‘Olive Ayoub Intermediate to Late-Stage Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship’ Opens for Applications on 29th June

On 29th June, Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK will open applications for the Olive Ayoub Intermediate to Late-Stage Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, which will enable one exceptional, non-tenured post-doctoral researcher to transition from postdoc to research leader in the field of scleroderma.

29th June is World Scleroderma Day and one of the ways in which SRUK will mark the occasion is through the opening of its latest Research Funding competition - the Olive Ayoub Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. This research funding call will offer 4 years of funding up to the value of £600,000 to support one talented scientific researcher, along with a PhD student, to undertake research relevant to the field of scleroderma at a UK institution.

This is an ambitious first for SRUK, and a big step for a charity of our size. This was only made possible through a generous legacy bequeathed to SRUK by Olive Ayoub.

Who was Olive Ayoub?

Olive Joan Ayoub was born in Plymouth on 5 February 1922. She was an intelligent and active child with a passion for art, music and drama and had a determination to explore the world and its people - personality traits which never left her.

After school, she moved to London to train to be a teacher of Art and English where she met her beloved husband Abdu who was studying for his PhD in linguistics. Olive taught for a while in London while Abdu completed his PhD. When he graduated, they married and went to live in Egypt, where Abdu took up a post at a university.

Following Abdu’s retirement, they moved back to London, and for a while enjoyed the cultural experiences that they had come to love as students. Sadly, Abdu’s health deteriorated which necessitated a move to sheltered accommodation in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

When Abdu sadly passed away, Olive was befriended and supported by her neighbour Helen. They became firm friends, and Olive used to say that she had found her sister. Helen has scleroderma, and as she became increasingly debilitated by her illness resulting in the amputation of one of her legs, Olive was determined to do what she could to help Helen and the wider scleroderma community. This desire to help resulted in her decision to leave a legacy, which she endowed to SRUK.

Olive died at the age of 97, and until the last few months of her life she retained her sharp wit and her altruistic approach to life. She was a remarkable lady, and it is fitting that her name will be attached the Research Fellowship that her legacy will support.

If you are interested in applying for the fellowship, please visit: www.sruk.co.uk/research/apply-... to access the application form and guidance document. All applications and questions about the fellowship should be sent to SRUKOAFellowship@sruk.co.uk. The deadline for applications is 1pm 12th October 2022. It is expected that candidates will notified if they have been shortlisted for interview by the 17th February 2023, and interviews are expected to be held in March 2023.