RCM Research Awards Buddy Scheme

The RCM Research Award Buddy Scheme, launched officially at the RCM Education & Research conference in March 2022, has been created to encourage and support more midwives to apply for the Wellbeing of Women Entry Level Scholarship (WoW) and the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust Jean Davies awards. The RCM part funds both of these awards each year. Applicants to both awards must be midwives and full members of the RCM.The buddies for this scheme are all previous successful applicants, and are volunteering their time to offer their support as buddies. 

The Wellbeing of Women Entry Level Scholarship [WoW] 

The WoW scholarships will fund pre-doctoral candidates up to £20,000 for research lasting normally up to one year. Funds are for directly incurred research costs and may include a salary contribution. The research must be undertaken in the UK. 

Scholarships will be considered for basic science, clinical and translational research that seeks to improve the health of women, girls and babies in one of the following areas: 

  • Pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period 
  • Gynaecological cancers 
  • General wellbeing issues surrounding women’s reproductive and gynaecological health 

Awards are intended to provide ‘pump-priming’ funds to enable graduates to be exposed to a research environment and to obtain pilot data that will enhance an application for a research fellowship (PhD or MD). Applicants would normally be new to the research discipline and will not previously have been heavily involved in substantial or funded research projects. An ELS is not intended as a ‘top-up’ for existing grants. Its primary purpose is to support a single individual at an early stage of their research career. 

The Iolanthe Midwifery Trust Jean Davies  

The Jean Davies award is intended to fund individuals or teams working specifically with women or families who may be in circumstances such as (but not only): single mothers, young mothers, families of low socio-economic position, families in geographical areas of high deprivation, asylum seekers and refugees, mothers who experience difficulty in accessing care, homeless families and women suffering abuse. There must be a stated aim to reduce or to investigate inequalities. 

The award is made in honour of Jean Davies who served for many years as a Trustee of the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust, stepping down in 2012, and in various roles for the RCM during her career. Jean’s focus in her work as a practising midwife and researcher was to help those families experiencing social and economic disadvantage, mainly in her home region, the north-east of England. 

If you are interested in being a buddy please download and complete this form here.

If you are interested in accessing the support of a buddy during the award application process please download and complete this form here.

Please send your completed forms to the RCM Research Team at [email protected]

A bespoke module ‘RCM Research Award Buddy Scheme’ in the RCM iLearn platform provides the virtual home for the scheme. The module is used to enable buddies to be matched with applicants, provides networking opportunities, and a virtual classroom for one-to-one meetings as well as group meetings.  

When a buddy or applicant joins the scheme they are registered on to the ilearn module by the RCM Research Team.  

The RCM Research Team act as a conduit between buddies and prospective applicants during the matching process, but once a buddy-applicant dyad has been formed the dyad are able to independently decide how they wish to go forward.  

The scheme is in its first year and is being viewed as a pilot project. Monthly contact will be made with all buddies and applicants to gain feedback about their experiences, and at the close of a dyad’s working relationship both parties will be asked to complete a short scheme evaluation form.  

 If you have any further questions about this scheme, please contact the RCM Research Team at [email protected]