Happy International Women's Day 2023!

Useful resources

Information and Advice


Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is loosely defined as persistently feeling like a fraud despite achievements and successes, often with the fear that you will be found out and exposed as not being worthy to be in a space or to have certain accolades. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. For many women in STEM however, feeling like an outsider isn’t an illusion — it’s the result of systemic bias and exclusion. The SIDUS project, run by the Centre for Higher Education, Research, and Scholarship at Imperial, has been investigating how imposter syndmore affects Imperial students from different backgrounds.



Sexual Violence, Bullying, and Harrassment

Support for an incidence of sexual violence, bullying or harrasment is available in the Physics Department as well as Imperial College.

Physics Department Help
One-to-one support can be provided by:

Imperial College Help

  • The Report + Support tool allows you to disclose any incidents of bullying, harassment, sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, racial discrimination and more. Incidents can be disclosed anonymously, and also on behalf of other people.
  • Sexual Violence Support provide lots of information for both staff and students, including emergency advice, one-to-one support from Sexual Violence Liason Officers, and advice on how to support friends.

External Help
We also recommend these external sources of specialist help:

Counselling & Mental Health Support for Women

Imperial counselling service can provide both one-to-one and group councelling on this matter. The Faculty of Natural Sciences also employs two mental health advisors for wellbeing support, you can send them an email. Imperial also recommends these specialist support groups for women


Funding Opportunities

By no means an exhaustive list, but some of the biggest opportunities available for female and non-binary physicists at Imperial.

If you ever need any help with an application, send us an email and we will put you in contact with someone in our network who can help you.

Funding Who is it for? How much is available? Description
The Mary Lister McCammon Summer Research Fellowship Final year UG theoretical physics students  £325/week stipend The Mary Lister McCammon Summer Research Fellowship is a funded opportunity to spend the summer before your final year at university working in research with a leading mathematician or statistician.
The Stevenson Fund Imperial UG & PhD students £7,500 The Stevenson Fund is aimed at assisting the long-term scientific careers and ambitions of women in key scientific disciplines in which there is significant female under-representation. Three bursaries of £7,500 are awarded each year and allows students to undertake an international research placement of up to a maximum of three months with a leading female professor in a similar institution.
Imperial College Trust Imperial UG & PhD students £400 To enable College students to attend conferences to which they have been invited to present their research
IOP Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund PhD Scholarship  Fees, living support, and any additional funding to support accessibility, including carer responsibilities An innovative fund instigated by leading physicist Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the Institute of Physics to encourage greater diversity in physics by assisting PhD physics students from under-represented groups. 
Amelia Earhart Fellowship  PhD Scholarship  US$10,000  The Amelia Earhart Fellowship was established in 1938 in honor of famed pilot and Zontian, Amelia Earhart. The fellowship is awarded annually to up to 35 women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences. It may be used at any university or college offering accredited post-graduate courses and degrees in these fields. 
L'Oreal-UNESCO Rising Talent Programme Early career researchers £15,000  The L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland For Women in Science Rising Talent Programme offers awards from a partnership between L’Oréal UK & Ireland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Irish National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society, to promote, enhance and encourage the contribution of women pursuing their research careers in the UK or Ireland.
Women in Quantum Optics Postdoctoral Program Early career researchers (Munich, DE) 2 year contract plus mentorship support To expand their research in the interdisciplinary field of quantum science and to promote the career of talented early-career female scientists, the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics founded the Women in Quantum Optics Postdoc Program (WiQO). 
Anne McLaren Fellowship Tenure track fellowship (Nottingham, UK) 3 years salary, £75,000 research expenses, £15,000 childcare costs.  Anne McLaren Fellowships are aimed at outstanding female postdoctoral researchers in science, technology, engineering and medicine, who are at the early stage of their academic careers and wish to establish a research career in the UK
Rosalind Franklin Fellowship Tenure track fellowship (Groningen, NL)  5 year tenure track position, substantial start-up package The Rosalind Franklin Fellowship programme is primarily directed at ambitious women in academia, research institutes or industry who have a PhD and aim for a career towards full professorship in a European top research university.
Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship Early career researchers 5 years funding: 80% salary and research expenses This scheme offers a recognised first step into an independent research career for outstanding postdoctoral scientists and engineers who require a flexible working pattern due to personal circumstances, such as caring responsibilities or health issues. 
Daphne Jackson Trust Researchers at any stage of their career Salary, £1500/year expenses  Daphne Jackson Fellowships are unique. They offer researchers the opportunity to return to a research career after a break of two or more years for a family, health or caring reason.
STFC Return to Research Support Bursary Researchers at any stage of their career £2,500  If you are a researcher looking to return to an academic research career after a break of two or more years, this bursary can help you to develop a proposal suitable for submission to the STFC fellowship scheme.
Elsie Widdowson Fellowship Award Imperial academic staff 50% salary for up to 12 months (relieve academic of teaching/admin roles)  The purpose of the Award is to allow academic staff (Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, Reader, and Professor) to concentrate fully on their research work upon returning from maternity, adoption, surrogacy and/or shared parental leave.
IOP Carer's Fund Researchers at any stage of their career £250  This fund helps you attend physics-related events or conferences that you might not otherwise be able to go to because you care for someone else.


