'It is fantastic to be back in the laboratory, planning experiments, discussing research and feeling part of a scientific community again. My initial fears that everything had been “forgotten” have not been realised. My confidence has increased dramatically as my old scientific skills have returned, and as I have mastered new ones.'

Becoming a Daphne Jackson Fellow

Daphne Jackson Fellowships are two-year, part-time, fellowships that can be held in any university research laboratory or industrial R&D setting within the UK.

Applying for a Daphne Jackson Fellowship
There are 2 ways to apply for a Daphne Jackson Fellowship, you may either:
Identify a host institution and area of research you wish to pursue and the Trust will identify suitable sponsors.
Apply for an advertised sponsored fellowship, in which case the host institution and/or area of research may already be defined.

The fellowship application process
Applying for a Daphne Jackson Fellowship takes involvement and commitment over a period of time, but candidates will receive guidance and support throughout. Once eligibility is confirmed, candidates will be requested to submit a draft proposal within a given timescale. The Writing a Proposal guidelines give advice on how to write and present your proposal, comprising of a research project and training programme.

Planning your fellowship programme
Unless specified by the sponsor, you should first identify a suitable host organisation, department and supervisor, and secure their co-operation. You should then devise and plan a suitable fellowship programme. to include a substantial research or development project with associated retraining, under the guidance of a supervisor.

Choose a department that will welcome your skills and experience. Find out as much as you can; look on the internet and ask the departmental secretary for current and past research reports; talk to members of the department or division about what is going on; try to match interests and find out what papers have been published that might be of interest. 

It may not be possible to go back to exactly what you were doing before your career break. It may be necessary to consider a change of direction - many fellows have done this.

A future job in academia may not always be possible. Look into all other options.

The aim is to become employable; look for subject areas that can provide skills needed for future employment. Identify prospective employers in the local area. Identify job vacancies that would be open following the completion of a Daphne Jackson Fellowship.

Fellowships are usually carried out at an academic institution. Occasionally a candidate will decide to carry out an industrial based fellowship. Please contact the Daphne Jackson Trust office to obtain further advice before contacting a proposed industrial host.  

Choosing your supervisor
Both University and industry based fellowships will involve the guidance of a supervisor who will work with you to finalise the project and retraining programme.
You should choose a supervisor who will support you and be available when needed; a good supervisor will guide you through your research project and retraining.

Identifying a good area of research for your Fellowship
Make contact with one or more members of staff in your chosen research area.
Let them know you are enthusiastic about the work you want to do.
Is technical support available?
Are the necessary materials and facilities available?
Are there people who can easily be consulted?
Is there a good working atmosphere?
Your working environment should be supportive not competitive.
Ensure the supervisor and department or division know that the Daphne Jackson Trust
cannot support bench fees.

Your project and retraining
Whilst planning the fellowship programme, consider how your employability will be improved. How will it build on past experience and enhance the strengths of the department or division? The fellowship should be beneficial, and this should be demonstrated in the application.

Retraining
What new techniques will you need to learn to successfully carry out the fellowship programme?
What is needed for you to become up-to-date in the research field?
How can you increase your employability after a Daphne Jackson Fellowship?
What training will be available?

Future employment
What industrial links are available through the department or division?
Think carefully about opportunities for future employment

Making a Formal Application
Your draft proposal will be assessed by your Fellowship Advisor. The Trust only allows candidates to continue with the application process if they reach the required standard, and there is a genuine likelihood of a fellowship being awarded and sponsorship being obtained.  If successful, you will invited to apply for a fellowship. There is a Memorandum of Understanding and also an application form which should be completed and returned to the Trust Office with the appropriate signatures.

Guidelines can be downloaded here.