Supporting scientists on a career break

Last week we launched the Stay Connected Bursaries, a new grant to help scientists on a career break keep up-to-date with scientific developments.

If you’re on a break in your career our new Bursaries can help with the cost of registration, accommodation and care provider cover when attending one of our conferences or other events.

Science moves at a rapid pace, so attending scientific events is a great way to keep informed about the latest developments while between jobs.

You do need to be a member to apply, but if you’re on a career break you can join for just £30 a year as an Associate Member. Not only can you apply for our Stay Connected Bursaries, you will receive free access to the Biochemical Journal, free registration at career events, and discounts on our events and other journals, to name just a few benefits.

Last year we ran a similar grant to support women on a career break, launched as part of the 2013 ‘Women in Biochemistry Year’. An expansion on that, our new Bursaries are available to anyone on a career break for any reason.

While not restricted, the grants are part of our drive to boost diversity in the biosciences and their launch coincided with release of our new Diversity in the Science Sector position statement.

In it, we say it is vital that the bioscience community reflects the make-up of UK society and that barriers, perceived or otherwise, to entering a career in the molecular biosciences are dispelled.

This is not just for moral and ethical considerations – there is a well-established and powerful business case for supporting increased equality and diversity in the science workforce.

Currently, individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds, certain ethnic minorities, women, and people with disabilities are all under-represented in education, training and employment related to science.

As women are more likely than men to take a career break and the impacts of a career break could be more keenly felt by those from a low socio-economic background, we hope our new Bursaries will make a small but important contribution towards boosting diversity in the biosciences.

We have further work underway, including a forthcoming grant focussed in diversity issues. Keep an eye out for it here.

In the meantime, find out more and apply for a Stay Connected Bursary or read our new Diversity in the Science Sector position statement.

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