Select Committee on Science and Technology Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 1


University Research Fellowships

  The Royal Society's University Research Fellowship (URF) Scheme provides funding for postdoctoral researches for up to 10 years, a longer period of support that is provided by other UK schemes. Fellows are relieved of teaching and administration duties and allowed to concentrate solely of "blue skies" research for an assured length of time.

Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships

  The Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (DHF) scheme was set up in 1995 to retain the most able women in science. It provides salary and research expenses for up to four years at early stages of postdoctoral career when many academics (particularly women) leave science. Flexibility in funding supports maternity leave and periods of part time working. There are 55 fellows currently in post, 52 of whom are women. Although the number of fellowships remains relatively small the Royal Society continues to seek additional funds from public and private sources to extend the scheme. Current holders include Dr Susan Howson (University of Nottingham) the first female recipient of the Adams Prize, the UK's most prestigious award for a young mathematician.

  Both Schemes provide award holders with additional support and experience that are crucial to their professional development. Experienced staff provide advice to individuals throughout their award and assist award holders in discussions with universities about their progression to senior posts. Seminars provide new research fellows with the opportunity to meet their peers and gain advice on funding and career opportunities. This portfolio of support and activities is not provided by other UK fellowship schemes.

New Relocation Fellowships

  This is a further scheme, which the Royal Society hopes to secure funding for and which would facilitate the relocation of excellent scientists whose spouse or partner is moving their workplace beyond reasonable commuting distance. These awards will provide salary and research expenses for up to two years and will be of particular benefit to women who are more often the "following partner".

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