7 out of 10 Daphne Jackson Fellows remain in research for at least 2 years after successfully completing their fellowship

Step by step guide to the application process

The application process for a Daphne Jackson Fellowship is rigorous and very different to any other in the STEM area.

Applying for a Daphne Jackson Fellowship takes involvement and commitment over a period of time. Success is dependent on how suitable your case for support is in terms of the likelihood of a successful return to a STEM career.

There are two ways to apply for a fellowship:

• Sponsored Fellowship opportunities are advertised. The field of research and/or the host institution may be specified by the sponsor. The sponsor/s will select their preferred candidate. Sponsored fellowship opportunities are advertised on our current opportunities page, on university websites and on jobs.ac.uk

• Alternatively, if you know the area of research you would like to return to and/or have identified a potential host institution and/or supervisors, you can apply for a regular Daphne Jackson Fellowship at any time. If your application is successful, the Trust will endeavour to find suitable sponsorship.

Eligibility and Suitability Check
The first step in the process is for the Trust to assess your eligibility and suitability for a Fellowship. You should submit your CV/personal statement and personal details forms (available to download from www.daphnejackson.org) to djmft@surrey.ac.uk. Please read the accompanying guidelines ‘Are you eligible to apply for a Daphne Jackson fellowship’ for further details on eligibility.

If you fit our eligibility criteria, one of the Trust's Fellowship Advisors will arrange a telephone call to talk through your CV, career break, need to retrain, field of interest and assess your future employment prospects. This will allow us to confirm whether or not you are eligible and suitable for a Fellowship.

Preliminary Application Phase
Draft Proposal
Candidates will be asked to write a draft proposal comprising a research project and retraining programme. They will receive guidelines on how to write and present their proposal. We will expect a first draft within 3-4 months.  

In most cases the proposal will be developed in an iterative process between you, your Supervisor and your Fellowship Advisor, and she/he will provide feedback and suggestions about your proposal.

At the end of this period, a reference will be requested from your supervisor. You will then be invited to make a formal application  and be asked to attend an interview with members of the Trust’s advisory team.

For individuals applying for regular fellowships, your full application and research proposal will be reviewed by potential sponsors once a good first draft has been received. Funding must be in place before your fellowship application can proceed to interview stage, and it may be necessary for the application to be put on hold at this stage. If funding is not found within a specified timeframe the application will be terminated.

Formal Application Phase
The Trust holds interviews four times a year. The interview is an opportunity for you and the Trust to discuss your background, the proposal and your future employment prospects in detail and make adjustments to your proposal.  The interview is individual to each candidate and will be conducted by two or more members of the Trust advisory team and may include a representative from the sponsoring organisation

Questions you may be asked include:
• How did you devise your proposal?
• How will you benefit from the training described in your proposal?
• Will a fellowship fit in with your circumstances (i.e. work/life balance)?
• In what ways do you think you will make use of the fellowship, if you are successful with
your application?

Remember- The interview is in place to help you. Be prepared to ask and answer questions about issues directly related to your return to a STEM career.  Further details of the interviews process can be found in ‘Guidelines for Fellowship interviews’ available to download from the Daphne Jackson website.

Finalising the Proposal
You will be asked to revise your proposal based on discussions during your interview. You should ask your Fellowship Advisor to re-review your proposal before final submission.

Peer Review
Your proposal will be reviewed by two technical referees who are experts in a field closely related to your research area and who are qualified to comment on the technical elements of the proposal. Applicants will be required to, with input from their supervisor, respond to the technical referees' comments, clarifying or justifying certain aspects of the proposal.

Awards Assessment Panel
Once the technical references have been obtained, the application is sent to an Awards Assessment Panel. Occasionally the Panel may decide a final interview is necessary before a decision can be made. You will be informed if a final interview is required. If the Panel approve your proposal, you will be expected to start your fellowship within the following 3 month period.

A copy of these guidelines can be downloaded from the 'Guidelines' webpage.


Updated June 2014