Professional Activities Group

The RSFSA brings members together with other former RS staff through a Professional Activities Programme. We share a set of professional interests that draws on the enormous breadth of knowledge, expertise, experience, skills and contacts of those who have worked at the RS at one time or another. This wider group is very impressive, covering all areas and levels of administration and management in the charitable, public and commercial sectors, including in professional & learned bodies and within educational settings. The Professional Activities programme enables members to become part of a wider network, enabling them to pick up advice, contacts, influence, etc. while building or maintaining their careers, and even changing their lifestyles.

Nick von Behr currently leads the Programme with support from Caroline Chipperfield, Pippa Cox, Scott Keir, Rachel Tobbell and Juliet Upton.

RSFSA Members will be kept informed of future developments and your input is always welcome, including through a regular survey of members (see below). Please contact the PAG lead at pag[at]

Forthcoming activities

Thursday 4 March 2021 starting 19:00

This online workshop will explore cancer – a life-threatening illness that’s been with us for much longer than COVID-19. The workshop will be led by RSFSA Member Lynn Turner, Director of Research at Worldwide Cancer Research. 1 in 2 people in the UK will develop cancer. It’s a big problem and a big worry for some of us. Cancer science is complicated and at times confusing but having a basic understanding of cancer biology, how it can be prevented and how it is treated, will help us separate fact from fiction and be better prepared for when it touches us or our loved ones. The event is free to all RSFSA members – it will be run on Zoom. To find out more and register please email Nick von Behr at

Previous activities

  • An online workshop on 'Bouncebackability: How can we boost our resilience?' was held in December 2020, led by Rachel Tobbell, to share some of the ways that the pandemic is requiring us to be resilient and how well we are coping with this.
  • In September 2020 a workshop was held, facilitated on Zoom by Nick von Behr and Scott Keir, looking at lessons learned from lockdown about professional networking, with the added bonus of an RS quiz as an icebreaker!
  • In March 2020 the PAG published the outcomes of its first survey of RSFSA members on professional activities. A summary of the report can be found here. Findings from the report will be taken forward by the PAG in liaison with the RSFSA Executive Committee. Future surveys will take place to ensure the PAG is always in tune with member interests and planning activities which match these.
  • In November 2019 a workshop was led by an external expert, Steve Preston of SMP Solutions, on portfolio careers.
  • In June 2019 member Jill Nelson led a workshop called 'Creating Sparks' focusing on lessons from her career experiences at and since leaving the Royal Society.
  • In March 2018 member Rachel Tobbell led a seminar on Mentoring.
Last updated: 4 August 2020