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The Dorothy Hodgkin Project


WE RAISED £356,451

from 381 donors

UPDATE: So many thanks!

Thank you for the outpouring of support for this project - and for the kinds of changes we know will have a huge impact for women returning to science.  If you wanted to join us but haven't yet done so, it's not too late.  Please make your gift today and share that you've done so with your friends. We are committed to continuing this important work to support women in science by involving organisations with the ability to make a difference, and this project strongly underpins that effort. The more people who demonstrate their support, the bigger the impact. Thank you so much for being a part of it.

The loss of talented women must be stopped.

There is a concrete way to have an immediate impact, by coming together to create a Career Development Fellowship for scientists returning to research after a career break.  This is, after all, what women scientists say they need .

While we are getting much better at encouraging girls and women to study science, the number of women scientists in senior and leadership positions is still very low, which is hurting our ability to tackle the world's most pressing problems.

So why does the 'leaky pipeline' continue, despite a decade of policy measures, programming and funding?!

One key issue is cited in reports all over the world: taking a career break, usually to start a family. Opportunities for women to return to science academia after a break are rare and in huge demand.

This Fellowship is also setting an example, in the spirit of Somerville College's long tradition of pioneering unusual solutions to problems and including the excluded.  These posts should be available in all departments, in all universities .

Why Name it For Dorothy Hodgkin?

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin was a pioneer of x-ray crystallography. The technique she helped develop has contributed to 28 Nobel Prizes won by 48 Laureates and counting.  Her discoveries helped revolutionise biochemistry, fundamentally shaping our understanding of living organisms and supporting the growth of modern medicine.

Hodgkin was a Fellow of Somerville College and a member of the Oxford Chemistry Department, which have partnered together to spearhead this initiative. Hodgkin was the first woman at Oxford to receive a form of maternity pay; she went on to fight for similar support for women in her lab. Hodgkin also saw a clear need for childcare within the College, and gave part of her Nobel Prize winnings to Somerville to help set up the College's nursery. To find out more about her, go here .

what's the plan?

The first step is to fund a five-year research post, including modest lab costs.  The project will also fund a Stipendiary Lecturer, a second individual to cover teaching, freeing the Fellow to concentrate on research.

We know that getting an excellent researcher in place will demonstrate what we wish to achieve, the type of person we want to help and the widespread support there is for women in science.

Our ultimate aim is to continue working towards endowing this project at a cost of £2.5 million, to build a lasting pipeline of women returning to science and to honour Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin's legacy in perpetuity.

Find us here.

Let's connect on Twitter!  Housewife wins Nobel @hwifenobel serves as a reminder of the infamously unsuitable headlines that announced Hodgkin's Nobel Prize, and that all too frequently recur when the achievements of extraordinary women are announced.  We want to connect with everyone who cares about women and diversity in science and helps us spread the word. Follow us here for updates!

If you have any questions at all, please contact us at dorothyhodgkinproject@some.ox.ac.uk .

help us succeed!

  • Do something important.  Make a difference. Donate today.
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  • In fact, share it with everyone you know as the more people hear about it, the more they will be inspired to join in and support.  Together we can make this happen.
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  • We all need science.  Science needs women.  Let's make a powerful call for change.
  • Thank you!