McBain Medal (2007), the Corday-Morgan Prize (2009), the Macro Group Award (2010), a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, the Tilden Prize (2014), the American Chemical Society Doolittle Award (2014) and the Hughes Medal (2019).  He was also the 2015 MIT-Georgia Pacific Lecturer in Organic Chemistry. In both 2011 and 2014, Andy was named in a Thomson Reuters list as one of the Top 100 materials scientists of the last decade. He was also named in the more recent 2017 Clarivate Highly Cited list in the field of chemistry. He was awarded an ERC Advanced Investigators grant in 2012 (RobOT). In 2015, he was appointed as a Consultant Professor in Hauzhong University of Science & Technology, China. He was also appointed as an Honorary Professor at East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, in 2017

Hazel Cox, University of Sussex, United Kingdom

Hazel Cox is a Professor of Computational and Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Sussex. She obtained a BSc in Mathematics from the University College of North Wales and a D.Phil. in Mathematics/Chemistry from the University of York, before joining the Chemistry department at the University of Sussex as a postdoctoral fellow. After the award of two research fellowships: a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship and an EPSRC University Research Fellowship, she took up a position as Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, and in 2018 was appointed Professor. Her research interests involve using quantum chemistry to determine the underlying chemical and physical properties responsible for the structure, reactivity and spectroscopy of few-particle Coulomb systems and inorganic complexes. She served as Associate Editor (Chemistry) for the Royal Society Open Science journal (2014-2019) and is editorial board member of Advances in Quantum Chemistry. She is the elected UK representative and a member of the Board of Directors for the International Society for Theoretical Chemical Physics, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Gábor Csányi, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Gábor Csányi studied mathematics in Cambridge, graduating in 1994. He obtained a doctorate in computational physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001, after which he returned to Cambridge as a postdoc in the Cavendish Laboratory, working with Mike Payne. He joined the faculty of the Engineering Laboratory in 2007, where he is now Professor of Molecular Modelling. He is interested in computer simulation of materials on the atomic scale, particularly fitting interatomic potentials using machine learning techniques, but also molecular dynamics, statistical mechanics, optimisation and sampling.

Basile Curchod, Durham University, United Kingdom

Basile F. E. Curchod was born in Vevey (Switzerland). He received his PhD in 2013 from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), under the direction of Dr. Ivano Tavernelli and co-direction of Prof. Ursula Roethlisberger. After a short stay in the laboratory of Prof. Clémence Corminboeuf (EPFL), he was awarded a Swiss Early.PostDoc grant to join in 2014 the group of Prof. Todd J. Martínez at Stanford University (USA). In December 2015, he began a short postdoctoral stay in the Theory Group directed by Prof. Eberhard K. U. Gross, at the Max Planck Institute in Halle (Germany).
In May 2016, he joined the Centre for Computational Chemistry at the University of Bristol (UK) as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, working with Dr. David R. Glowacki. In November 2017, he became Assistant Professor in Theoretical Chemistry at Durham University (UK) and secured an ERC Starting Grant in September 2018.Basile's research focuses on the development and application of theoretical methods to simulate the dynamics of molecules beyond the Born-Oppenheimer approximation (www.in-silico-photochem.com).

William Gannon, University of Kentucky, United States

Dr. William J Gannon is originally from Alexandria, Virginia near Washington DC in the United States.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan in Physics, awarded in 2005 and a PhD in Physics from Northwestern University, awarded in 2013 after working for Professor Bill Halperin.  Dr. Gannon became a postdoc with Professor Meigan Aronson from 2013 through 2019, first at Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory, then at Texas A&M University, and finally at the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Dr. Gannon joined the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kentucky as an Assistant Professor in August, 2019.  His research interests include neutron scattering, low dimensional magnetism, correlated electron physics, and crystal growth of novel magnetic materials.

Dwayne Heard, University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Dwayne Heard is Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Leeds. He received his B.A. in Chemistry (1986) and D. Phil. in Physical Chemistry (1990) from the University of Oxford, undertook postdoctoral research at SRI International, California, and was a lecturer in the School of Chemistry at Macquarie University, Sydney. He moved to Leeds in 1994 where he held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship and was Head of the School of Chemistry from 2009-2013. He was a Visiting Fellow at JILA, University of Colorado in 2000. His research interests include quantitative field measurements of the hydroxyl radical in the atmosphere, laboratory and chamber studies of the kinetics and photochemistry of gas phase and aerosol processes, and the use of a pulsed Laval nozzle apparatus to study the kinetics of reactions at very low temperatures relevant to the interstellar medium and planetary atmospheres. He received the Environment Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2017.

Philipp Kukura, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Philipp Kukura is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, leading an interdisciplinary research group supported by ERC Starting and Consolidator grants that focusses on the development and application of new optical methodologies to study biomolecular structure, dynamics and interactions. Recent awards include those by the RSC (Harrison-Meldola 2011 and Marlow 2015), the European Biophysical Society Association (Young Investigator Medal 2017), a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2018), the Klung-Wilhemy Award (2018) and a UK Blavatnik Award Laureate (2019).

