Two women researchers are back in the laboratory this week after family career breaks of up to 12 years. They are the first recipients of the Wellcome Trust's research re-entry fellowships, each lasting four years and worth up to around Pounds 140,000 each.
Alison Howarth at the University of Manchester did a year's postdoctoral research before devoting eight years to her children. The awards allow for a period of retraining and she is considering enrolling on courses to update her skills, particularly in information technology.
Angela Coutts, who will be researching the effects of cannabis on guinea-pig tissue, spent 12 years travelling and bringing up a family. She will be based in the department of biomedical sciences at Aberdeen University.