Event organisers have a responsibility to make their conferences, workshops, meetings and training opportunities as accessible as possible. However, we know that individuals with disabilities and ongoing health conditions still face extra costs and financial challenges.
With our Accessibility Grants, you can apply for up to £1,200 per year to help with the cost of specific support to attend a chemistry-related meeting, conference, workshop or professional development event. This support might be any form of equipment, service, or other personal expense associated with meeting your access needs.
Apply for up to £1,200 to reduce accessibility challenges when attending professional events
What does the grant cover?
Accessibility Grants support attendance at online events as well as in-person events.
Individual requirements can be wide and varied, so the grant’s coverage is equally wide and each application is assessed on its own merits. For example, you might apply for funding to cover:
- extra travel expenses, such as wheelchair-accessible travel options, taxis, or to permit a carer or personal assistant to travel with you
- personal assistance costs
- communication support services, such as a sign language interpreter
- assistive software support, such as closed-captioning or text-to-speech software
- assistive hardware or mobility/sensory aids, such as adapted technology or adjustable tools
We also take an expansive view of what disabilities, health conditions, and impairments can be. Funding can support event costs related, and not limited to:
- sensory impairments, such as visual or hearing impairments
- mobility impairments
- long-standing conditions and illnesses, such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, and severe allergies
- neurodivergence, such as ADHD, autism, and dyslexia
- mental health conditions
- in some cases, short-term support required as a result of injury or illness
Who can apply for an Accessibility Grant?
You are eligible if:
- you are a chemist
- you are based in the UK or Ireland, or if not, you are a current RSC member (normally with three consecutive years of membership) or a former RSC member (with at least ten previous years of RSC membership)
- you will use these funds to cover, or partially cover, the cost of support or assistance that you personally require relating to a disability, impairment or health condition
- you will use these funds to attend and/or fully participate in a chemistry-related meeting, conference, workshop or professional development opportunity, and cannot access it via any other existing or statutory means
This grant is not intended to replace the responsibility of your employer, institution, venues or event organisers to make their events accessible to all attendees. Venues and event organisers have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to enable access to all attendees. For more information, see our quick guide to running inclusive events.
The arrangement of any support, care or assistance will remain the responsibility of the applicant and not the Royal Society of Chemistry.
How do I apply?
To apply, please complete the Accessibility Grant application form. You will need to provide brief details of the event and a description of how the grant will be used.
As part of the application process, we may ask you for additional information to ensure that your application is eligible and appropriate for the remit of this grant. Please be prepared for further questions regarding your disability, health condition, or impairment, but be assured that any information you share will stay confidential.
We aim to respond to you within six weeks of your application. Please consider this with the timing of your application.
Each application will be considered on its own merits, and you can apply as many times as you need to until the maximum value of £1,200 per year has been reached.
Applications will be individually considered at our discretion. We will also ask you to complete a form, and submit any receipts you obtain along with it, after you have attended the event.
Contact us about the Accessibility Grant
If you would like any further information about the Accessibility Grant, please contact our Inclusion and Diversity team by calling +44 (0) 1223 438334 or by sending an email.
What is disability?
Find out more
What do we mean by disability?
Disability is defined as any long-term health condition or impairment affecting daily life, whether mental, physical, or both. Disabled chemists are diverse. We will support individuals with any experience of disability, including mobility and sensory impairments, chronic illness, neurodiversity, and mental health conditions.
What is the social model of disability?
Our standpoint on disabled inclusion and accessibility is founded on the social model of disability, which was developed by disabled activist groups. The social model affirms that disability is not an inherent characteristic of a person, but a dynamic of exclusion and disenfranchisement emerging within a particular societal context. This puts the onus on wider society to consider diverse access needs and make adjustments to policy and practice to ensure that disabled people can participate equally.
See Inclusion London’s Social Model Factsheet for more.
Building a better chemistry culture
Everyone working in the chemical sciences should be able to take every opportunity to attend events that support their career and professional development. We also know that these opportunities sometimes present accessibility issues, and this can present financial challenges.
As a professional and membership body, and a leading voice for the chemistry community, we have a responsibility to promote inclusivity and accessibility in order to improve diversity. Enabling disabled chemists to participate in professional opportunities is a crucial part of that.
NB: Applicants outside the UK or Ireland must be (current or former) RSC members. Find out more about eligibility.
Continuing an application?
Go straight to the form to continue your Accessibility Grant application