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Human Resources


Applications for Round 15 open on 6 January 2020.

Round 15 Spending Period - 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021.

The application deadline is 14 February 2020.

To submit an application, please review the information on these pages and follow the instructions on the 'Application Process' page.

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.

Round 16 will open in August 2020 for the spending period 1 February 2021 to 31 July 2021. 

For any queries please contact