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Returning Carers FundThe fund provides support for any researcher or academic regardless of gender who has taken caring leave of 6 months or longer in the last two years. Previous applicants have used their grants for a variety of activities including attending conferences and training, funding research collaborators to travel to Oxford, employing short-term research or administrative assistance and funding teaching buy-outs.

The expectation is that awards will normally be up to £5k. In exceptional circumstances, larger amounts may be awarded, up to an absolute maximum of £10k. Grants made under the scheme can be used for any legitimate purpose identified by the applicant that addresses a clearly identified barrier to return to research and demonstrates a link to career development in research. The scheme is not prescriptive, but does exclude any funding of usual childcare costs and costs of providing cover during the leave period. Support could include, but is not limited to:

  • Teaching buy-out to enable you to concentrate on research
  • Training or professional development
  • Short-term secondments to enable you to ‘get up to speed’ with recent research developments
  • Conference attendance to enable you to re-establish your profile
  • Short-term research or administrative assistance
  • Small scale lab equipment purchase
  • Funding visits to Oxford by your research collaborator(s)

This list is not exhaustive and any reasonable applications will be considered providing the link to career development in scientific research can be demonstrated.

Childcare-related expenses over and above a staff member’s usual childcare costs are eligible if requested as part of an application for ‘work related training’ (which includes conference attendance and research visits). The existing financial limit will still apply.

This fund was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.