The Returning Carers Fund supports those who have taken a break for caring responsibilities to re-establish their research careers.

It is deliberately designed to be flexible. Applicants can apply for grants normally up to £5k, or in exceptional circumstances up to an absolute maximum of £10k, which can be used in whatever way they feel will best support them to return to research and develop their career.

Previous applicants have used their grants for a variety of activities, including attending conferences and training sessions, funding research collaborators to travel to Oxford, employing short-term research or administrative assistance and funding teaching buy-outs.

The scheme is open to all members of academic and research staff employed by the University, including those holding joint appointments, but excluding those who have achieved full professorial title or who hold statutory chairs. The scheme is open to all those (women and men) who have either:

  • taken a single break of at least six months for caring responsibilities in the two years prior to the closing date for applications 
  • or taken two or more breaks of at least 6 months each in the five years prior to the closing date for applications

Those on a fixed-term contract should hold a contract of employment for a sufficient period beyond the date of their application to permit the grant to be spent and to have an impact that increases the likelihood of them securing a new contract. Applications must be discussed and agreed with the staff member’s supervisor or Head of Department or Faculty Board Chair so please let Karen or Elizabeth know if you are thinking about applying. Personal information will be treated with the strictest confidence.

How to apply
Applicants should read the full criteria and submit their application using the application template. Please visit the University's webpage for more information.

The deadline for applications is Friday of 5th week each term. In 2017-18 deadlines are 10 November 2017, 16 February 2018 and 25 May 2018. If you intend on applying, please let us know at least 3 weeks before the application deadline.

Please note that applications for retrospective payments are not allowed.