Professor Clare Elwell
8 August 2018
I joined UCL as a Research Assistant in 1991. I gained an MRC Fellowship in the same year that I became pregnant with my first child. With the support of my Head of Department I negotiated a return to work part-time (0.6FTE). I was able to balance my part-time working hours with continuing to build my research profile. One important aspect of this was departmental support of flexible working hours to accommodate travel to national and international conferences.
Whilst on extended maternity leave with my second child in 1999 I applied for a lectureship with full transparency of my intention to continue to work part-time. I was the only female candidate, and the only applicant wishing to work part-time. I was awarded the lectureship, taking up the post on continued part-time (0.6FTE) status. Course organisers and the Head of Department facilitated the necessary adjustments to the teaching timetable to accommodate a staggered return to work.
I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2005 and after discussion with the Head of Department and head of my research group I increased my hours to 0.8FTE. I continued to build a successful multidisciplinary research team investigating acute brain injury in adults, neurodevelopment in young infants and neurological consequences of cardiothoracic procedures. With departmental support, the help of a timely Female Promotion workshop, and the encouragement of senior female academics across the faculty, I was promoted to Professor in 2008. I continue to work part-time (0.8FTE), being absent from college on Fridays, but adopting a flexible working pattern as required.