Got a Question about the Leaders Plus Fellowship?

Who Can Apply For the Leaders Plus Fellowship and other FAQs

Below you’ll find a number of Frequently Asked Questions about the Leaders Plus Fellowship.

If you can’t find the answer to your question below please consider arranging a short telephone call with CEO Verena Hefti to discuss the Fellowship in more detail.


Fellowship FAQs

What are the dates of the next cohort?

The next cohort will begin in October 2020 and the Programme will run until June 2021.

Who can join the Fellowship Programme?

The Programme is for managers and leaders with significant childcare responsibilities for children under three years old and we welcome applications from both mothers and fathers.

About half of our Fellows are pregnant, on maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave. The other half returned to work within the last three years

We also actively encourage individuals from groups that are underrepresented in leadership roles to apply. This includes for example individuals with a BAME or LGBTQI+ background.

Our previous Fellows have come from a range of employers such as the BBC, NHS, HSBC, Action Tutoring and the Salvation Army.

Do you have to be based in the UK to join the Fellowship?

No. Many of the facilitators have an international background too and the Founder is passionate about growing a global community.

It is likely that the majority of the applicants will be UK-based but we welcome applications from all over the world.

How is the Online Programme different from the Face-to-Face Programme?

In Spring 2020 we moved the programme online in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and we are delighted that this has worked remarkably well for our Fellows and their families.

We use video conferencing software that allows you to speak to others in small groups. Our incisive questioning allows you to get to deep conversations quickly.

Every session has a reference to a theoretical framework and/or the latest research about career progression, and they are delivered in a structured format that is easy to follow.

What is the investment?

  • Standard fee: £2999 + VAT (this is reduced to £2899 plus VAT if 3 Fellows or more apply successfully from one organisation)
  • Reduced fees for charities and small employers as defined by Companies House: £2590 + VAT
  • Reduced price for self-funders: £1999.00 + VAT (limited number of spaces available)

Payment plans are available on request for individuals in challenging circumstances.

For information on the Institute of Physics Carers’ Fund click here.

We’re always willing help

Please note: If your circumstances change (particularly in relation to COVID-19, you can withdraw your place on the programme within the first 30 days of the first event and receive a full refund)

If you work for the NHS and have your study leave cancelled at short notice due to the Coronavirus at any point during the programme, you can defer to the next cohort without extra costs.

If you are a potential applicant, you may find this blog post by current Fellows helpful who share how they got funding from their employers.

How long is the Leaders Plus Fellowship Programme?

The Leaders Plus Fellowship Programme runs for a total of 9 months.

When are the events? What is the commitment out of work?

Most of the events are 2 hours long with a break in between, so you have usually never more than 1 hour in front of your computer. You have on average 1-2 units to complete per month, making it manageable alongside work or childcare.

How much pre-work is there?

It varies, but it is usually around 1 hour per session.

How senior do you need to be to join the Fellowship?

It really depends, but it is likely that you already have a role with significant responsibility.

If you are unsure whether you are senior enough, then do arrange a call with Verena to discuss in more detail.

If in doubt, do apply as research tells us that women tend to apply for opportunities if they fulfill 60% of the criteria while many men may apply if they fulfill 100% of the criteria.

How many Fellows and alumni are there?

At present, there are 50 alumni and 50 Fellows, plus the forthcoming Autumn 2020 cohort. Find out more about some of our previous Fellows here.

Is it better to do the Fellowship during maternity leave/shared parental leave or afterward?

It is a very personal choice.

Some Fellows who did the Fellowship during leave said they valued being able to have non-baby related conversations during their leave, and that the peer group supported their return to work. Plus they were able to use the learning from the Fellowship to shape their work pattern from the start upon their return, which can be easier than changing your arrangements 2 years after you returned from leave. But, you may also want to focus on just your baby during your parental leave, and that is ok too.

How do you select the Fellowship mentors?

We headhunt them carefully.

We look for people who share our passion for supporting leaders with young children to progress their careers and who care deeply about gender equality. Our mentors are senior leaders who have experience bringing up young children alongside a fulfilling leadership career. Some are previous Fellows who have risen into senior roles.

How soon after birth can you join the Fellowship Programme?

You can join whenever, and we have had Fellows who have given birth during the Programme or afterwards.

For most people, 3 months after birth/adoption is the earliest they will consider joining the Fellowship, although every year we do have some Fellows who have joined the programme.

How do you match Fellows and Mentors?

We ask both Fellows and Mentors at the application stage about their mentor preference and preferred ways of working.

For example, when a Fellow says they could benefit from someone who is a good listener and asks them lots of questions, we seek to match with a mentor who has these particular skills. During the matching event, you both have a deep conversation and see whether you think you are a good fit. If yes, great, if not, we will match you with someone else.

We usually try to match people across sectors and industries, we have received feedback that these cross-sector relationships are incredibly powerful, as they help challenge existing assumptions you may have

Who are the facilitators?

The facilitators are experienced trainers and coaches who have been selected because they are excellent at creating space to think.

How many people are in each of the groups?

80% of the sessions have a maximum of 16 people in the group. This gives you a chance to get to know your fellow peers really well, whilst also growing your networks.

Is there a certificate at the end of the Programme?

Yes, you graduate from the Leaders Plus Fellowship with a certificate of completion award

What if I have a baby with me and he/she cries during the sessions?

Our sessions are professional events and are very well structured, but they are also designed knowing that our Fellows have children, and we always have Fellows who bring their babies along to sessions. Gurgling, crying, giggling is absolutely allowed!

How is the Programme delivered?

We use video conferencing software that allows you to speak to others in small groups.

Our incisive questioning allows you to get to deep conversations quickly.

Every session has a reference to a theoretical framework and/or the latest research about career progression, and they are delivered in a structured format that is easy to follow.

Is there an alumni community?

Yes, there is. You will continue to have access to the contact details and there are bi-annual virtual events for alumni, as well as an online community. Many of our alumni continue to be heavily involved in our work, for example as speakers, advisors and so on.

How can I apply to the Institute of Physics Carers’ Fund?

Members of the Institute of Physics can apply to the Institute of Physics Carers’ Fund for support towards additional costs of meeting care responsibilities that may occur when attending the Fellowship programme.

If this applies to you, please get in touch so we can introduce you to the Institute of Physics Diversity Coordinator.

More details here – https://beta.iop.org/carers-fund#gref

What is the benefit to my employer?

There are a number of huge benefits to employers when employees participate in the Leaders Plus Fellowship Programme.

Download our Overview for Employers Powerpoint here.The following blog gives useful advice on asking your employer to fund your place on the Programme.

View the blog here.

Register Interest In the Leaders Plus Fellowship Programme