Welcome message from Head of School, Professor Wim Meijer

Whether you have arrived at this page by accident or design, greetings, and welcome to the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science.

SBBS is privileged to enjoy a community that is gender balanced, diverse, and international at all levels. Our staff and students come from all cultural and social backgrounds, offering a wealth of different life experiences and perspectives. These qualities are as valuable to us as our members’ individual talents and abilities, as they all combine to produce an innovative and dynamic community that works together in the finest tradition of collaborative scientific curiosity. This is one of our School's finest characteristics and I strongly believe it is fundamental to our success.

We all share the responsibility of nurturing our community by respecting the needs and experiences of those working alongside us and valuing them for their contributions. As part of our School's commitment to the Athena Swan charter and the principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion, we have created these pages to bring together practical resources aimed at supporting all staff and students in their time at SBBS. Empowering all members to realise their full potential benefits everybody, so, whether you are already part of our community or considering joining us, I invite you to explore the sections below and see what makes SBBS one of the best places to work in UCD.

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A little about me….

In addition to my role as a lecturer and leader of my research group I am also the Chair of the Athena SWAN Self-assessment team, and consequently the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) officer for the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science.  

Athena SWAN focusses predominantly on advancing the careers of women in science, technology engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). Its overall remit is to ensure staff of all genders can reach their full potential and are fully included in the School.. The EDI role is broader and really is about maximising the inclusiveness of our school.  My priority is to ensure that SBBS is a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone to work and study, so that women, men, transgender and gender non-binary people, and people from all backgrounds feel part of a happy and secure environment. The EDI officer role is a new initiative in SBBS, so I am lucky that I can mould and develop it as I go. I am looking forward to putting initiatives in place that enhance inclusion for all and help to shape policy in equality, diversity and inclusion in the school. I welcome suggestions on improving our inclusivity in the school, so if you have any ideas please let me know.  

So what do I do?  

With the help of the Athena SWAN committee, we are putting in place initiatives to improve the sense of community for everyone in the school, for example:    

  • Summer barbeque for the staff and PhD students
  • Monthly coffee morning. 
  • Exhibition celebrating Women Scientists in SBBS.

As a means of improving career development for all, we are putting in place other initiatives including:

  • Training and mentoring schemes for PhD students, Research staff and faculty members
  • Mentoring network for admin staff across a number of Schools. 
  • Tracking exam performance of our students by gender and ethnicity.

I am looking forward to working with everyone in SBBS (staff and students) to improve our work-life balance and enable SBBS to be among the happiest workplaces in UCD!