Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Pilot Aims to Stem 'Leaky Pipeline'

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Pilot Aims to Stem 'Leaky Pipeline'

Article excerpt

Sustain scheme will give training and support to a first cohort of 20 researchers. Holly Else writes

A new scheme has been launched to help stem leaks in the "pipeline" bringing female researchers to the top levels of science.

The Sustain pilot programme, supported by several medical research funders, will offer tailored training and support to female scientists who have secured a career development award or fellowship.

A cohort of 20 women will take part in the upcoming academic year with the hope that they can become the research leaders of the future. Sustain is the creation of the Academy of Medical Sciences and is funded by the AMS, the Medical Research Council, the Royal Society and the Royal College of Physicians.

Susan Wray, professor of physiology at the University of Liverpool and member of the Sustain programme reference group, said that the fact that so few women make it to senior posts indicates that something is wrong in science.

"At the other end of the pipeline, especially in biological sciences, we have a roughly equal number of women [starting courses as undergraduate students]. Indeed, in medicine we have a higher intake of females than blokes, so there is something going on to give us this mismatch" at senior level, she said.

The £140,000 programme will offer workshops, media training, one-to-one mentoring and a peer support network. It is open to women who currently have one of eight fellowships or awards from the MRC, Royal Society or AMS, and in the case of Royal Society fellowship holders is not limited to the biomedical sciences. …

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