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RSC Chartered Chemist


Chartered Chemist of the Royal Society of Chemistry

via

The Postgraduate Certificate in Transferable Skills for Postdoctoral Researchers

(Course code: TCHA-F1PH)

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Including modules

 

CH959 Advanced Researcher (30 CATS)


and

3 Optional Modules (10 CATS each) from

  • CH953 Team Working in a Research Environment
  • CH961 Introduction to Teaching for Postgraduates in the Sciences
  • CH954 Science Communication
  • CH933 Academic scientific writing: Writing extended scientific articles and reports
  • CH934 Academic scientific writing: Writing focused scientific articles and reports
  • CH955 Decision Making and Leadership
  • CH973 Research Ethics and Practice
  • CH957 Business, Innovation, and Commercialisation for researchers
  • CH958 Project Management
  • More than 10 CATS of a Language Course with the Language Centre

  

Post Doctoral Researchers: CChem


1. Introduction
The University of Warwick has established an accredited Postgraduate Certificate in Transferable Skills in Science for postdoctoral researchers. The requirements of the certificate are designed to develop the key skills necessary for such staff to proceed to the next stage of a scientific career in academia, industry or other sectors. The skills required map onto those required for The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Chartered Chemist qualification. The purpose of this document is to explore this further with the aim of having completion of the certificate making a scientist who is a member of the RSC directly eligible for CChem status. Currently the qualification is only available through the University of Warwick. Other options will be explored.

2. Staff structure

Staff eligible to register on TCHA-F1PH must have completed a PhD and be employed as a postdoctoral researcher. To use TCHA-F1PH to qualify for Chartered Chemist status, the researcher must also be a member of the RSC.


3.Training and development activities: The Postgraduate Certificate in Transferable Skills in Science (PGCTSS) for Postdoctoral Researchers (course code: TCHA-F1PH)
Being a postdoctoral researcher marks the transition point from being a student to being an established scientist. We have developed a Postgraduate certificate in transferable skills in science to help postdoctoral scientists gain the skills needed to progress in their careers, whichever sector they work in. These skills map onto the requirements for Chartered Chemist as outlined below.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Transferable Skills in Science (PGCTSS) for Postdoctoral Researchers (course code: TCHA-F1PH) is a 60 CATS certificate composed of a number of modules that help the scientist to identify and gain core skills for a career in science. The advantage of a formal qualification is that it provides a flexible structure for career development that will enable the scientist to prove to the Royal Society of Chemistry or a future employer that they have acquired relevant skills. It also provides a structure that the researcher can use to facilitate a mentor-mentee relationship with the line manager or other senior colleague.

The main aims of the PGCTSS are

  • To increase research effectiveness by developing research related skills
  • To prepare researchers for future roles as senior scientists and team leaders
  • To develop the skills to allow the researcher to exercise responsibility for, and leadership of, their postdoctoral research and exploring these skills in a variety of settings.

The main module of the PGCTSS (CH959, 30 CATS) is one where the researcher works with their nominated mentor in their own time at their own pace (Table 1). To complete the certificate, the researcher must also complete 3 ´ 10 CATS optional modules (Table 2).

For chemistry graduates or other scientists who have achieved the status of being a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, TCHA-F1PH can be used to demonstrate the required professional attributes for Chartered Chemist status. The tasks of CH959 are listed in Table 1 together with an indication of the dominant Chartered Chemist Attributes onto which they map. For CChem status Optional Task 1 must be taken and demonstrate the researcher’s understanding and appreciation of health, safety and environmental issues.

 

To complete the course the researcher is required to assemble a portfolio of evidence to indicate that each component of their selected modules has been completed. For CChem, at least one task for each of the 12 attributes must be completed. This may either be from CH959 (30 CATS version) or from an optional module. Where attributes 6 and 7 are demonstrated should be highlighted and should be verified by statement from manager/mentor. The components of TCHA-F1PH have been designed to enable postdoctoral researchers to progress in their careers by moving to positions of scientific leadership. It therefore includes 10 of the 12 attributes required for progression to CChem status. It is extremely unlikely that anyone completing TCHA-F1PH has not also demonstrated Attributes 6 and 7, but this is not automatic and requires an additional comment from the chemist’s mentor. In general TCHA-F1PH requires the researcher to have achieved a level of scientific and professional maturity at least as high as that required for CChem with an additional emphasis on research skills.

4. Mentoring and support networks

Postdoctoral researchers will nominate one or more mentors. For some aspects of the Certificate their academic line manager may be most appropriate, whereas for other aspects someone not involved in their line management may be preferred.

5. Assessment procedures

Each module is assessed in a number of component parts as pass or fail. In the latter case a ‘resit’ is possible to ensure the researcher masters the skills and can describe their own competence. The Certificate has an examination board which includes an external examiner who reviews all submitted work and its assessment.

