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Our Staff Development Officer shares best practice in National Carers Week (11-17 June)

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This week our Staff Development Officer Stacie Allan spoke at a symposium on conferences and caring. The symposium was part of the ‘In Two Places at Once’ research project led by Dr Emily Henderson at the University of Warwick. Stacie was invited to speak about her work with the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (FWSA) and here at NDCN. As part of the Pathways to Change panel, Stacie discussed the FWSA’s guidelines for conference organisers and the success of the NDCN Carers’ Career Fund.

Since its launch in September 2017, the NDCN Carers’ Career Fund has awarded eight bursaries totalling over £1,500. Examples of the costs we’ve contributed towards include:

  • Extra after-school clubs
  • Associated expenses of taking a child to a conference (flights, childcare)
  • Flights to drop off children with relatives
  • Mileage for grandparents to come to Oxford to look after children

Feedback from those who have used the Fund has been overwhelmingly positive.

'As a junior PI, this is a critical time […] for me to broaden my network and establish collaborations abroad. Having two children under 3 and a partner who works full time makes these additional commitments very tricky. The NDCN Carers' Career Fund gave me the opportunity to attend a key conference [where] I was able to establish key collaborators for future research which will be essential for securing future grant applications. The fund covered costs for additional childcare that was needed over the weekend I was away.'

'The Carers' Career Fund is really important in many ways for working mothers like myself. Courses that occur above and beyond the normal working hours incur a significant cost to the household. This fund not only helps with this extra cost, but also assures me that my development is as important to the University of Oxford as it is to me.'

How to apply to the fund

We welcome applications from all staff and students who are attending work-related training (including conferences) that would necessitate making extra arrangements for regular caring responsibilities. The next deadline for applications is Friday 15 June 2018. Download the application form and guidance notes from the Staff Development intranet pages or contact staff-development@ndcn.ox.ac.uk

University support for carers

New support for carers

A new ‘support for carers’ section on the Personnel Services website details the University’s range of new flexible working options. These aim to help staff balance work and caring needs. The new initiatives include a scheme to request temporary flexible working, short-term carers’ leave and a career break scheme. Find out more

My Family Care

Employees are also entitled to register, free of charge, for My Family Care Through this external provider you can access a ‘speak to an expert’ phone service for advice about adult and elder care-related issues, as well as for other family matters.

My Family Care offer expertise nationally, so can help with your care needs anywhere in the UK. You can also download helpful guides and view their library of webinars. Find out more

Networking tea

Carers are invited to attend an informal networking event on 9 July. Come along to find out more about the help available, ask questions and help explore how we can build networks of support for University staff with different caring responsibilities. Find out more