RCUK Press Release


An organization’s success and competitiveness depends on its ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of its people. The potential rewards of diversity are significant: recruiting staff from the widest possible pool will unlock talent and make a major contribution to the impact of research and will benefit the economic and social wellbeing of theUK.  RCUK expects that equality and diversity therefore is embedded at all levels and in all aspects of normal research practice.

RCUK expect those in receipt of Research Council funding to:

  • promote and lead cultural change in relation to equalities and diversity
  • engage staff at all levels with improving the promotion of equality and diversity
  • ensure all members of the research workforce are trained and supported to address disincentives and indirect obstacles to recruitment, retention and progression in research careers
  • provide evidence of ways in which equality and diversity  issues are managed at both an institutional and department level

Research Councils recommend that the evidence includes:

  • participation in schemes such as Athena SWAN, Project Juno, Investors in People, Stonewall Diversity Champions and other similar initiatives to demonstrate departmental level action
  • input prepared for the Research Excellence Framework research environment at unit of assessment level
  • appropriate benchmarking data (e.g. heidi equality reports from HESA data)
  • evidence of the application of the ‘Every Researcher Counts resource’ to support this work
  • other available and pertinent management information

 RCUK will

  • review the overall effectiveness of the approach at a Departmental / Institutional level through its Audit and Assurance Programme
  • discuss equality and diversity at Institutional visits
  • reserve the right to introduce more formal accreditation requirements for grant funding should significant improvement not be evidenced.

 Useful links:

Athena SWAN

Project Juno

Research Excellence Framework

heidi equality

Every Researcher Counts resources

Investors in People





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L'Oréal UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women in Science

2014 Key Dates
Applications open: Saturday 1st February
Applications close: Friday 14th March
Shortlist published: Tuesday 3rd June
Awards Ceremony: Thursday 19th June

Apply for the 2014 UK & Ireland Fellowships now

What are the L'Oréal UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women in Science?

The L'Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women in Science are awards offered by a partnership between L'Oréal UK & Ireland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Irish National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society, to promote, enhance and encourage the contribution of women pursuing their research careers in the UK or Ireland in the fields of the life and physical sciences.

The National Fellowships are offered under the umbrella of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Programme, which has promoted women in scientific research on a global scale since 1998.

Four Fellowships will be awarded in 2014 to outstanding women scientists in the early stages of their career to enable and/or facilitate promising scientific research. The Fellowships are tenable at any UK or Irish university or research institute to support a 12-month period of postdoctoral research in any area of the life or physical sciences.

Who is Eligible?

Candidates must be female postdoctoral level researchers who have already been awarded their research doctorate in the fields of life or physical science.

Candidates must have no more than 10 years' active full-time equivalent postdoctoral experience (discounting career breaks, but including teaching experience and/or time spent in industry).

Candidates must not currently hold a permanent academic post, or have ever held a permanent academic post in the past, or have received, before the start date of the award, the promise of a permanent academic post.

Candidates must be undertaking research in the life or physical sciences. Computer science, engineering, mathematics, psychology, science education and social sciences are not eligible for this Fellowship.

Candidates must be conducting their research at a UK or Irish university or research institute.

Candidates must be a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA), or a Swiss citizen, or have permanent residence status in the UK or Ireland; and must be residing in the UK or Ireland at the time of application.

Applications are welcomed from candidates who wish to establish/re-establish themselves after a career break or other period of absence from active research or where the candidate is establishing a research career as a mature entrant or after experience in other fields.

Online Application Procedure and Deadline

We can only accept applications made online. You will need to visit to create an account and complete an application.

Before beginning your application you must read the 2014 Applications Terms & Conditions; this document also contains some Frequently Asked Questions that you may find helpful. On winning a Fellowship, you will be asked to accept the Winner's Terms & Conditions – which you can review here 2014 Winner's Terms & Conditions.

You do not have to complete your application in one sitting; you may log back into your application and add to it or edit it as many times as you like up until the point you submit it. You are able to click through the different sections of the application form, and you can print your application at any stage.

We ask candidates to arrange for us to receive two letters of recommendation from persons who have personal knowledge of your qualifications and suitability for the Fellowship. You will be asked to fill in contact details for your two referees on the application form and press the "generate a link" button, where a link will be generated which you will need to copy and paste into the email you send your referee. This link will allow your referee to go directly to the page on your application where they can submit their reference directly into a text box or by uploading a letter online.

It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure that the application is complete and submitted before the deadline, including letters of recommendation.

Apply for the 2014 UK & Ireland Fellowships now

Judging Process

A panel of multi-disciplinary scientists will review all applications. The top 20 applications selected by this panel will be forwarded for final review and selection for interview by the Jury Panel. Both panels will shortlist candidates for interview based on equal weighting given to:

  • Intellectual Merit of Candidate

Taking into account academic records, ability to plan and conduct research, ability to interpret and communicate research findings, evidence of originality, initiative and productivity, and strong recommendation in reference letters. 

  • Clearly Articulated Research Proposal

Taking into account the relevance of the research and its impact, the originality of the research proposal, and whether it is presented in a clear and compelling way.

  • How The Fellowship Will Enhance The Candidate's Career and/or Assist With a Successful Return to Scientific Career

Taking into account whether the candidate has made a convincing case for the difference that this flexible fellowship will make to her.

2014 Fellowship Interviews and Awards Ceremony will be held in London on 19th June 2014. Successful candidates must take up the Fellowship within 6 months of the announcement of the award. The offer will otherwise lapse. Only in exceptional circumstances will a later start date be considered.

Further Information

If you have any questions about the Fellowships, please contact us here.

Download the 2014 Applications Terms and Conditions and the 2014 Winner's Terms and Conditions.

Apply for the 2014 UK & Ireland Fellowships now


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