Returning To Academia

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.  


Returning to STEM - This free Open University 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

  • 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 field 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. Fellowships worth £15,000 are awarded annually to outstanding female postdoctoral researchers. 
  • 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.

Related articles 

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

Naturejobs: Women in science: A returner's perspective

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

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

Biochemical Society: Five things having a career break has taught me

Women Returners: Five ways to build your back-to-work networks