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Human Resources


The Returning Carers Scheme has been incorporated into the Career Support Fund during the current academic year (2022-2023). Please visit the Career Support Fund webpage here.

The Returning Carers Scheme provides funds to support career and professional development following a career break or a period of leave for caring responsibilities for academics, researchers and employees whose primary role is undertaking research.

The Scheme offers funds to support academic activity and build up the research profiles of those going on, or returning from, a period away from work (total absence or part-time/reduced hours).

   Examples of activities that have been funded by the Scheme include:​

  • Attendance at conferences in the UK and overseas
  • Short-term research support, for example to generate preliminary data to support research grant applications
  • Travel and accommodation costs of research collaborators coming to Cambridge (to reduce the need for the returning carer to travel and to support work-life balance)
  • Indirect childcare expenses, for example, the travel and accommodation expenses of the person looking after an accompanying child while the researcher/academic attends a conference overseas
  • Secondments or short term research assignments (for example to an external laboratory)
  • Training to support career development
  • Support for assistance in grant writing
  • Equipment purchase to support independent research

​This list is not exhaustive and applicants are encouraged to make requests for funding for items that will help build their research profile even if not included above.

The panel reviewing the applications will consider each case depending on the specific circumstances, and needs of the individual. Note that funds should be requested that benefit the applicant directly, rather than their department or unit.

Applications should be for funding to be spent within the dates of the current round.

Requests for funds should not normally exceed £10,000 in total, based on direct costs (although exceptional cases for support up to £20,000 may be considered). The cost of consumables should not exceed £3,000 and should receive detailed justification in an applicant’s proposal.

For any queries please contact