Other funding opportunities

Association for Women in Science
British Federation of Women Graduates
Funds for Women Graduates
Insititute of Physics
Nuffield Foundation 
Royal Society
Royal Society of Chemistry
US-UK Fulbright Commision
Women's Engineering Society





Consider nominating yourself (yes, yourself! You deserve it!) or someone else for these prizes! If you have a suggestion but no time to write the nomination, then send us an email and we will help you. We are always looking to raise the profile of the amazing women and non-binary people working in our department.

PrizeWho is it for?
Faculty of Natural Sciences Prizes for Excellence

The FoNS Annual Prizes for Excellence are organised through the FoNS Education Committee and are designed to recognise individuals who have made a major contribution to:

  • Teaching
  • Support of Teaching and Learning
  • Outreach, Public & Community Engagement
  • Supporting the Student Experience
  • Health and Safety
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Imperial College President's Awards

The winners of these awards have gone above and beyond to deliver inspiring engagement activities (with school, community, public and patient groups) or to support the development of a culture of societal engagement at Imperial. 

  • President's Medal - awarded to an individual whose engagement activities have been truly outstanding.
  • Achievement Award - for both individuals or teams who have delivered excellent engagement activities or programmes.
  • Leadership Award - for individuals who have supported other staff and students in their own engagement endeavours.
  • Inspirational Partner Award - recognises those who collaborate with us from outside our Imperial community to make engagement happen.
  • Student Award - awarded to student teams or individuals who have delivered excellent engagement activities.
Imperial College Julia Higgins Medal

The Julia Higgins Medal and Awards are awarded annually to recognise individuals, groups, and departments that have made a significant contribution to the support of academic women at the College.

IOP Medals and Prizes

For many areas of physics and at every career level.

As there are more early career researchers who are women, we want to highlight the Bronze medals which are awarded for contributions in:

  • James Clerk Maxwell Prize - theoretical (including mathematical and computational) physics 
  • Henry Moseley Prize - experimental physics
  • Clifford Paterson Prize - the application of physics in an industrial or commercial context
  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell Prize - physics and you are a woman
  • Daphne Jackson - physics education
  • Mary Somerville - public engagement in physics
Royal Society Awards

For more established scientists and groups in a variety of areas. To name a few:

  • Research Culture Award - to an individual or team for outstanding and sustained work in the improvement of the research system/research culture
  • Rosalind Franklin Award - for a project to promote women in STEM by an individual with an established track record of very high standing in any area of STEM.
  • Athena Prize - for teams working in UK academic and research communities, who have contributed most to the advancement of diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) within their communities.
Caroline Herschel Prize Lectureship

The Caroline Herschel Prize Lectureship was established by what is now the Herschel Society, in association with the Royal Astronomical Society, to celebrate Caroline’s memory by supporting promising women astronomers early in their careers.

Caroline Herschel Medal

A new prize will celebrate outstanding research by women astrophysicists in the UK and Germany.


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