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Institute of Physics Juno Practitioner status for UCD School of Physics

Institute of Physics - Juno Practitioner Award logo

Posted 22 March, 2021

The UCD School of Physics has been awarded Juno Practitioner status by the Institute of Physics (IOP), the professional body and learned society for physics in the UK and Ireland.

The award recognises that the School now has in place "a robust organisational framework to deliver equality of opportunity and reward" - the first of the six principles of Project Juno hosted by the IOP.

Project Juno aims to recognise and reward departments and schools of physics, institutes and organisations that demonstrate they have taken actions to address gender equality in physics.

As a Juno Practitioner, the UCD School of Physics is now one of 18 Physics departments on the path towards Juno Champion and dedicated to developing an equitable working culture in which all students and staff can achieve their full potential.

“Over the last number of years, the School of Physics has investigated gender balance in a broad range of areas by gathering data and consulting with staff and students. As part of the Juno process, we have established baselines in terms of the gender breakdown amongst our staff, postgraduate, and undergraduate students,” said Associate Professor and Juno co-chair Sheila McBreen, UCD School of Physics.

“Young women account for approximately one quarter of our undergraduate students, and they, like the rest of their class achieve excellent degree results. Women currently account for over 40% of postgraduates in our school but that fraction drops to a fifth on average among academic staff,” she continued.

“This Juno Practitioner Award is an important first step, and the implementation of our Action Plan in the coming years will not just improve our School but will also advance our discipline,” she concluded.

According to Professor Martin Grunewald, head of the UCD School of Physics, with the Juno Practitioner Award, the School will follow a detailed and ambitious action plan over the next years, embedding gender equality and diversity firmly in the School.

Commenting on the award, Professor Colin Scott, vice-president for equality, diversity and inclusion at UCD, “The University is implementing a four-year gender equality action plan and a growing number of Schools are implementing gender action plans to drive gender equality and support and progress the University’s diversity and inclusion objectives as set out in the EDI and UCD Strategy.”

By: Dominic Martella, UCD University Relations