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Returning Parents Support Fund

Find out about the new funding for academics returning from parental leave, who is eligible and how to access it.

About the support fund

Following the success of the pilot support scheme for academics returning to work after parental leave, which was funded from Research England's Enhancing Research Culture (ERC) Fund, the University has funded a further pilot for financial year 2023/24.

We are offering up to £5,000 to help academics returning from all forms of parental leave with the transition back into work. If you are an academic who carries out research, this funding is available to support you. We want to help mitigate the impact family leave can have on your research. The funding is there to enable you to re-establish your research momentum by removing some of the barriers faced when returning to work.

The aim of the scheme is to help you free up your time to prioritise and focus on your research. It can give you space to collaborate with peers, networks and industry. Having time to resource and manage your work effectively can also help boost your confidence, motivation and wellbeing when returning to work and juggling family life.

What the funding can be used for

The funding can be used to support (but is not limited to):

  • training, professional or personal development
  • short-term secondments to ‘get up to speed’ with recent research developments
  • conference attendance to enable you to re-establish your profile
  • short-term research or administrative assistance
  • small-scale lab equipment purchase
  • visiting colleagues at other institutions
  • enabling research collaborators to spend time in Bath
  • help with organising conferences or workshops
  • teaching buy-out to enable you to concentrate on research

The funding is designed to be flexible. You are entitled to apply for up to £5,000, to be used however you feel will best support you in rebuilding your research profile.

Who is eligible for funding

You are encouraged to access the fund if:

  • you are an academic (teaching and research)
  • you were absent for more than three months for shared parental leave, adoption or maternity leave
  • you are planning to returned to work after September 2023

Please note, the funding is currently only available to the academic community and does not apply to professional services staff or students. This will be reviewed following the extension of the pilot in Financial year 2024/25.

How to apply for and access your funding

  1. Before applying, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your Supervisor or Head of Department (HoD). They can help you assess what support might help you get your research back on track.

  2. Once you’ve had a conversation, you’ll need to fill out this quick online request form.

  3. The Culture and Inclusion team will review your application within two weeks and give you the cost code to charge to.

  4. Spend or allocate your funding by the end of July in the same year you are awarded the grant, where possible.

A condition of the award is that you must complete a one-month and a three-month pulse survey on how the grant has boosted your research. This will help us determine the effectiveness of the scheme and whether we will continue the funding on an ongoing basis.

Further information

Getting your funding approved within your department

While your HoD does not need to approve the funding, it’s a good idea to talk to them before you apply. They will be able to enable the support you need, help you understand costs for resource and authorise your absence for conferences and other events.

Working out costs for teaching or admin buyout

Your HoD will be a good person to speak to about costs for teaching or admin buyout. The following web pages can also be used to help you work out a rough idea of costings:

On-Cost Calculator

UoB Pay Scales

Apply for funding

Download the request form

Contact us

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Culture and Inclusion team.

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