Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Travel Childcare Awards from UCLA Office of Faculty Diversity and Development

Several year ago, when my daughter was small, I had an opportunity to attend a conference in New Orleans. Unfortunately, my husband had just started a new job. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to attend—until, miracle of miracles!, I discovered that the conference organization was offering onsite childcare! It was unusual and so welcome. I was able to balance parenthood and my professional career easily for once.
CSW is pleased to report an awards program initiated by the UCLA Office for Faculty Diversity and Development that addresses this problem for junior faculty and postdocs at UCLA. Sponsored by a New Scholars program grant from the Elsevier Foundation, the Travel Childcare Awards  are meant to help defray the cost of travel and childcare while attending professional conferences, meetings, symposia, or workshops  related to academic disciplines iin science, heath, and technology.
The UCLA Office of Faculty Diversity & Development understands that the pre-tenure years are exceedingly important for exposure and recognition of young scholars research and networking for faculty positions while at the same time being the prime childbearing years for women. This can create stress and conflict for women who seek to both pursue an academic career and have a family. This award was created to help reduce the difficulty of managing parenting responsibilities and an academic career.
Marissa Lopez, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at UCLA, who received an award this year, says: "I have an older child in school, and an 18 month old, whose care I split with my husband.  Our work time depends on each other, so traveling to conferences is always tricky.  This award paid for a sitter who could be with my baby the days I was gone (thus allowing my husband to keep working), and it paid for 1 day of childcare before the conference so I could get some work done before leaving on my trip.  It was such a big financial and emotional help. I probably would not have gone to this conference without the grant. (And, I found our sitter using Sittercity, the new benefit UCLA provided in 2012. It was great!)"
These awards are open to postdoctoral scholars and assistant professors in the following divisions: Engineering, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Public Health, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Sciences. Applications for Travel Childcare Awards are accepted twice a year, in Fall and Spring quarters. Awards are made based on need, importance of the meeting to the applicant’s career, and the funding available. Approximately 25 awards are available each year in the amount of $500 each. For more information or to apply, visit: https://faculty.diversity.ucla.edu/news-1/funding-opportunities-n/family-friendly-grants.
This program has become a model for additional efforts by Chris Littleon, Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Development and the Deans  of the Law School,  Humanities, and the  Social Sciences. These efforts are extending support to male faculty as well.
–Brenda Johnson-Grau

For more information or to apply for the Travel Childcare Award, please visit  https://faculty.diversity.ucla.edu/news-1/funding-opportunities-n/family-friendly-grants.

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