“lf it hadn’t been for The Daphne Jackson Trust I would never have returned back to research”

24 November 2022 | Blogs, News, Daphne Jackson Trust Communications news

Returning to a research career can be a difficult feat. You can often feel unsupported, lack confidence, and find it hard to move forward. The Daphne Jackson Trust spoke to former fellow, Gillian Halket, about her experience and how the Trust supported her to land her dream role.

A Research Break…

Gillian holds a BSC Hons degree in genetics and microbiology from the University of Aberdeen and a PhD in Bacterial Systematics from Glasgow Caledonian University. Spending time working in the USA as a senior scientist within a global biotechnology company. Gillian took a 6 year break from her career after her 3rd child, keeping core skills fresh through online training and courses.

Where Gillian wanted to be…

When the time came to return to the research field, Gillian would hit a brick wall at the application stage. Being a mother returning back to a research career can be challenging, and Gillian realised in her particular field, the new techniques meant it was difficult to break back into. “l felt I was hitting a brick wall”.

How she got there…

Unsure where to go next, through word of mouth, Gillian, heard of The Daphne Jackson Trust.

“I didn’t know what else to do, I understood this was difficult and I needed further help. When I spoke to the team at The Daphne Jackson Trust, I instantly felt supported and understood. After an eligibility and suitability test the Trust further supported me with advice on preparing for gaining sponsorship and finding a host and I started approaching my old network”.

Gillian went on to secure a Fellowship at the University of Strathclyde. Gillian’s project title was, “Genomic Mining of Thermophilic Actinobacteria for Novel Antibiotics”.

“lf it hadn’t been for The Daphne Jackson Trust I would never have returned back to research”.

After completion of her Daphne Jackson Fellowship in 2020, Gillian worked in research support and coordination in a world-leading pharmaceutical manufacturing research centre at the University of Strathclyde. She had set her eyes on joining The Daphne Jackson Trust and this role along with shadowing a research manager at Strathclyde gave her the experience to join the team.

“Durinq my Fellowship, I knew I wanted to go into Fellowship Management to do something on the frontline and see the impact these fellowships offer. It’s incredible to give something back”.

As a Fellowship Advisor at The Daphne Jackson Trust, Gillian is responsible for assessing applicants’ eligibility for a Fellowship, supporting them through the application process and mentoring successful Fellows throughout their Fellowship.

“lf I had to describe The Daphne Jackson Trust in just three words, they would be…supportive, encouraging and hopeful”.

Gillian also extends her gratitude to the University of Strathclyde, and the BBSRC who co-sponsored her Fellowship.

To find out how The Daphne Jackson Trust can support you in returning to your research career, click here.

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