6. Quality Assurance

The quality assurance of TCHA-F1PH occurs via the University of Warwick mechanisms for assuring quality of its qualifications. In practice this means periodic reviews and the examination board’s annual meeting following a detailed audit of each cohort of students by the external examiner who is appointed by the University Senate.

7. Scope of the accreditation

It is assumed that the postdoctoral researcher has successfully completed a PhD which has included aspects of technical and transferable skills training. The additional requirements of TCHA-F1PH ensure the researcher achieves advanced competence both technically (though this is only assessed indirectly via assessment of communication, leadership, project management and reporting skills) and generically. The norm is that TCHA-F1PH will take two years to complete though in exceptional circumstances it could take 1 year. Slower progression is also possible depending on the researcher’s source of funding. It is therefore anticipated that researchers who complete TCHA-F1PH and are members of the Royal Society of Chemistry will automatically gain CChem status.

8. Management of the scheme

The scheme will be managed jointly by the RSC and the University of Warwick via the Chair and secretary of the Examination board who will maintain a list of researchers working towards F1PH. This will be communicated to the RSC on request.

9. Role of RSC in the scheme

The RSC will review TCHA-F1PH annually to see whether it is still fit for purpose. This may be remotely, or by attendance at the examination board or informally by meeting with researchers engaged in the programme.


 Table 1: 12 Attributes of the chartered chemist.

1

Make significant personal contributions to key tasks in your employment area and understand fully the chemistry objectives of the work done and its relevance to the employer or others

2

Demonstrate a high level of appropriate professional skills in the practice of chemistry

3

Develop your chemistry and other professional skills as required for the work undertaken and career development

4

Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of Health, Safety and Environmental issues and adhere to the relevant requirements relating to your role

5

Evaluate critically and draw conclusions from scientific and other data

6

Demonstrate integrity and respect for confidentiality on work and personal issues

Demonstrate other professional attributes such as thoroughness and reliability

7

Plan and organise time systematically, demonstrate foresight in carrying out tasks, and offer suggestions for improvements to tasks/duties

8

Demonstrate an interest in broader developments in chemical science and make a contribution to the profession of chemistry outside your direct work environment

9

Write clear, concise and orderly documents and give clear oral presentations

10

Discuss work convincingly and objectively with colleagues, customers and others

Respond constructively to, and acknowledge the value of, alternative views and hypotheses

11

Demonstrate the ability to work as part of a team

12

Exert effective influence

 

Table 2: Contents of TCHA-F1PH Core Module CH959 and the dominant mapping onto Chartered Chemist attributes of each component. The time expected to be taken for each task are indicated in terms of CATS where 1 CATS = 10 hours of effort. Where a task may be 1 or 2 CATS, 2 CATS credit will be given where the researcher has done the task at an advanced level. For example, written a literature review for publication or been a key person on the management committee of an international conference.

 

 

 

RSC CChem Professional Attributes

CH959

Task Name

CATS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

1

Literature review

1 or 2

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Research plan

1

X

X

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

3

Mini reports

1

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

4

Attend a conference

1 or 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

5

Conference Presentation

1 or 2

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

6

Research seminar

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

7

Undertake Poster Marking/Presentation

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

8

Review a paper

1

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

Review a grant

1

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

Write a paper

1

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

11

Propose and manage a budget  

1

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

Organising a conference or workshop

1 or 2

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

X

 

13

Visit another laboratory

1 or 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

14

Host a visiting researcher

1 or 2

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

Supervise a project student

1 or 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

16

Write a research proposal

1 or 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

17

Chair a meeting or committee including establishing agenda and follow-up

1 or 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

18

Public engagement in science activity

1 or 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

19

CV/Applications

1

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

Teaching

1 or 2

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

21

Play a role in a national society

1 or 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

22

Pathways to impact plan

1

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23

Optional Task 1:Take responsibility for an aspect of laboratory health
and safety and environmental issues

1

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24

Optional Task 2 to demonstrate influence

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3: Contents of TCHA-F1PH Optional Modules and the dominant mapping onto Chartered Chemist attributes of each component. The time expected to be taken for each task are indicated in terms of CATS where 1 CATS = 10 hours of effort.

 

 

 

RSC CChem Professional Attributes

Optional Modules

Task Name

CATS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

CH953

Team Working in a Research Environment

10

X

 

X

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

CH961

Introduction to Teaching for Postgraduates in the Sciences

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

X

 

CH954

Science communication

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

CH933

Academic scientific writing: Writing extended scientific articles and reports

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

CH934

Academic scientific writing: Writing focused scientific articles and reports

10

X

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

 

CH955

Decision Making and Leadership

10

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

CH973

Research Ethics and Practice

10

 

 

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

CH957

Scientific research, business, innovation, and commercialisation

10

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

CH958

Project Management

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

Pass a Language Centre course of more than 10 CATS

10