ISSF has enabled us to embed flexible and reactive funding to support the professional development of our staff who have primary carer responsibilities, facilitated through our Flexible Dependent Care Grants. To date this funding has been welcomed extremely positively and made significant differences to receivers, with more than 50 researchers benefitting from this support to date.

Selected impacts include:

  • Completion and publication of manuscripts whilst group leader on maternity leave.  The postdoc employed latterly secured a position within a Wellcome Trust funded laboratory in Cambridge.
  • Support for presentation of an invited lecture at an International conference at a critical time in career development shortly following return from maternity leave.  Attendance also facilitated formation of a scientific collaboration.
  • Working with the Daphne Jackson Trust, ISSF supported the recruitment of a scientist returning to work after a career break.  Data generated by the Daphne Jackson Fellow played a pivotal role in the successful award of a €2m ERC consolidator grant.

The University of Dundee is committed to a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion. ISSF will support initiatives to catalyse a change in gender imbalance at the principal investigator level in the Life Sciences. The School of Life Sciences has recently appointed an Associate Dean for Professional Culture with responsibilities for equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives and training and career support for all our staff, including Academic, postdoctoral and support staff.  The long-term impact will be broader academic diversity.

Sarah McKim

Maintaining my research progress while on maternity leave was challenging but support from the Flexible Dependent Care Grant scheme was invaluable by enabling my young baby and partner to travel with me to an international scientific conference shortly after my return. Supported by these funds, I presented key data and formed new collaborations which wouldn't have been possible otherwise.

Sarah McKim
Principal Investigator, Plant Sciences

Stephan Wilmes

Managing a scientific career while having small children is challenging. The swift and straightforward support available through the flexible dependent care grants allowed me to attend career development opportunities whilst also providing the peace of mind that my caring responsibilities were covered.

Stephan Wilmes
Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Life Sciences