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Diversity in science

Parent Carer Scientist

Case studies

  • Be adaptable

    Ambitious researchers may change their scientific focus, or relocate between institutions or countries, more than once in a career. When the challenges and opportunities of life present themselves, these scientists and engineers reveal how they’ve had to adapt.

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  • Don't be afraid to ask for help

    Juggling work and parenthood or caring responsibilities is tough, and sometimes impossible, without help. Whether it’s finding support from family, friends or paid help, these researchers share the solutions that worked for them.

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  • All stories

    Browse all of the scientists' stories from 'Parent Carer Scientist'

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  • Find a supportive environment

    Fulfilling the responsibilities of family life may require you to change the way you work. Here, researchers emphasise the importance of having colleagues and an employer who values and supports staff who need to work flexibly.

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  • Be determined

    Whether you’re breaking new ground or battling personal hardship, you’ll need determination and resilience. These scientists describe how they’ve weathered tough times, juggled family life and continued to succeed in the career they love.

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  • Time it right, for you

    Is there an ideal time in a research career to start a family? These scientists prove that ‘the right time’ to add parenthood to the CV is different for everyone.

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  • Learn to work smarter

    When your circumstances change, your work habits may have to. This might feel awkward at first, but can have wide-ranging benefits. Here, researchers share how they altered their working day, or whole career, to suit new priorities.

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Dr. Lotte Hollands - Image by Jasmina Stirling photography


"Research needs diversity and diversity means diverse people, living diverse lives with diverse approaches and diverse experiences. An optimal scientific community will therefore include people weaving their research activities into their wider lives in different ways. This rich tapestry is reflected in the stories told in this book and online."

Ottoline Leyser

Download the booklet

Parent Carer Scientist celebrates the diversity of work life patterns of 150 scientists across the UK with the aim of increasing the visibility of people combining a career in science with a family life.

The project aims to encourage and inspire current and future talented scientists to succeed in science regardless of their commitments outside work.  Providing information on both their career and their personal journey through a timeline of academic, career and family milestones, this resource highlights the various formulas utilised by mothers, fathers and carers in the efforts to balance a career in science with family life.

The recurring themes across the profiles also highlight the vital role that a supportive employer and family friendly policies and funding play in enabling researchers to combine a vocation for science with family life.

You can participate in the conversation via the hashtag #AndAScientist.