In its early years the Daphne Jackson Trust supported a number of women wishing to return to research following a career break for family, caring or health reasons. Six of the Fellows who we helped to return to research careers have since gone on to become professors in UK Universities, and three of them – Professor Hilary Hurd, Professor Margaret Rayman and Professor Andree Woodcock continue their research today.

Over the years, the Daphne Jackson Trust has gone from strength to strength, increasing the number of Fellowships awarded, and building partnerships with a wide range of sponsoring organisations. In 2011, Dr Katie Perry was appointed Chief Executive and since then she has made significant improvements to the profile, governance and operations 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. With increasing support from our sponsors and host organisations, the number of Fellows we are able to help continues to grow year on year.

Biography of Professor 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 career in theoretical nuclear physics. She was awarded a PhD in 1962.

Professor Jackson was appointed Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey in 1971 – the first female Professor of Physics in the UK. Later, she became Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University. 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.

She was a lifelong campaigner, encouraging women into STEM. She met many talented individuals (mostly women) reduced to taking low-level jobs because they needed retraining to return to the research workplace after a career break. Training which was not easily available.

Daphne determined to address this issue and, in 1985, 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.

The Daphne Jackson Trust accepted its first male Fellow in 2003, and now administers Fellowships for both men and women. We have now helped over 340 STEM researchers return to research careers.