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Oxford University Returning Carers' Fund

A Returning Carer's Fund has been established as part of the Vice-Chancellor's Diversity Fund for the advancement of diversity among academic and research staff at Oxford.

The Returning Carers' Fund is a small grants scheme intended to support the return to research of men and women who have taken a break for caring responsibilities; and to increase the visibility of the University's support for carers, with a view to changing perceptions of balancing a research or academic career with caring responsibilities.

Applications are invited from women and men for funding to support the development of their research career following a break to care for a child or close relative. Details about the scheme, the application process and deadline dates.

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.


The scheme is open to:

  • All members of academic and research staff employed by the University, including those  holding joint appointments, but excluding those who have achieved full professorial title or who hold statutory chairs.
  • All those who, at the closing date for applications: are currently on leave for a minimum of six months; have returned from a break of at least six months within the last two years; or have returned from two breaks each of at least six months within the last five years. A break may comprise two or more discontinuous periods of leave totaling at least six months provided that they relate to a single life event, e.g. as part of a shared parental leave arrangement. Only one application may be made per career break.