Returners: the barriers, the business case and the benefits
Dr Katie Perry, Chief Executive, The Daphne Jackson Trust, UK
Katie will provide an overview of the work of the Daphne Jackson Trust and in doing so will link it to three key areas for returners. She will explain the barriers to STEM researchers, particularly those in biosciences returning to research careers after a break for a family, caring or health reason.
She will articulate the business case for organisations who want to engage with returners, and finally clearly set out the benefits of working with returners. Katie will highlight the key features of Daphne Jackson Fellowships and why they are so successful in returning researchers back to careers, and keeping them there.
The Fellowships are individually tailored to each Fellow and offer the opportunity to conduct research alongside a retraining programme, which allows Fellows to refresh skills in the same research area they were in before their break or shift their area of expertise to widen their career prospects. Fellowships are for two or three years and are held predominantly in universities and research institutes, but a small number are in industry.
Taking an access course to enter the life sciences as a second career
Professor Simon McQueen-Mason, CNAP Director and Chair in Materials Biology, University of York, UK
Growing skillsets and networks, and evolving careers
Professor Chas Bountra, Professor of Translational Medicine, University of Oxford, UK
My training (still ongoing!) spans three broad phases. The first as a post-doctoral fellow and lecturer in academia, the second as a practical scientist growing into a science manager/leader in industry, and the current phase back in academia as faculty. In the first, I undertook practical ‘deep’ research, learnt to critique science, present data, write papers and grants, and teach. In industry, I learnt about the processes of target and drug discovery, and the various scientific, regulatory and commercial challenges, as well as the importance of long term goals, intermediate milestones, team-play and leadership. In the past decade or more back in academia I have had to secure resources for global partnerships with many academic institutes, patient groups and pharmaceutical companies. I have tried to focus on major global challenges, through innovative science, entrepreneurship, and collaboration, with all above stakeholders, governments and philanthropic funders. Common themes across these many years of learning is wonderful teachers, supervisors and mentors, the rapid pace of technological innovation, and the globalisation of goals and science.
Life sciences as a second (or third, or fourth) career
Jonny Ohlson, Founder and CEO, Touchlight, UK
Jonny is founder and CEO of Touchlight. He is not a scientist and regularly suffers from bouts of impostor syndrome. But he believes passionately that life science is the new creative industry, and will describe how he has applied knowledge from his former creative careers (from Saatchi and Saatchi to Soho House) to building one of the world’s leading DNA technology companies.