Gail McConnell, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom

Professor Gail McConnell is Chair of Biophotonics at the Department of Physics at the University of Strathclyde. Following a first degree in Laser Physics and Optoelectronics (1998) and PhD in Physics from the University of Strathclyde (2002), she obtained a Personal Research Fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2003) and a Research Councils UK Academic Fellowship (2005), securing a readership in 2008.  The work in Gail’s group involves the design, development and application of linear and nonlinear optical instrumentation for biomedical imaging, from the nanoscale to the whole organism. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society, where she is also Chair of the Light Microscopy Committee since August 2019.

Maria Sanz, King's College London, United Kingdom

María Eugenia Sanz obtained her PhD in Chemistry from University of Valladolid under the supervision of Prof. J. C. López and Prof. J. L. Alonso. After being a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics with Prof. P. Thaddeus, she secured a Ramon y Cajal Fellowship and moved back to University of Valladolid, where she was later appointed Profesor Titular. During this period she also spent a year as an academic visitor in the group of Prof. H. Fielding at UCL with a Jose Castillejo Fellowship. She moved to King’s College London in 2012, as part of the relaunch of the Chemistry department, where she is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry. Her research interests focus on the structural and conformational characterization of molecules of biological and environmental interest and their non-covalent interactions using rotational spectroscopy.

Serena Viti, Leiden University/UCL, United Kingdom

Serena Viti is a Professor of Molecular Astrophysics at Leiden University in the Netherlands (as well as also a Professor of Astrophysics at University College London). She obtained her PhD in 1997 from UCL in the area of molecular astrophysics applied to low mass stars. After her PhD she started working in the field of star formation and astrochemistry. After a couple of postdoctoral fellowships in UK and abroad, she obtained a STFC Advanced Fellowship and moved back to UCL in 2003 where she became the Head of the Astrophysics Group in 2016. In 2020, she moved to Leiden University to take up a Professorship in Molecular Astrophysics. She has been a Royal Astronomical Society council member,  
the secretary of the European Astronomical Society and has served on several international and national panels and committees. She was awarded  an Advanced ERC in 2019.  Her research interests span a wide range of topics but are all centred around the role of molecules in space, especially in the dense gas of the interstellar medium and star forming regions. Her recent work concentrates on the interpretation of molecular observations in extragalactic regions, and on devising novel techniques for astrochemistry involving machine learning.

Abstract Submission


Oral and Poster abstracts are now open for “Soft matter and biological structures” theme. Submit by 15 February 2021.  We encourage oral and poster abstracts from all STMG members and colleagues for our dedicated theme on:
Soft matter and biological structures: The use of experiment, simulation and theory to probe the behaviour of soft matter, such as fluids, emulsions and colloidal suspensions, and biological structures, such as bacterial films, cell membranes and the thermodynamics of a virus.

Poster abstract submission is also currently open for our other themes including:
  • Astrochemistry and chemistry at cold temperatures
  • Excited state processes
  • Next-generation quantum chemical methods: From development to applications
  • Structure of Molecules

Submit your poster abstract by 15 February 2021. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and poster sessions are held throughout the conference. The PCCP Poster Prizes will be awarded to the best posters presented by a student at the conference.

As this event is being held as online, we will be using a dedicated online poster platform. If your poster is accepted for this event, you will receive an email from us inviting you log on to the poster platform where you will be able to create an interactive poster. When creating a poster you will be able to choose from a variety of templates, and select colours, backgrounds and fonts, to create a poster specific to your work. The poster can contain text, images, videos and audio recordings, and can include as much detail as you require as content boxes within the templates are not limited to size. You will also have access to video tutorials, showing you how you can create your poster in the platform, and access to email support with the poster platform if you have an specific questions.  

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.

Registration includes:
  • Access to the virtual conference
  • Attendance at all the scientific sessions
  • Attendance at the poster session(s)
  • Attendance at the networking sessions
Registration fees are as follows
Standard (by 22nd March 2020)
RSC members* £55
Non-members** £75
RSC student members £15
Student non-members £25

Prices above do not include VAT. This will be added during registration at the prevailing rate.

* 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 2021, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event.  

If you are an IOP or RAS member you will be able to register at RSC member rate. Please contact events@rsc.org for your discount code.
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Travel Grants

In light of COVID-19, we are not currently accepting applications to our Travel Grant for PhD Students and Early Career Scientists. We will update our Travel Grants website with more information as it becomes available.

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. These grants have been supported by The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemists’ Community Fund.
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).
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 2021.

There are opportunities to sponsor a virtual booth or sponsor poster sessions. A sponsorship menu document will be available to download from this page with more details and prices soon.

If you would like more information about sponsoring the Faraday joint interest group conference 2021, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on solutions@rsc.org Sponsorship document
This event is being held online

This event is being held online, United Kingdom

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