Funds for SMEs recruiting chemistry undergrads

Posted on 30 Oct 2015 by Fred Tongue

The Royal Society of Chemistry is offering £20,000 grants to help SMEs in the chemicals sector recruit chemistry undergraduates for a 12-month placement.

The grants that the society is offering are worth £20,000 each and are meant to cover the student’s salary, as well as the employer’s National Insurance payments for the placement.

Royal Society of Chemistry 2014 placement students.
Royal Society of Chemistry 2014 placement students.

The grants are open to any company who joins the society’s EnterprisePlus Scheme.

The UK’s strategic body for skills in the science industries, Cogent Skills is supporting the grants and will assist employers with the recruitment process by advertising and shortlisting candidates.

Royal Society of Chemistry’s Clare Wilson commented: “We offer these placements as part of our wider support to small chemical science companies, EnterprisePlus.

“Our aim is also to encourage more chemistry graduates into industry and to enhance their research and employability skills and finally to help bridge the gap between academia and industry.”

Donna Dainton at Cogent Skills added: “If you’re an SME in the chemicals sector and you want to grow, it’s vital to take on chemistry undergraduates.

“Having students on a placement scheme gives businesses the opportunity to sample the talent that’s available and support with projects that need additional resources while the students themselves can bring fresh ideas.”

Applications for grants close at 5pm on 9 November 2015. To apply visit:

A recent study by Cogent Skills showed that the skills gap in the chemicals sector is putting the sector at risk with just 8.5% of the UK industrial science workforce comprised of graduates and school leavers.

In previous years, placement roles have included synthesising new products, quality assurance, and method development and optimising production of existing products.