Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is an important agenda item across the university system. UCD is committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone is treated fairly regardless of gender, age, race, disability, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, civil status, family status, or membership of the travelling community. The School of Medicine fully supports the UCD EDI initiative and aims to promote a fully inclusive and equitable environment for both our staff and our students.

Dignity and respect are at the heart of EDI and all members of the University Community have a responsibility to:

  • At all times, treat all members of the University community with dignity and respect
  • Positively contribute to a culture of dignity and respect
  • Engage in respectful conduct or behaviour that will not endanger their own safety, health and welfare or work or that of any other person including obligations under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005
  • Be aware of the effects of their own behaviour
  • Challenge bullying, sexual harassment or other harassment and report any incidents witnessed
  • Not make false, malicious or vexatious complaints. https://www.ucd.ie/equality/support/dignityrespect/

If you are interested in getting involved or want to contact us we are available at edi.medicine@ucd.ie

The School of Medicine EDI Committee and Terms of Reference (TOR)

The School of Medicine EDI Committee is chaired by Associate Professor Marguerite Clyne and Professor Denis Shields and comprises over 40 members. In turn, each member is a member of working subgroup that is chaired by a lead person.

Working subgroups are as follows;

  • Communications
  • Organisation and culture
  • Women’s representation
  • Student matters
  • Disability
  • Career progression
  • Data analysis
  • Working towards silver*
  • Surveys and focus groups


* Athena SWAN silver award


School of Medicine EDI Committee Terms of Reference (ToR)

The EDI Committee will seek to understand and improve aspects of our School,  including but not limited to, those covered by the 10 equality grounds of the University: Age, Civil status, Disability, Family status including carer status, Gender (including gender identity), Traveller community membership, Ethnicity (race, skin colour, nationality or ethnic origin), Religion, Sexual orientation, and Socio-economic-status.

The School of Medicine EDI Committee will;  

  • Lead and progress the School’s EDI initiatives for both staff and students including gender initiatives such as membership of the Athena SWAN Charter
  • Implement the School’s Athena SWAN action plan
  • Prepare the Athena SWAN application for either renewal of the Bronze award or application for a Silver award
  • Promote a sense of community in the School
  • Liaise with and be represented on the CHAS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group (which in turn Liaises with the UCD Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group and its associated UCD Gender Equality Action Group)
  • Report to School Executive Committee (through the Chairperson who will be a member of the Executive).

The Committee will meet at least four times in an academic year.


Membership of the Committee will be representative of the School community including gender balance and diversity; disciplines and grades; faculty, staff and students. It is anticipated that the Committee will meet no less than four and no more than six times per year

Members are anticipated to serve for three to five years, but with some exceptions and gradual turnover, to ensure continuity.

Work-Life Balance and Family-Friendly Policies

The University aims to promote work-life balance for all staff members and has a range of flexible working and leave options available to staff. Visit the UCD HR page for details on:

  1. Maternity Leave
  2. Carers Leave
  3. Adoptive Leave
  4. Job sharing
  5. Paternity Leave
  6. Shorter Working Year
  7. Parental Leave
  8. Career Break
  9. Force Majure Leave
  10. Flexi-time

There are also a number of staff supports and networks available to you including an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), LGBT staff network, compassionate leave scheme, mediation and conflict resolution, Occupational Health service and sick pay scheme. For details of all staff supports please visit the UCD Staff Benefits page.

Core Working Hours Policy

The School of Medicine fully supports the UCD Core Meeting Hours policy and meetings are scheduled between 9.30am and 4pm with some exceptions where it is not practical or possible to hold meetings at these times.

Out of Hours Email Policy

Employees are not expected to read or reply to emails outside of their normal working hours, except in exceptional situations. This policy is designed to promote employee wellbeing by demonstrating the importance of recovery time away from work and support other policies such as Core Meeting Hours which promote a family-friendly working environment.

The UCD Core Meeting Hours and Out of Hours Email policies are available on the UCD Equality page.

The University is committed to supporting and developing its Faculty and staff. The School of Medicine encourages all Faculty and staff to avail of the training and development opportunities in the University to enhance their personal and career development. A number of these training opportunities are offered online to facilitate remote learning.

Examples of learning and development opportunities include the Newly Appointed Assistant Professor Development Programme specifically for newly appointed members of Faculty, The Aurora Leadership Development Programme for women and those who identify as a woman in academic and professional roles, University Teaching and Learning, Leadership and People Management, Organisation and Time Management, Project Management, Research Skills and Career Development for ‘Post Docs’. For details of all opportunities please visit the UCD People and Development page.

