Event history and rationale

Launched in 2017, initially under the title of Girls into Chemistry (GintoChem). The Centre for Chemical Sciences at the University of Plymouth are delighted to be hosting our forth STEM event directed at GCSE level students identifying as female with an interest in chemistry related careers.

We invite students from Year 9 who have an interest in studying chemistry, environmental and physical sciences at GCSE and beyond to attend. Applications should be made via your teacher, using the register your interest link below. Since places are limited, we can generally accept a maximum of 15 students per institution and request a minimum of one teacher to attend with each group of 15.

This year we have re-branded the event as GenChem in acknowledgement of the diversity of students that may be wishing to attend and invite expressions of interest for our 2021 event which we are hoping to run in June 2021.

The format includes talks with two inspiring women working in chemistry related roles.  These have included staff from within the University other academic institutions, industry and the RSC 175 Faces of Chemistry

The event was initiated principally by Dr Alison Turner and Dr Hayley Manners, both members of the school’s chemistry staff and equality, diversity and inclusivity committee and members of the RSC. This is to showcase our chemistry courses and to address a shortfall in female students taking up chemistry against the national benchmark and an overall gender gap in STEM subjects. The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences and its technical team kindly provided the staff time and laboratory resources. The Royal Society of Chemistry’s local division and Analytical division supported the event and a big thank you to them and in particular.

With regret we are unable to offer this event this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak and restrictions on access to our facilities. Please register your interest for next year’s event. We will endeavour to increase places for students from both Year 9 and Year 10 for our 2021 event to accommodate Year 9 students from this year that have missed out on this popular event.


Meet the team

Dr Hayley Manners

Hayley teaches Chemistry at the University to all stages from Foundation Chemistry to final year BSc Chemistry. Hayley graduated from the very same course she is now teaching on in 2009 and completed a PhD in Earth Sciences in 2014. After completing a post as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, Hayley returned to Plymouth to take up her current lectureship role. Hayley’s research interests mainly lie in climate change and past environment reconstruction.

Dr Alison Turner

Alison teaches here at the University, mostly chemistry with a splash of environmental geoscience and study skills and firmly advocates employability and enterprise. Before coming to Plymouth University in 2015, she was a consultant Environmental Geochemist to the mining industry in Western Australia. She began her career as an as an analytical chemist working for pharmaceutical companies having graduated with a chemistry degree in 2002. She competed her PhD at Plymouth University in 2011 and is a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Dr Gillian Glegg

Gillian graduated from Edinburgh University in Scotland with a BSc (Hons) degree in environmental chemistry and little idea about what to do. She was then offered a PhD in Plymouth, studying marine chemistry with the old Plymouth Polytechnic and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, and she jumped at this opportunity. Following this work and a couple of short-term contracts, Gill went to London to work for Greenpeace UK as a science adviser, using her chemistry background to provide information for their campaigns on water and air pollution. About 25 years ago she returned to Plymouth as a lecturer in marine sciences where she has remained.

Dr Charlotte Cree

Charlotte is an environmental research chemist and teaches materials chemistry to engineers here at the University. Her research involves developing new analytical techniques to study nitrogen gases in seawater, work which has taken her to Antarctica to do fieldwork. Charlotte completed her PhD in Environmental Chemistry at Plymouth University in 2014 and worked briefly as a science teacher in schools before returning to research.

Meet the team


LABplus is a unique open access laboratory and resource centre designed for students studying science and engineering courses.

The lab provides a flexible workspace, computing facilities, specialist software, access to microscopes, microscope cameras and bespoke resources.

Find out more about the resource