Joan Davidson Fund Reopens

Joan Davidson Round 4 Grant Applications are Open!

Who was Joan?

Joan Davidson was an advocate and supporter of women and girls’ journeys into STEM. She had been with Edinburgh Science for 12 years as Head of Learning and stood out for her dedication to inspiring young people to explore, study and develop a lifelong love of science and technology. Her deep-rooted commitment to equality, her belief that every child deserves a fighting chance, and that learning can help empower them to face whatever the world might throw at them (and that if it can be great fun in the process then so much the better), made her an exceptional champion.

To honour her memory a donation page was set up, we decided to create a fund whose aim would be to help women achieve a project or a plan which would enhance their career in their chosen STEM field. We felt this was the best way to pay tribute to Joan and what she stood for.

Who Can Apply?

Anyone who identifies as a woman, based in Scotland and is:

  • A College student at a Scottish College
  • A University student at a Scottish University
  • A STEM professional
  • Looking for a career change into a STEM role
  • Returning after a career break

The grant will support you to achieve a project or plan which will enhance your career in STEM. It could be used to pay for a wide range of activities or projects. Some examples of what you could apply for include:

  • Attending a specialist training course which would upgrade skills
  • Attending a conference or seminar which would improve professional knowledge and contacts
  • Purchasing tools, software, or equipment needed to develop and practice skills
  • The cost of travel or accommodation to enable a woman to carry out research for a specific project.
  • The cost of travel or accommodation to enable a woman to carry out voluntary work, work shadowing or work experience in a science, engineering or technology role or environment.
  • The cost of childcare to enable women to take part / attend any of the items listed above.

What is the amount of grant that can be applied for?

Applicants can request up to £300 to support their STEM careers and education.

This round of funding closes on the 31st of March, and decisions will be communicated by the end of April.


Hear from some of the fund’s previous recipients:

Roz’s Story- Round 1 recipient

How did you use the grant?

I used the grant awarded to purchase equipment and support living costs whilst carrying out an internship within the Reece Lab at the University of Edinburgh. In this time, I was granted access to historical disease archives – dating back to the early 1900s – from the Wellcome Trust Library. These texts were untapped and contained a wealth of historical information, but also charts of patient fevers and pulse. I was interested in how resources like these can be mined and transformed to ask questions about the patterns and rhythms in disease, and potential sources of variation between patients.

How did the grant benefit you?

I am very grateful for this grant, which enabled me to purchase essential equipment, but perhaps more importantly supported my living costs during this period. I also felt that the application process, and the award, has been a good confidence boost and a good step outside of my comfort zone. As a result of my internship, I feel I have learnt a plethora of new skills. I feel more proficient in my coding, and have received many opportunities to apply new techniques, communicate online and to develop my critical approaches to data analysis. Through presentations, lab discussions and feedback I have a more secure grasp on communicating my work and outlining my achievements. I have also been able to network within and outside of the lab group and have gained good connections interested in the type of work I was doing.


Emma’s Story- Round 2 recipient

How did you use the grant?

Funds to cover expenses to attend two meetings to help me build a network of contacts within the salmon research scientist community and update my skills after a career break.

How did the grant benefit you?

The grant has directly contributed to improved confidence and knowledge. I am happy to report that I have now gained an additional 18 months of post-doctoral research funding working with scientists from both meetings. I will now be able to continue in this field rather than have to seek a new post after my initial 6-month placement. Because my post has been extended and I have made contacts within the salmon research community, I am now getting involved with a new project “Mapping Ocean Change Through Art” which is bringing climate change science into communities. My increased confidence has also allowed to accept an opportunity to give a talk locally about climate change and salmon. During this, I also hope to learn a lot from my community about the importance of salmon to the people of Speyside. [the grant] has reduced stress for me and my family resulting from financial support during my absence as the usual primary care giver. The grant has helped support us while the children adjust to me working again and not always being available.


Find out more and apply here