Mentoring to support professional development is available. Each mentee will enter a mentoring relationship with different goals and the role of the mentor is to support that individual in progressing those goals.


If you wish to apply or want to learn about promotion in UCD please visit the UCD HR page for information in relation to the various promotion pathways available.


Dignity and Respect Contact Persons

A Panel of Dignity and Respect Contact Persons (Contact Persons hereafter) exists in UCD. These are fully trained Faculty and staff members from across the University who are appointed on a voluntary basis by the President under the Dignity and Respect Policy.

The Contact Person acts as a ‘listening ear’ and provides non-directive and non-judgemental support and information to employees and students experiencing difficulties of a bullying, harassment and/or sexual harassment nature, on a strictly confidential basis. They will provide information on the range of informal options and supports available and they will also explain the formal procedures.


Mediation (Alternative Dispute Resolution) in UCD

Mediation is a framework for resolving conflict in an informal manner which is impartial and objective and aims to resolve conflict at the earliest opportunity. Mediation can be used at any stage in a dispute but is often most effective if used early on in the dispute. The mediator does not tell the parties what to do but rather acts as a facilitator to the process.

For details of how to avail of the above services please visit

https://www.ucd.ie/equality/support/dignityrespect/. Details of how to make a formal complaint are also available at this website.

Athena SWAN



Equality Challenge Unit

Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) is a UK based organisation that works to support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education institutions.  They support universities and colleges to build an inclusive culture that values the benefits of diversity, to remove barriers to progression and success for all staff and students, and to challenge and change unfair practices that disadvantage individuals or groups. 

Athena SWAN

Advance HE is a UK organization formed by the merger of the Equality Challenge Unit, the Higher Education Academy and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

Advance HE established the Athena SWAN Charter in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

In May 2015 the Charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for ‘trans’ staff and students. The Charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter covers women (and men where appropriate) in:

  • academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
  • professional and support staff
  • ‘trans’ staff and students

In relation to their:

  • representation
  • progression of students into academia
  • journey through career milestones
  • working environment for all staff

UCD holds a Bronze Athena SWAN award. This award recognises that the institution has a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff. In September 2019 the School of Medicine was awarded a Departmental Bronze Athena SWAN award. Bronze Department awards recognise that in addition to institution-wide policies, the Department is working to promote gender equality and to identify and address challenges particular to the Department and discipline. A four-year action plan was put in place to address the challenges that exist to promote gender equality in the School of Medicine.

In April 2023, the School will need to apply to either renew their Bronze award or apply for a Silver award. In addition to the future planning required for Bronze department recognition, Silver department awards recognise that the Department has taken action in response to previously identified challenges and can demonstrate the impact of these actions.


School of Medicine staff External Committee membership and outreach activity SURVEY

UCD School of Medicine naturally exists within the wider healthcare arena, which is made up of a myriad of hospital and community based healthcare settings, representative organisations for medical practitioners and other HCPs and research and other health and healthcare organisations, some of which are State funded and others privately funded. Many of our staff are invited onto external Committees, Steering Groups and Panels etc. across the above varied and complex wider healthcare arena, according to their areas of expertise and careers to date.

In order for the School to maintain its current bronze ATHENA SWAN award, the EDI Committee would like to collect information on the extent of staff representation on external committees and/or who may also participate in other outreach activities, giving of their time and expertise, via this very short SURVEY .


Please complete this survey which only takes three/ four minutes and if and when you are invited onto other external Committees, Steering Groups etc. please re-visit the survey and complete it again so we can maintain a dynamic update on external committee membership and outreach activity by our staff.

UCD School of Medicine EDI Committee hosted a really energising and interesting conversation between Dr Fiona McGillicuddy, Assistant Professor, Cardiometabolic Research Group, Diabetes Complications Research Centre, UCD and Dr Gabrielle Colleran, Consultant Paediatric Radiologist and Vice-President IHCA on IWD 2021. The conversation focused on work-life balance, C-19 childcare challenges, where women are (or not) in C-19 leadership roles and engaging more women in leadership. Dr Colleran prompted us to think about the systemic patriarchal inequality, the power of surrounding ourselves with energising, positive, solutions orientated women, building a more inclusive, diverse, representative society and always keeping another person’s dignity at the centre of communication.