The Daphne Jackson Trust offers flexible paid fellowships with mentoring and retraining that help women and men return to research after a career break of 2 or more years

The Trust's history

The Daphne Jackson Trust was established in 1992 following the death of Daphne Jackson, the UK’s first female professor of physics and a lifelong campaigner for women in STEM careers.

In its early years the Trust supported a number of women wishing to return to research following a career break for family, caring or health reasons. Four of the women the Trust helped return to research in the 1990s have gone on to become professors in UK Universities, and 3 of them – Professor Hilary Hurd, Professor Margaret Rayman and Professor Andree Woodcock continue their research today.

During the last 10 years, the Daphne Jackson Trust has gone from strength to strength, increasing the number of fellowships awarded, and building partnerships with a wider range of sponsoring organisations. We have now helped over 250 STEM researchers return to their research careers. In 2011, Dr Katie Perry was appointed Chief Executive and since then she has made significant improvements to the administrative procedures and governance of the Trust.

As the Daphne Jackson Trust enters its third decade, the importance of maintaining a diverse and talented STEM workforce is becoming ever more evident, and with increasing support from our sponsors and host organisations, the number of returners the Trust helps continues to grow.

Biography of Daphne Jackson

Daphne Jackson graduated in physics from Imperial College in 1958. She moved to Battersea College of Technology (now the University of Surrey) where she began her research in theoretical nuclear physics and was awarded a PhD in 1962.

Professor Jackson was appointed Professor of Physics at Surrey in 1971 – the first woman professor of physics in the UK. Later, she became Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Surrey. As well as being a distinguished physicist in nuclear, medical and radiation physics, she served on such diverse bodies as the Institute of Physics, the Women’s Engineering Society, the University Grants Committee, the Board of the Meteorological Office and regional and district health authorities.

Daphne Jackson was also a lifelong campaigner, encouraging women into engineering and science. She met talented individuals (mostly women) reduced to taking low-level jobs because they needed retraining to return to the workplace after a career break.

In 1985, Professor Jackson devised a fellowship scheme for returners and launched a pilot project to help individuals get back to their chosen careers after having a family, caring for elderly relatives or because of their partner’s relocation. Following her untimely death in 1991, the Daphne Jackson Trust was established in 1992 in her memory to continue her inspired work.