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College of Science & Engineering

College of Science & Engineering

News and stories from the College of Science & Engineering

Women in STEM fellowships 2022/23

In late 2021 UK universities were invited to bid for British Council funding to support female post-doc fellowships in STEM fields. Colleagues in the Schools of Biological Sciences and Engineering were interested and we entered a bid.

We were one of only five UK Institutions who were successfully awarded a British Council grant of £175k for this. The grant covers full costs for four Women from South Asia to come and spend a year with us here in Edinburgh working on research in their field’s with Principal Investigators (PI’s) and research teams here. They receive a monthly bursary as well as all travel and visa costs and an additional allowance for research and there is some additional funding to support their dependants as the scheme is keen not to exclude mothers.

We received many applications and the selection and interview process took place in June last year. All four of our successful candidates are from India and have recently completed their doctorate studies.

As it was a new scheme, it took quite a while to get our four fellows fully on-boarded (ensuring full immigration and financial compliance, ATAS, HR records and so on) and our first two fellows, Dr Prajitha Nadukkandy and Dr Ayushi Gupta, both in Biological Sciences, arrived in early January 2023. Our third fellow, Dr Tabassum Abassi, arrived just recently in February and we are expecting fellow number four, Dr Sonal Gupta, to arrive in March.

It is hoped they will have a productive year with us and that they will develop their research skills and knowledge to get them started on their academic and research careers when they head back to India. We also hope they will enjoy their time in Edinburgh and Scotland and will go back with strong networks that will lead to future research collaborations.

Three of the Women in STEM fellows at King's Buildings.

Three of the successful Women in STEM fellows (left to right): Tabassum Abbasi, Ayushi Gupta and Prajitha Nadukkandy


We are delighted to have been selected to host these women – and the good news is that we have been selected for next year too! If you have any connections with institutions across the South Asia Region, please feel free to share the link as applications are now open for the next cohort (again for specific topics within Biological Sciences and Engineering – details below):

British Council Women in STEM Fellowships | The University of Edinburgh

Josie Pilcher
College Recruitment and Internationalisation Officer

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