Case Studies Case Studies

Career Support and Flexible Working

Dr Rosemary Norton - Senior Demonstrator in Pharmacology
Rosemary Norton


I carried out my PhD in Molecular Pharmacology in the School between 2008 and 2012 and during this time, decided that I really enjoyed teaching and completed a teaching course as part of the PPD programme. During my PhD I had the opportunity to demonstrate in undergraduate practicals, assist in workshops, give a lecture to a small group and also be involved in outreach activities.

In 2012, after my PhD, I applied for a full-time fixed-term teaching post, as a Senior Demonstrator in the School, allowing me to register for my MAHEP and increase my experience to further my teaching career. In March 2014 I took maternity leave for 9 months, during which time I was offered a full-time permanent position. The school fully supported my request to return to work on a part time basis to enable me to spend time with my daughter whilst also continuing my career development. This has allowed me to achieve a work-life balance that I am happy with, and I feel fortunate that I work in a supportive environment where everyone is treated as an individual with flexibility tailored to personal circumstances.

Maternity and Career Development Support

Dr Sheng Qi - Senior Lecturer in Drug Delivery
Image of Dr Sheng Qi

I joined the School in Oct 2007 as a lecturer and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2013. Since 2008, with support from the School I took 3 periods of between 4 and 6 months of maternity leave to have my 3 children. Using flexible working and family-supportive facilities provided by the University such as the on-campus nursery, I managed to return to work full-time after each period of maternity leave. With running a research lab, caring for 3 young children and having a husband who works away during the week, working full-time is physically demanding, but fun.

The School has continuously supported me to take on more senior roles within the School, which has helped with my career development. I am currently the Director of Employability and hold memberships of most School committees.

I feel that the School has good supporting mechanisms for staff with families that promote a good work-life balance and don’t compromise staff career progression.

Maternity and Career Development Support

Mrs Laura Ellis - Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice
Laura Ellis image
I was a full-time pharmacist for the Co-operative Pharmacy and joined the School in 2003 as a part-time (0.4FTE) teacher practitioner for the Co-op. As a new teacher, I was mentored by experienced staff within the School and was given the opportunity to attend training offered by the university. After my first child was born, I returned to work following a 12 month period of maternity leave. Within a few months, the company underwent a restructuring process and I was made redundant. The School initially offered me a 0.4FTE fixed term contract as a teacher practitioner, and in 2010, I became a 0.4FTE Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice, which was soon increased to a 0.6 FTE position. This allowed me to work part time at UEA, continue to work as a community pharmacist and spend time caring for my son, who attended the University nursery. After my second maternity leave between May 2011 and January 2012, I have been supported with flexible working hours to suit school and nursery times. I have undertaken the MAHEP part-time, with support from a school mentor and have been supported to take on more senior administrative roles within the School. In 2014, I was asked if I would like to temporarily increase my hours to 0.8FTE for seven months to undertake some project work to design a new degree and apply for accreditation. The majority of this work was undertaken at home, which supported childcare arrangements and I was provided with the necessary equipment to undertake this work. This flexible arrangement gave me an opportunity to develop my career and encouraged me to build external links, which will allow for further career development.