The year-long programme offers interactive skills training and career development sessions, tailored mentoring and the opportunity to network with research leaders. It is designed so that participants are part of a unique cohort to share learnings and includes:
Interactive career development workshops
The programme starts with a 2.5 day residential workshop, followed by three one-day workshops spread across the next twelve months. A wide range of issues are addressed at these workshops, including media training, publishing strategically, finding your work-life blend and developing a personal leadership style. Each session is tailored to support attendees through the challenges of combining research, teaching, clinical practice and caring responsibilities. Additionally, participants are introduced to research leaders at an Inspiring Women event on one evening of the residential workshop.
Hotel accommodation in London is provided for two nights for the period of the residential workshop, and for the other workshops if necessitated by travel requirements. Travel costs can be claimed in accordance with the Academy’s policy for travel. Childcare support, if needed, is available up to £50 per child per day for Ofsted-registered childcare.
The group is matched in co-coaching pairs to enable ongoing peer support and discussion of issues/challenges. Small group work at each workshop helps to embed and put into practice key learning points.
Participants are mentored by a Fellow of the Academy. Bespoke training on how to get the most out of mentoring, and ongoing support is provided to both mentees and mentors over the course of the programme.
The second round of SUSTAIN supported 20 women for a period of one year. Only award holders from partner organisations were eligible.
To be eligible to apply for the second round, applicants had to hold one of the following awards or fellowships:
Medical Research Council
- Career Development Award
- Skills Development Fellowships (previously Strategic Skills Fellowships)
- Clinician Scientist Fellows
The Royal Society
- Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship
- University Research Fellowship
- Sir Henry Dale Fellowships
Academy of Medical Sciences
- Starter Grant Award
- Clinician Scientist Fellowship
- Springboard Award
The 20 participants are selected by a computerised randomisation method, stratified to ensure they were selected from each partner organisation, fellowship cohorts and represent both clinical researchers and scientists from other backgrounds across the UK.
Participants in round 2 (2017-18)
- Dr Clemence Blouet, Senior Research Associate, University of Cambridge
- Dr Claire Carson, Senior Researcher, University of Oxford
- Dr Laura Cornelsen, Assistant Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- Dr Katie Gillies, MRC Methodology Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen
- Dr Sian Henson, Senior Lecturer, Queen Mary University of London
- Dr Karla Holmboe, MRC Fellow, University of Oxford
- Dr Clare Howarth, Sir Henry Dale Research Fellow, University of Sheffield
- Dr Susan Johnston, University Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh
- Dr Helena Lee, Academic Clinical Lecturer, University of Southampton
- Dr Rachel Lowe, Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- Dr Tamar Makin, Associate Professor, University College London
- Dr Ainhoa Mielgo, Sir Henry Dale Fellow, University of Liverpool
- Dr Riikka Mottonen, Career Development Fellow, University of Oxford
- Dr Virginia Newcombe, Clinician Scientist Fellow, University of Cambridge
- Dr Kay Seden, Skills Development Fellow, University of Liverpool
- Dr Michelle Stanton, Research Fellow, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
- Dr Hanna Sykulska-Lawrence, Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow, University of Oxford
- Dr Estee Torok, Clinician Scientist Fellow, University of Cambridge
- Dr Lucy Tusting, Skills Development Fellow, University of Oxford
- Dr Valerie Voon, Senior Research Associate, University of Cambridge
A number of reports over the past decade have highlighted the relative paucity of women researchers in science securing senior leadership posts in the UK due to barriers and hidden biases. Although the number is slowly rising, the Academy believes that a more concerted effort is needed to ensure women are appropriately supported along their career trajectory to enable them to secure those senior positions.
 Medical Schools Council, 2013. A Survey of Staffing Levels of Medical Clinical Academics in UK Medical Schools as at 31 July 2012. http://bit.ly/1B7SPEM
 UKRC, 2009. Female Attrition, Retention and Barriers to Careers in SET Academic Research. Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2012. Tapping all our talents. NAS, 2010. Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty.