Video clip: Barbara’s department has started a number of initiatives to encourage young researchers. For example, it has introduced pump priming grants and transitional fellowships.
Would you say things are changing in your department?
Yes, things have changed since we did the work for the bronze application, [cat purring] things have changed quite a lot. I think it’s motivated a lot of young women to apply for fellowship, apply for grants. Has been really good actually.
What would you say was the main changes that have happened in your department?
I think more confidence. Women have felt that someone was, that it was possible that they were encouraged more or specifically if you like and that helped. That there was some willingness to engage at the department level and there have been a lot of little initiatives. You know, I do like the idea of providing people with tangible things, you know. Not just, ‘Oh, we’re going to be supportive or we’re going to be encouraging.’ But actually to say, ‘Look we now have started these pump priming grants. And these are for you, young people who want to make the first step towards independence. Apply’. We have transitional fellowships that are focused on people who maybe feel they are not quite ready to apply externally for a fellowship. But they are on a trajectory towards it and that gives people a lot of confidence. They can practice their role. You know how you build confidence through little successes and to provide the opportunity for having little successes [cat purring] I think is particularly useful.