The MU Department of Biology has achieved an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which recognises work undertaken to advance gender equality for staff and students at departmental level.
Biology is the first department at Maynooth University to apply for, and achieve, Athena SWAN accreditation, which is overseen by Advance HE. Maynooth received a Bronze Institution Award in April 2018.
President of Maynooth University, Professor Philip Nolan, said: “I congratulate everyone whose hard work is recognised in this award, especially the role played by Dr Karen English in so skilfully chairing a strong application and action plan. Athena SWAN forms a key part of the University’s commitment to advancing women’s academic and research careers in STEM subjects.”
Head of Department Professor Paul Moynagh stated: “This is a very proud day for our department and we are fully committed to implementing our action plan, which runs from 2019-2022. The plan embeds the principle of gender equality into everyday departmental practice and will benefit all staff and students.”
The 39 items in the Biology action plan include:
- Establishing a voluntary mentoring programme for all academic and research staff, with a specific focus on women’s careers;
- Embedding gender equality issues into the Department’s Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement processes;
- Hosting an annual Phyllis Clinch Lecture to further enhance the visibility of women role models in the global discipline of Biology;
- Amending the annual PhD progress review to include sections on work-life balance and career development.
The Department of Biology also will seek to align departmental, institutional and sectoral work on the advancement of gender equality in STEM.
Chair of the Biology self-assessment team (SAT), Dr Karen English, commented: “We were mindful of fully including research students in the self-assessment process as they are the Faculty members of the future. One of the big things that came out of Athena SWAN was that students of all genders wanted more rounded support, so we are now building that into the progress assessments. It will provide an important opportunity to talk about career development and general wellbeing for postgraduate students.”
The Biology self-assessment team (SAT) includes representation from academic, research, administrative and technical staff, and postgraduate and undergraduate students.
Photo caption: (L-R) Dr Karen English, Chair of the Biology self-assessment team at Maynooth University and Claire McGing, Athena SWAN Project Officer, Maynooth University
For further information:
Claire McGing, Athena SWAN Project Officer, Maynooth University, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01-7086602