Founded in 1977  UK Charity Registration Number 275189

The ABS Trust was founded for the promotion and dissemination of knowledge in regard to Spectroscopy and for education and training in Spectroscopy.

The ABS Trust, a charitable educational trust, was formed in December 1977 by the Association of British Spectroscopists (ABS).

The ABS was a UK organisation, which was formed in 1969. Its origins, constitution, aims and affiliated groups in 1980 were detailed in an article by Ken Mills, the then Chairman, published in European Spectroscopy News (ESN); 

ESN is a forerunner of Spectroscopy Europe:

The ESN article by Ken Mills is reproduced below.

At its formation, among the prime reasons for the ABS were that it would:

  1. Facilitate effective cooperation between British Spectroscopy Groups, and
  2. Coordinate their efforts in international spectroscopic affairs and provide a national representative body, of which one activity was to appoint two delegates to the CSI (Colloquium Spectroscopicum Internationale) National Delegates Meeting.

The ABS was a very active grouping, which held meetings twice a year throughout the 1970s, 1980s and early into the 1990s. These were attended by representatives (usually the chair and/or secretary) of a member group. However, in the mid- to late-1990s, while never formally wound up, the ABS ceased to function since it became difficult for many delegates to justify the time and finance to attend these meetings, and with the advent of modern means of communication (Internet, email) the regular need to meet became less purposeful, and in about August 2002 the ABS as an organisation effectively ceased to exist and therefore no longer provided a focus for UK-based Spectroscopy Groups nor coordinate the UK/CSI responsibilities, see later. However, many of the Groups then affiliated to the ABS remain strong and very active entities. Details of these groups can be found here.

The ABS Trust, an independent charitable Trust, has, however, continued and is still very actively involved in overseeing the annual Kirkbright Bursary Award, and in supporting (through bursaries) UK-based students and, if appropriate, offering small grants or loans, for such as an appropriate international conference held in the UK. More recently (since 2019), the ABS Trust has administers the annual Steers Bursary Award.

These awards have merged and are now awarded as the Kirkbright Steers Award.

Although the Trustees will be sensitive to the Association of British Spectroscopists (ABS) Trust Fund Guidelines (see below), their ultimate responsibility is to the Charity Commissioners for compliance with the terms of the Trust Deed.

In general, the Trustees make funds available through an application to a Trustee or recognised Officer of one of the Groups or Societies associated with the ABS (see later), or an Officer of a recognised UK-based Spectroscopy Group or Society. In other cases, the Trustees will need a comment of support from one of the recognised UK-based Spectroscopy Groups or Societies.

The income of the Trust derives from interest on existing capital and endowments and the Trustees are committed to adding to this capital fund for the long-range benefit of the Trust and its objectives. Grants are normally small sums, less than £1,000.



Trustees: Terry Threlfall, Neil Everall, Duncan Graham, John Monaghan, Nick Walker, Susan Crossland
Administrator: Tor Alcock

Please address all correspondence to: