Sisters Mrs Jean Craven and Miss Mary Shearer provide invaluable support to the institute, beginning with a donation of more than $33 million. Their generosity has maturated to approximately $44 million in permanent funds.
The JE Craven and MA Shearer permanent fund was created to honour the sisters. Interest earned on the invested funds supports the Craven Shearer Award, an award addressing an imbalance in the number of women progressing in a research career.
The Craven and Shearer Award is given to female postdoctoral fellows and female laboratory heads to assist with the childcare costs of pre-school-age children. The award funding can be used for regular childcare, or to aid the researcher in participating in committees, speaking at conferences or accepting invitations to participate in academic activities.
The award aims to encourage women to take up important opportunities that they may not otherwise accept, for financial or family reasons. The funding allows awardees to either take their children with them while travelling, or provides extra care at home while they are away.