Aurora Leadership Development Programme 2017


About the programme

Aurora is an innovative leadership development training programme aimed at women up to Associate Professor and equivalent professional services level. It aims to encourage women in academic and professional roles to think of themselves as leaders; to develop leadership skills and to help institutions like UCD optimise the leadership potential of women. 

Aurora originated through the Leadership Foundation in the UK, in response to Professor Louise Morley’s (2012) stimulus paper called ‘Women in Higher Education Leadership’ Absences and Aspirations’. 

The programme is delivered by the Leadership Foundation and it provides, in a social learning environment, core and adaptive leadership skills and knowledge over five single non-residential days, staggered over a five month period.

It uses a combination of development days; self-directed learning from on-line resources; cross-institutional action learning sets and in-house mentoring.  Training is delivered in a conference style format with attendance of between 70-100 women


The programme was established in 2013 and has run in a number of venues in the UK for 2014/2015, including London; Manchester; Bristol and Glasgow. Dublin was a new location which commenced in January 2015 and as a pilot programme, 15 women from academic and non-academic areas were nominated and attended on behalf of UCD. Due to the success of the programme UCD has supported a further 64 women to participate in the 2016, 2016/17 and 2017/18 programmes.   Participation in this programme demonstrates the University's commitment to leadership development and gender equality.


Aurora requires that the University puts systems in place to help support and develop participants on their Aurora experience. This includes having mentors in place to work with participants; having an overall UCD Aurora Champion and also support and liaison through the People Development & Organisation Effectiveness, UCD Human Resources.  Although the programme is 5 months long, the mentoring arrangement stays in place throughout a calendar year to help participants maximise the benefit of the programme. Take a look at the Aurora UCD Mentors 2015 & 20162016-2017 Aurora List of Mentors and 2017-2018 Aurora List of Mentors.

Prof Joe Carthy is the overall Aurora Project Champion and Edel Quinn, People Development & Organisation Effectiveness, UCD Human Resources is your contact in UCD HR.  Should you have any queries in relation to Aurora in UCD, please contact Edel.

Making an application

It is important that you read the following information prior to submitting your  2017 Aurora Application Form in order to ensure you are eligible to apply and understand how to go about thinking and choosing a potential mentor.

More information about Aurora; the content of the programme and other relevant Aurora information, please click here.