Two female researchers based in Cork have been awarded a second Royal Society SFI Fellowship for outstanding early-career success.
Dr Lynette Keeney at Tyndall National Institute and Dr Pauline Scanlan from APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre have been awarded prestigious Royal Society-SFI University Research Fellowships for the second time for their outstanding early career success in the areas of deep-tech data storage and microbiome sciences research.
Dr Keeney and Dr Scanlan are both at similar stages of their careers and have balanced their research with busy lives and young families.
The RS-SFI University Research Fellowship scheme gives early career researchers a generous timeframe to develop their own research field and helps them to build their careers at a time when many are often also starting their families.
Such a scheme is especially pertinent for female researchers as according to a US study, more than 40 per cent of women with full-time jobs in science leave the sector or choose part-time work after having their first child.
“The RS-SFI Fellowship is laudable because it funds individuals who are passionate about science but also recognises that many of us have caring responsibilities outside of science,” said Dr Keeney.
“Both Pauline and I had our second babies during the course of our project, where we were allowed to pause our project during our maternity leave term.”
“The grant has provided me with complete intellectual freedom and independence to pursue my research goals. It is a dream come through for me,” added Dr Pauline Scanlan.
As females working in STEM, both Dr Keeney and Dr Scanlan are role models and ambassadors for future females working and researching in STEM subjects.
Dr Lynette Keeney studies multiferroic materials for nanoscale data storage, working towards a paradigm shift in memory technologies while Dr Pauline Scanlan studies the ecology and evolution of microbial populations in the human gut.