SFI is committed to removing and mitigating any existing or perceived factors that may limit the participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers. In particular, SFI is committed to supporting the retention of women in science, to encourage women back into STEM careers following maternity or adoptive leave, and to position SFI schemes so that they do not unintentionally discourage the hiring of female researchers. The SFI Maternity/Adoptive Policy aims to help in addressing the gender imbalance among SFI award holders and SFI-funded team members, as highlighted in SFI census data.
The lack of support during critical times such as those surrounding childbirth or adoption is often reported as one of the factors underpinning the well-recognised dropout rate of women from STEM careers.
As of 15th November 2014, SFI invites its award holders to apply for a supplemental discretionary allowance to support their SFI funded award when either a Principal Investigator (PI) or a team member funded on an SFI award takes a period of maternity or adoptive leave.
Timeline for Submission of Applications
NB: applications should be submitted to SFI no later than two months before the start of the maternity leave period.
These provisions will be available as of 15th November 2014, and will apply to all relevant SFI award holders and SFI-funded team members (excluding students) whose maternity/adoptive leave start date falls on or after 15th November 2014, and will not be applied retrospectively.
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