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Blanford Chris smaColloid and surface science encompasses a wide range of topics, fundamental and applied. Within soft matter, for example, the topic covers classical dispersions and surfactants, biological interfaces and biocolloids, nanoparticles for drug delivery, formulation science, self-assembled systems, ‘smart’ materials and active matter. Our group welcomes everyone whose work or research touches on those areas: chemists, engineers, physicists, biologists, pharmacists, food scientists— and we welcome you to our meetings!

This committee has a long history. The CSCG (SCI) was founded in 1958 by Sir Eric Rideal to support the growing importance of colloids and surface chemistry in industry. In 1971, Ron Ottewill, Geoff Parfitt and Dennis Haydon created the CISG within the Faraday Society, in response to the increasing number of colloid centres within academia. In 2002 the two groups joined to form the "Joint Colloids Group" (JCG) and provide a coherent focus for the UK colloid and interface science community, both in academia and industry.

The Joint Colloids Group runs various scientific events, from one-day meetings to a triennial multi-day international conference (UK Colloids, since 2011). We also support bursaries for attendance at UK and worldwide meetings through the Rideal Trust. We administer three awards: the McBain Medal, the Thomas Graham Lecture and the Rideal Lecture, which recognise researchers through the different stages of their career (further detail can be found on this website).

My three motivations as chair are to represent our community, engage with current and future members, and to shape what we want our community to look like. If you see an interesting topic that’s not being covered (food colloids? colloids in cosmetics? biosurfactants?), please drop me a line. You don’t need to be on the committee to serve with us, but you may get hooked! Your support, input and suggestions are highly appreciated, whether as a speaker, delegate or sponsor, an established scientist, a PhD student or an early career researcher.

If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact me. We all look forward to meeting you at our events.

Chris Blanford, University of Manchester, Chair of the Joint Colloids Group


New News Letter!

Please find the new Joint Colloids group news letter at this link.

News Letter Content: Welcome from the chair; Bernie Binks award 2022 Rideal lecture; Spyridon Varlas chosen for 2021 Katharine Burr Blodgett award; call for nominations for McBain medal 2022; Upcoming events: ECCo Live 2021, Graham Award Symposium 2021, Rideal Award and Lecture 2021, McBain Medal 2021.

Past events: NSCIS21: Neutron Scattering in Colloid and Interface Science, Design Assembly of Colloids at Interfaces: Fundamentals to Applications, UK Colloids 2021 Online

UK Colloids 2021 (Online) 19-21 July 2021

Update on UK Colloids, Liverpool

Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the current global pandemic, the planned UK Colloids conference is now postponed until 2023. UK Colloids 2023 will be held in Liverpool from 17th to 19th July 2023. There will be an online version in 2021. Please see below.

UK Colloids 2021 (online)

The CISG, in partnership with the SCI’s Colloid and Interface Chemistry Group is running its three-day flagship event, UK Colloids, from 19–21 July 2021. The event will be run entirely online as a series of half-day sessions on panels, posters and presentations, and will culminate in Professor Colin Bain’s lecture to mark his winning the 2020 Rideal award.

Session themes:

Colloids and nanostructures for sustainable technologies
Colloids for energy
Early career colloid scientists
Women in colloids
Rheology and gels
Polymers in liquid formulations

Further information on the sessions, timings, registration and how to submit an abstract for a five-minute flash presentation are available at this link.

Sir Eric Rideal Travel Bursaries

The Sir Eric Rideal Travel Bursaries are a joint bursary between the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Society of Chemical Industry. It provides funds for attendance at a conference in the field of colloid and surface science.

Sir Eric Rideal (1890–1974) was the founding Chair of the RSC Colloid and Interface Science Group.

The Rideal Trust annually offers financial assistance to promising academic research workers in the general field of colloid and surface science to attend conferences and/or to visit relevant research institutions.

Awards of up to £500 will be made on a competitive basis to assist with travel and/or subsistence and/or conference registration fees.

There are two closing dates for applications each year:

  • 15 April (for travel planned between 1 June and 31 December)
  • 15 October (for travel planned between 1 December and 30 June).

Please see the Rideal Bursary page on the SCI’s website for specifics.

Follow the Joint Colloids Group on Twitter

The Joint Colloids group has established a Twitter handle. Follow us on @ColloidsGroup to keep up-to-date with news and events for the UK colloids and surface science community.

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You can become a member by joining one of the two groups:

SCI Colloid & Surface Chemistry Group (CSCG).

RSC Colloid & Interface Science Group (CISG).

The former is open to SCI members only. The latter is open both to RSC members and associates AND to scientists and engineers who belong, either, to a chartered professional or learned body from outside the chemical sciences, or to another chemical society with whom the RSC has entered into an international partnership agreement approved by RSC Council. Non-RSC members of CISG pay RSC a small annual fee to cover administration and postage.


For information on how to become a member of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) or Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) please see the links below: 

Non-members of RSC wishing to join CISG should contact the RSC Membership Dept. (contact details at, asking to join the Colloid & Interface Science Interest Group, only, and mentioning their own affiliation.  The membership administration fee is £10 currently. In case of difficulty please contact a member of the Joint Committee.