SUSTAIN round 5 launches to support 24 female research leaders

The Academy of Medical Sciences is delighted to announce that 24 participants from across the UK have been selected for the fifth round of SUSTAIN, our innovative programme to empower female researchers to thrive.

Female scientists are still greatly underrepresented at senior leadership level in the UK. SUSTAIN forms a key part of the Academy’s strategy to support women at all stages of their career, helping more women secure senior positions.

Places are available to women in their first independent positions from across the scientific research community. The one year programme provides a range of innovative training and support opportunities to develop and refine participants’ leadership and career potential.

Workshops offered to participants are tailored to support them through the challenges of combining research, teaching, clinical practice, caring, and other responsibilities. Topics include negotiation, setting up a research team for success, and developing your leadership style. The cohort is small by design, and participants are matched in co-coaching trios to enable ongoing peer support and safe discussion of issues and challenges.

Dr Yi Jin, a University Research Fellow in chemical biology at Cardiff University funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences, who is joining the programme said:

“Having heard other SUSTAIN participants highly recommend this training programme, and seen their successful career development, I am convinced that this tailored-for-women programme is most beneficial and suitable for me at this transitional stage of my career.”

Dr Fong Kuan Wong, who works in the division of developmental biology & medicine at the University of Manchester and is funded by the MRC, said:

“Starting a lab under normal conditions is a difficult process, but even more so when one has to start a lab in the middle of a global health crisis. I am really excited to be part of SUSTAIN where I will have a network of peers that are in a similar process; where we will be able to nourish and support each other’s career development, in order to succeed in science.”

 Dr Sarah White is a cognitive neuroscience researcher specialising in autism at University College London funded by the Royal Society. She said:

“As a female scientist working part time, it's sometimes hard to be taken seriously. I'm looking forward to the SUSTAIN programme growing my confidence and leadership skills, and supporting and enabling me to become a senior research leader. I'm especially keen to engage in peer mentoring as an opportunity to provide as well as gain different perspectives.”

This year saw a record high number of applications for SUSTAIN, and it is our first cohort signing up to attend a mixture of online and in person events. As in previous years, applicants were chosen randomly, and stratified by location and funder. All applicants are grant awardees funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Medical Research Council, the Royal Society or the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The small-group learning and cohort support vital to SUSTAIN’s success means that we can only run this programme for 24 people at a time. However, given the continued high demand for our support, it is clear that there is still more work to be done in this area. We are therefore keen to share our experiences and help other organisations develop similar programmes. For more information please contact

Read case studies from previous SUSTAIN participants to find out more about the support we offer.

To support the work of the Academy to develop talented researchers, visit our Supporters page.


The SUSTAIN round 5 participants are:

  • Dr Jennifer Asimit, Senior Research Associate, MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Greta Bocedi, Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen
  • Dr Radha Boya, Royal Society University Research fellow and Honorary Chair, University of Manchester
  • Dr Katherine Bull, MRC-Kidney Research UK Professor David Kerr Clinician Scientist, University of Oxford
  • Dr Elizabeth Curtis, Clinical Lecturer in Rheumatology, University of Southampton
  • Dr Cristina David, Lecturer, Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol
  • Dr Karla Diaz Ordaz, Associate Professor of Biostatistics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Dr Elena Dreosti, Senior Fellow, University College London
  • Dr Rebecca Drummond, MRC Career Development Fellow, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Karen Eley, Clinical Lecturer in Radiology, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Elaine Ferguson, Reader in Polymer Therapeutics, Cardiff University
  • Dr Beatrice Maria Filippi, University Academic Fellow, University of Leeds
  • Dr Elizabeth Follett, Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow, Cardiff University
  • Dr Fatemeh Geranmayeh, MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow, Imperial College London
  • Dr Clare Harding, Sir Henry Dale Fellow, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Yi Jin, Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow in Chemical Biology, Cardiff University
  • Dr Delphine Larrieu, Sir Henry Dale Wellcome Trust fellow, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
  • Dr Amy McTague, Senior Research Fellow, Developmental Neurosciences department, University College London
  • Dr Nina Rzechorzek, MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge
  • Dr Jessica Tyrrell, Senior Lecturer in Medicine, University of Exeter
  • Dr Long Seng To, Royal Academy of Engineering for Development Research Fellow, Loughborough University
  • Dr Sarah White, Senior Research Fellow, University College London
  • Dr Fong Kuan Wong, MRC Career Development Fellow, University of Manchester
  • Dr Cynthia Yu-Wai-Man, MRC Clinician Scientist and Senior Clinical Lecturer, King's College London

Key contact

Annual Fellows Meeting and Jean Shanks Lecture 2023

Book Now

Mentoring Masterclass - January 2024

Book Now

Mentoring Masterclass - February 2024

Book Now
View more
FB Twitter Instagram Youtube