Returning To Academia

Academic Returners

The University of Liverpool recognises that returning to academia following a break can sometimes be difficult. This website provides information and resources to support you in your plan to return to academia.  


  • The Open University’s ‘Returning to STEM’ free badge course

This free online course is designed to help you get back into work in Sciences, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics following a career break:

  • The Women Returners Network

This free networking tool for women returning to work following a break provides a comprehensive advice and resource service and is the main access point for UK organisations wishing to hire returning professionals,

  • The Royal Society of Biology’s Returners’ Resource

 Funding Opportunities


University staff can apply to our ECR and Returners fund. This is open to those in the early stages of their career or those who have recently – within the last 12 months – returned to work after a long (3+ months) period of absence. This fund has been established to support activities aimed at positioning ECRs and Returners for future funding applications: by establishing new research collaborations or learning new specialist techniques; by embedding fund holders into interdisciplinary networks; by providing pump priming funds to carry out research related to a future funding application or production of a research output.


  • Daphne Jackson Fellowships, which are intended to help scientists and engineers retrain after taking time out for family commitments for up to two years.
  • Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship which is a Royal Society scheme aimed at retaining the most able women in science at an early career stage Applicants of postdoctoral status, with no more than four years' postdoctoral research experience may apply.
  • Wellcome Trust Career Re-entry Fellowships are for postdoctoral scientists in the biomedical sciences to return to research after a career break of at least two years. Four years' duration.
  • Embo Fellowships may be awarded for a period of up to 24 months. Applicants who interrupted their career due to childcare for at least 1 year will also be given special consideration when applying to stay within the same country.
  • Rosalind Franklin Award - Royal Society - the Royal Society's Rosalind Franklin Award is made to an individual for an outstanding contribution to any area of natural science, engineering or technology (SET). While open to both sexes, the recipient of the award is expected to spend a proportion of the grant on implementing a project to raise the profile of women in STEM in their institution and/or fi
    eld of expertise.
  • L'Oréal UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women In Science Launched in January 2007, these Fellowships are offered to promote, enhance and encourage the contribution of women pursuing their research careers in the UK or Ireland in the fields of the life and physical sciences. Four fellowships, worth £15,000, are awarded annually to outstanding female postdoctoral researchers. The deadline for the 2013 application round is Friday 15th March.
  • British Federation of Women Graduates Scholarships Founded in 1907, the British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG) has been providing Scholarships Funds for women in their final year of study for a PhD since 1912. Its wholly owned subsidiary charity Funds for Women Graduates makes awards to help women graduates while undertaking postgraduate study or research.


Royal Society of Biology blog, Returning to work after a career break? The four things you should know

Naturejobs blog,
Women in science: A returner's perspective

Royal Society of Biology blog, Returners to Bioscience - a neglected pool of talented workers

Bioindustry Association blog, The first Returners to Bioscience Week 2015 - raising awareness and celebrating talent

Royal Society of Biology blog, Choosing between 'life' or research - survey data shows the outlook is good for returners

Biochemical Society blog, Five things having a career break has taught me

The Telegraph, How to return to work after a long career break

PLOS blog, 7 Tips for Women at Science Conferences

The Telegraph, You have 8.8 seconds to impress with your CV. Here's how

The Wellcome Trust blog, How to return to a research career after a break from the lab

Women Returners blog, Five ways to build your back-to-work networks

The Guardian, The five things I want to tell employers about women returning to work