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Top tips for writing your application

Applicants are advised to ensure their application covers the following points to demonstrate to the panel how their application meets the remit of the fund:

  1. Outline the impact taking maternity leave has had on your career trajectory in the short or long term
  2. Outline any barriers you have faced as you returned to work, or longer term impact (this is especially important if you are applying closer to the end of the eligibility period of 2 years)
  3. Detail how the funded activity you are asking for will help you overcome these barriers and difficulties
  4. It is helpful to include information on why this activity is or cannot be funded by your current source of funds
  5. Briefly outline your plans for the coming few years, and how this activity will support your career development
  6. Be as specific as you can about outcomes from this award (publications, future grant applications, a unique skillset etc.) and how they will support your career plans.
  7. If you are including a scientific outline for planned activity be aware this will go to a lay-audience

If you are able to provide all of the above a panel will be able to see precisely how your proposal meets the remit of the fund and it will increase your chances of success.

The MSD Athena Swan and EDI Facilitator will be glad to review your draft application ahead of the deadline nad advise on any improvements that can be made

Award Decision making

Applications must be discussed and agreed with the staff member’s supervisor or Head of Department or head of administration and finance and line manager and signed off in the relevant section. Applications should be submitted on the application form and sent to Katherine Corr by the deadline. Please ensure you send in good time if you want feedback on your application.

Each Division will submit a priority list of divisional bids for funding to the University’s Advisory Group on the Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity Fund.  There will no appeal against the Group’s decision.  Applications will primarily be judged against the likelihood of delivering benefits that would enable the applicant to remain in an academic or research career, taking into account their career stage.


If successful, you will be required to produce a one page report on your use of the funds to Katherine Corr within 12 months of receipt of the funds. This will detail:

  • Any research outputs, as evidenced by publications, presentation of papers, development of collaborations or submission of grant proposals.
  • Any career development, as evidenced by attendance at conferences or participation in training or development.
  • Any other identified benefits to your career.

Returning Carers' Fund Application Form