It’s got to be timely, ambitious you got to have a vision. Why did I apply for a Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship? I just finished my maternity leave and I was in need of flexible working hours I applied for a Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship so that I could establish my own lab and set myself up as an independant researcher. I wanted to spend more time at home with my children whilst combining that with a career in academia. The scheme is just for anyone who needs to work flexible time mothers, fathers if you have a long term medical condition. Anyone with comparable commitments. The application process isn’t too bad. The hardest thing was coming up with a research proposal that I thought would appeal not just to other astronomers but also to scientists in general. It wasn’t a lengthy or complicated process. It was only a couple of pages and then things like lay statements and budget to go along with it. The interview experience was of course nerve-racking. I was actually quite nice to discuss my research with such prominent scientists. Fifteen people or so on the panel. Being questioned about my research by Fellows of the Royal Society. I got the impression that the people on the panel were genuinely interested in my research. So when you come for your interview. Try to get as much feedback as possible from colleagues. Engage people who are not in your research area. Make sure you’ve thought really clearly about the big picture relevance of your work. And you need to make them realise that your research is as exciting as you think it is. This fellowship will allow me to explore my own research ideas independently.