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British Council Fellowships for Women in STEM

Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies

Location:  Aston University Main Campus
Salary:  £31,502 per annum
Grade:  Grade 07
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (12 months)
Basis:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours BST on Wednesday 31 May 2023
Interview Date:  To be confirmed
Reference:  0047-23
Release Date:  Thursday 02 February 2023

We’re offering three STEM fellowships to women with a passport and permanent resident of one of the eligible countries for East Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam.

This year the British Council has awarded Aston University three Early Academic Fellowship Grants that are specifically designed for women who have recently completed PhD or equivalent and who are not in an established academic post with a research-related role or function. The opportunity if for academics who wish to have a research experience at a UK university or research institution, converting their doctoral work into publications or other academic outputs, and establishing new research relationships.

This scholarship programme aims to increase opportunities in STEM for women. According to data from the UN Scientific Education and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), fewer than 30 percent of researchers worldwide are women and only 30 percent of female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. Globally, the representation of female scientist is particularly low in Information and Communications Technology (three percent), natural science, mathematics, and statistics (five percent), and engineering, manufacturing and construction (eight percent).

For more information about the scheme please see the British Council webpages

The British Council Women in STEM Academic Fellowship Programme will:

  • significantly increase the number of opportunities for women from the eligible countries in 2023/24 academic year
  • increase research partnership opportunities for women in East Asia and the UK
  • ensure fellow selection will be based on an individual’s academic potential and demonstrated case for financial support. We will be particularly encouraging of women whose identities include multiple intersecting factors, including race, class, and religion, and women who are mothers
  • provide the selected fellows with a foundation to launch their careers in higher education and research in their home country
  • enable individuals to promote and enhance science and innovation in their home country through their exposure to the expertise in the UK’s renowned STEM research sector
  • ensure fellows create strong and lasting connections with the UK through active engagement in the alumni network, directly contributing towards/supporting the success of this programme in future iterations of the Fellowship
  • provide a platform for the countries included in this call and the UK to work together to address the significant challenge of the gender gap in STEM.

How Aston University will support STEM Fellows

Aston is proud to be one of only 21 Athena Swan Gender Equality Institutional Silver award holders in the UK, and that our College of Engineering & Physical Sciences (EPS) holds a Gold Departmental award. We have an active Athena Swan team comprised of women and men from academic and professional backgrounds across the university. This team will work collaboratively with the research team and colleagues within EPS to ensure that the scholars are supported in the following ways:

  • An academic Athena Swan point of contact (additional to the technical mentor) will be assigned on arrival and will act as a mentor for the duration of the scholarship.
  • The scholars will be encouraged to join Aston’s Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WEST) society, which aims to collaborate with external organizations to provide career opportunities, provide a supportive network for women, and influence wider change in the community. 
  • The scholars will be encouraged to join Aston’s Inspiring Women at Aston network, providing twice monthly opportunities for networking and relationship building. 
  • Scholars who are parents will be encouraged to join Aston’s Parent and Carer network, providing regular face to face and virtual support.
  • Parents of younger children will also be put in touch with our on-campus nursery for childcare support and receive financial support for childcare costs (see section 3 below). 
  • Practical support for schooling and registering with a doctor will be provided as required. 
  • Scholars will have access to staff benefits including our Employee Assistance Programme that provides confidential support for various matters including illness, personal crises, mental health support, moving to a new house, and managing money.
  • Scholars will be encouraged to connect with one of Aston’s in-house, work-based coaches to support with career progression and professional development needs.

This call seeks proposals from Fellows, with a focus on the following programme areas:

- Photonic technology for food industry 

- Machine learning for environmental sensing 

- Digital technology in agriculture 

- Advanced lasers for health and life science 

 - Mid-infrared light sources for environmental monitoring

- Wearable devices for healthcare

- Smart sensors for agriculture 

- Sensing technology in healthcare and food industry

- Smart manufacturing 

- Nano-photonics

- Nano-photonics for food industry applications 

- Optical frequency comb 

Contact us: Send your CV and contact Prof. Sergei K. Turitsyn for more details or informal discussion via email: Please check your eligibility.

Further details:    Job Details     University Information    
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Aston University is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.  It promotes equality and diversity in all aspects of its work. We strive to have robust inclusivity strategies in place, including race and sexual orientation, to encourage colleagues to have the confidence and freedom to be themselves in the workplace. For more information, visit:

If you require the job details document or an application form in an alternative format please contact the recruitment team at



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