The School of Medicine was conferred with an Athena SWAN Bronze Award at an awards ceremony at the RCSI in Dublin on 24th October 2019. The award is in recognition of the School’s commitment to promoting gender equality and to identifying and addressing gender-related challenges in the School.   The submission team, led by Professor Ailish Hannigan (second from the right), included representatives from all staff roles & students in the School.

Athena SWAN & EDI at the School of Medicine


The Athena SWAN charter is committed to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths, and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research. In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) rather than focus exclusively on barriers to progression that affect women.  The charter is based on ten principles which commit to addressing inequalities such as career progression, gender pay gap and discriminatory treatment. You can read more about the Athena SWAN Charter at:



The School of Medicine (SoMperceives diversity, equality and inclusion as significant strengths and strives to create a secure place to work that cultivates diverse perspectives, belonging, aspirations and personal growth. By facilitating the personal development of each person who contributes to the SoM, we can shape the school’s culture and identity required to deliver the School's commitment to the Athena Swan Charter and the values of equality, diversity, and inclusion in line with Institution principles.  You can read more about the core aims of the University’s Athena SWAN/Gender Action Plan and EDI strategies here:


The SoM sits within the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences (EHS). By placing Athena SWAN & EDI values at the heart of our Faculty & School’s culture, we recognise that these values underpin our pursuit of progressive change for our staff and students. You can access more detailed information on Athena SWAN & EDI initiatives at the EHS Faculty site:

SoM Athena SWAN Bronze Award and Action Plan


As part of the Athena SWAN process the SoM has a Self Assessment Team (SAT) comprising of representatives from academic and professional staff and the student body. The SAT considers practices and processes within the School which helps inform and progress our Athena SWAN action plan.  The action plan outlines the School’s strategies, supports and policies to improve gender equality and promote a supportive and inclusive environment for our students, academic, research, professional and support staff.  The School of Medicine was proud to achieve an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in 2019. The submission team, led by Professor Ailish Hannigan, included representatives from staff and students in the School. This award acknowledges our commitment to promoting equality and inclusivity among our entire SoM community.

Updates to our action plan and achievements in 2020/2021 can be found here together with present members of the SoM Athena SWAN SAT.

Progress across SoM Athena SWAN & EDI actions in 2020/2021


Strategic Planning. One of five key areas identified within the SoM 2020-2025 Strategic Plan under Culture and People aims to provide a framework to achieve positive and lasting outcomes relating to Athena SWAN and EDI principles, thus reinforcing the core aims of the University’s Athena SWAN/Gender Action Plan and EDI strategies.  By placing Athena SWAN & EDI values at the heart of our School’s culture, we recognise that AS & EDI underpins our pursuit of progressive change for all our staff and students. 
Starting out at SoM. New staff will receive a “local” induction pack including information about orientation & training requirements, family friendly & leave policies, networking & mentoring initiatives, career development supports & opportunities.  
Staff engagement with family friendly policies. Two SoM staff members availed of paternity leave in AY 2020/2021
Workload Allocation Model. With the Institutional WAM paused, the SoM recently introduced a PDR supporting document to capture staff work activity across different areas (via the creation of a job matrix) and this information is being used to help inform PDR meetings. 
Career Development Initiatives. The EHS Faculty Executive has recently approved the request to develop a clinical academic job and career pathway. This follows ongoing discussion about promotion pathways for clinical academic staff in Schools and Departments within the Faculty.  
Student Gender Balance. Female intake to the direct-entry Paramedicine Studies Programme increased from 37% in AY 2017/2018 to 60% in AY 2020/2021.  
Gender balance within academia & Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI). In AY 2019/2020 the SoM was awarded a SALI Professorship. The SALI Professor recruitment process is complete, and the appointee will commence in September 2021. 
Recruitment. In 2021 the SoM initiated the implementation of its long-term recruitment plan to ensure manageable workload among existing staff and safeguard the future development of the School. 
Information Sharing & Discussion.  Throughout AY 2020/2021 SoM Faculty Council meetings were convened every 6-8 weeks and scheduled within core working hours from 10am-4pm. AS & EDI developments/initiatives are underscored at each meeting. 


SoM Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team in 2020/2021


Evelyn Murphy (Chair), Deirdre McGrath (Head of School), Sharon Nolan & Josephine Lynch (School Managers), Rachel Long  (Year 3 BMBS student), Saja Abid Al Hadi (Year 2 BMBS student), Patrick Kiely (Assoc Prof), Sarah Harney (Senior Lecturer), Hilda Fogarty (Technical Officer), Elaine Kolshus (Clinical Tutor), Una McInerney (Research Project Manager), Mariam Sheehan (Clinical Tutor), Aoife McDonnell (PBL and Clinical Skills Tutor), Patrick O'Donnell (Clinical Fellow and PhD candidate), Suranga Senan (Clinical Tutor), Hilary Curley (Research Associate, EHS Faculty) and Avril Dalton (Administrator).