September 26, 2023

The UK’s Royal Society To Boost Black Scientists’ Careers With New Program

Black Scientists

The Royal Society, an independent scientific academy in the UK, has launched a Career Development Fellowship for underrepresented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The Career Development Fellowship 

The fellowship aims to provide early career scientists from underrepresented groups in STEM with research funding and high-quality training opportunities.

The four-year postdoctoral research fellowship will initially run as a pilot with researchers of Black heritage.

If successful, it will be broadened to researchers from other underrepresented groups.

Reports from the Royal Society, which looked at trends across 11 years of Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) data, identified a need for interventions and support for underrepresented communities.

The reports found a significant variation in progression rates and outcomes across ethnic minority groups; however, Black staff and students had consistently poorer outcomes than white and Asian students.

Royal Society President Prof Sir Adrian Smith told BBC News that the low number of Black scientists in the UK was “unacceptable”.

Black scientists also said they feel unsupported, overlooked for promotion, unfairly rejected for grant applications, and believe the UK research system is institutionally racist.

What Will The Fellowship Offer?

The fellowship, open to five researchers per year, offers up to £690,000 ($840 075) over four years to cover the Research Fellow’s salary and associated on-costs, directly allocated costs and research expenses.

It also offers a high-quality program of training, mentoring, and engagement to support career development.

Applicants can request relocation and visa costs for themselves and their dependents in addition to the £690,000.

To apply, the scientist must self-identify as of Black heritage and have a PhD or will have one by the time the funding starts.

UK and non-UK researchers who wish to research in the UK are eligible, and applications open on November 7, 2023.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.