The designation Chartered Scientist (CSci) ensures high and improving standards across all scientific disciplines. The designation also reflects best practice in science and is set at a benchmark level throughout the professions.
The designation is available only to those scientists who can demonstrate the advancement or application of science and who stay up-to-date in their scientific field. Candidates must be able to demonstrate the benefit of their work to the wider community. Chartered Scientist status is aimed at those practising science at the full professional level and at those for whom scientific knowledge or practice at that level forms an essential element for the fulfilment of their role.
You are eligible to apply for Chartered Scientist status through the Mineralogical Society if you:
- Are a Fellow of the Society (you can apply for Fellowship and CSci at the same time)
- have documented evidence of continuing professional development through a personal development plan for the 2 years prior to your application
- are currently in practice in mineralogical science (sensu lato) with at least four years post-graduate professional experience.
- Read here for details of fast-track application for those who have been members/fellows for 10 years or more.
Typical routes to CSci are given in the table below. The majority of Society members are engaged in academic research and so a PhD is a highly relevant qualification.
|First degree||Higher Degree||Additional length of appropriate experience required|
|Integrated Masters degree, e.g. MSci||4 years|
|BSc||Postgraduate Masters degree, e.g. MSc or MRes||4 years|
|BSc||PhD (two years of which can count towards the 4 years total post graduate experience required)||2 years|
|BSc||–||Appropriate professional development to attain a depth of understanding and knowledge equivalent to the ‘M’ level. This is expected to take at least five years|
The lengths of experience given in the table more or less equalise the minimum time from starting a 3-year BSc to gaining CSci of 8 years.
Exceptionally, applications may be accepted from applicants who are not graduates. A minimum of 15 years experience is required in this case, and applicants should make informal contact with the Executive Director of the Society in the first instance to discuss suitability.
Career breaks such as maternity, paternity or family leave and flexible working arrangements will not detract from suitability for CSci and should be clearly marked on the application form.
Suitability of academic qualifications
There are two aspects to the consideration of degree courses, (1) whether they are of appropriate academic standing and (2) whether the subject is suitable.
(1) Recent taught degrees in the UK should have Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) listing. If degree courses predate QAA assurance, the highest taught degree will be considered further. Degrees from the major UK universities will normally be accepted. For degrees from abroad, reference will be made to the NARIC National Academic Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC) (http://www.naric.org.uk/). The Mineralogical Society does not currently subscribe to this service and so applicants should apply to NARIC for a written individual assessment of academic qualifications, which results in a letter of comparability that must be included with the application form.
The Mineralogical Society does not formally accredit degree courses itself but accepts accreditation by other Science Council Licensed Bodies (e.g. Geological Society, IoM3, Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics).
(2) Degrees in geology, geochemistry, Earth Science and planetary science subjects are suitable. As a general rule, undergraduate degree courses should have contained at least three hundred learning hours in mineralogical or geochemical science. D, as are degrees in complementary subjects such as chemistry, physics, or materials science or environmental science are also acceptable when combined with appropriate postgraduate training and experience in mineralogical and/or geochemical sciences relevant to the Mineralogical Society. Advice about subject suitability, for taught degrees, and especially for research degrees, will be sought from the scrutineers. Supporting information can be attached to the application to show that the degrees are suitable.
You should have been working at a professional, post-graduate level in the practice, application, management, administration or teaching of a mineralogical science (including mineralogy, mineral physics, clay minerals and fine particle science, industrial mineralogy, crystallography, mineral chemistry and environmental mineralogy), geochemistry (pure or applied, organic or inorganic) or petrology (including experimental petrology, mineral deposits, volcanology and planetary sciences) for at least the minimum length of time specified in the table above. For two years immediately prior to the application the guidelines specify ‘an appropriate level of responsibility’, which will vary according to the job but, as a guide, you should be required to use the competencies listed below. For example, an experienced post-doctoral research assistant who plans and carries out work within the project remit, making collaborations with internal and external colleagues as required, writes up papers and reports, attends conferences and presents results, has carried out some training in complimentary skills and carries out all correct health and safety procedures would be likely to fulfil the requirements.
Competencies required to become a Chartered Scientist through the Mineralogical Society
In addition to the appropriate qualifications and experience, chartered scientists must have the following six competencies. These are key scientific and professional skills that are kept deliberately broad in order to allow scientists working in interdisciplinary areas of the mineralogical and geochemical sciences to apply for CSci.
Applicants must be able to:
A. Deal with complex scientific issues, both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data and communicate conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
B. Exercise self-direction and originality in solving problems, and exercise substantial personal autonomy in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level
C. Continue to advance knowledge, understanding and competence to a high level and demonstrate a commitment to CPD
D. Demonstrate an understanding and commitment to Health and Safety and environmental issues related to employment. (Candidates must provide evidence of H&S criteria that cover their areas of work; this may include relevant legislation and appropriate application (i.e. COSHH, Ionizing Radiation Regulations, etc.) It may also include risk assessments or systems of schemes of work to comply with H&S.)
E. Comply with the relevant Codes of Conduct
Roles and requirements
Applicants need to provide:
- Evidence of qualifications in the form of original certificates or certified copies. Qualifications are checked with the awarding institution by the Executive Director. For candidates outside the UK, a NARIC letter of comparability must be provided for taught qualifications.
- A completed application form including career details to satisfy the competencies criteria, each stage signed off on the form by a senior manager.
- Supporting information such as copies of publications and reports (within a reasonable weight limit).
- Two sponsors’ forms – which come directly from the sponsors.
- The application fee.
- Will need to attend the interview at own expense if required by scrutineers.
Sponsors need to:
- Fill in a form, provided by the applicant, and send it directly to the Society, in confidence, to advise on the suitability of the applicant for CSci.
All Fellows who are awarded Chartered Scientist status through the Society will have their names placed on a central register of Chartered Scientists held by The Science Council. The Institute will issue a certificate recording Chartered Scientist status and you will be able to use the designatory initials CSci. It is a requirement for maintaining your Chartered Scientist status that you maintain a level of CPD appropriate to your professional role throughout the time that you are Chartered. Evidence of this will be required at your annual revalidation.