We are the UK's leading organisation dedicated to realising the potential of scientists and engineers returning to research following a career break


If your question about Daphne Jackson Fellowships is not answered below, please contact us by phoning 01483 689166 or e.mailing djmft@surrey.ac.uk.

Q: How long a career break must I have had?
A career break of two years or more is required.

Q: My career break was 18 months. Am I eligible for a Fellowship?
No, a minimum two year break is required.

Q: Is there a maximum length of career break?
No, we will consider any length of career break but you must have a first degree in a science, engineering, technology or mathematics (STEM) discipline and then at least three years’ work experience in a research environment prior to a career break.

Q: How long must I have worked before having a break?
You must have three years’ work experience in research. Completing a PhD counts as three years research.

Q: Does it matter what my break was for?
Your career break must have been for family, caring or health reasons. The break from your career must have been for at least two years.

Q: Do I have to have a PhD to be eligible for a Fellowship?
No, but you must have a first degree in a science, engineering, technology or mathematics (STEM) discipline and then at least three years’ work experience in a research environment prior to a career break but a PhD is preferable.

Q: I am a science teacher, do I fit the criteria for a Fellowship?
Not usually, since three years’ work experience in research is required prior to your career break.  However, you may be eligible if you have previously done a PhD or an equivalent period of research.

Q: I had the opportunity to do some research while I was on my career break, does that matter?
Perhaps - if you did any paid research during your career break, you will not be eligible for one of our Fellowships. 

If you did research on a voluntary basis, it may affect your eligibility - we would encourage a small amount of voluntary work (around 2 - 4 weeks) for you to see for yourself whether returning to research is something you want to commit to. If you work voluntarily as a researcher for longer periods of time, you may have done a large amount of retraining already, which would mean that you are not eligible for one of our Fellowships as retraining is a core element of the Fellowship. Please submit the application forms and a Fellowship Advisor will determine your eligibility during an eligibility and suitability interview.

Q: Do I have to remain in the UK after my Fellowship?
Fellowships are for those who are resident in the UK and intend to remain in the UK following their Fellowships.

Q: I am in the UK on a five year visa. Am I eligible?
No, you must have permanent residency status.

Q: My English is very poor, am I still eligible?
To maximise your chances of obtaining a fellowship, you must be able to speak and write English fluently. It is advisable to obtain some lessons to improve your language skills if your English is not fluent.

Q: I am not British, do I still qualify?
Yes, but you have to have permanent residency status in the UK.

Q: Are the Fellowships just for women?
The fellowships are for men and women.

Q: How long is a Daphne Jackson Fellowship?
Daphne Jackson Fellowships usually last for two years on a part-time basis (0.5 fte).

Q: How much will I get paid?
Each host organisation has different pay scales and you will be paid on a scale appropriate to other researchers in the department or organisation.

Q: Will I have to work set hours?
Your hours are decided between you and your supervisor and can be flexible to suit your work.

Q: Will I be involved with my sponsor?
Not necessarily, however copies of all reports produced are sent to the sponsor.

Q: Will I have the opportunity to attend conferences?
Yes, attendance at conferences is normal during the fellowship and can often help with networking and making contacts that will help in securing a position after completion of the fellowship. The extraordinary expense account of £1500 per year (£3000 in total) is usually used for costs involved in attendance at conferences. However £600 of the total £3000 is reserved for the cost of attending training courses.  

Q: Do you offer your Fellows any training courses?
All of our Fellows take part in 4 tailor-made courses during their 2-year Fellowship.  The 4 courses look at your work-life balance, professional skills, presentation skills and media & PR skills.  Full details can be found in the Retraining Programme section of this website.

Q: How long will it take from when I apply for a Fellowship to when I start?
From the point at which you are invited to apply, the process usually takes 6 months. However, Fellowships are awarded in principle, subject to the Trust being able to secure funding within 12 months.  Please see the application process guidelines on the website for further details.

Q: Is it a competitive process?
Yes, there is an element of competition. Sponsored fellowships enable the sponsor to choose the candidate that they wish to sponsor. You would therefore be in competition with others for a sponsored fellowship.

Q:  Should I carry on applying for other jobs, fellowships and funding while going through the application process for a Daphne Jackson Fellowship?
Yes.  Our goal is for you to return to work after a career break, if you don’t need one of our Fellowships to do that, that’s great and it means that we are able to help others who do need our help.

Q: Do you guarantee a job at the end of the Fellowship?
No.  Your Fellowship removes the disadvantages inherent in a career break, thus enabling you to apply for employment on a level playing field with your peers following successful completion of your Fellowship.

Q: Do you give grants or fund PhD's?