Athena SWAN reaches Ireland

Published in the Times Higher on 30th July, Holly Else reports that ‘the Equity Challenge Unit has awarded Trinity College Dublin and the University of Limerick bronze institutional awards for their work on promoting women’s careers in science subjects. Irish universities made ten applications, including those of the two successful institutions, to the scheme, which was launched in Ireland as a pilot project earlier this year. Trinity College Dublin also achieved bronze departmental awards for its schools of chemistry, physics and natural sciences.’

Follow this link to read more – Athena SWAN reaches Ireland


The postdoc experience: hopes and fears

What is it actually like to be a postdoc? Do the pressures to publish, secure funding and network keep you awake at night?  Or do you relish the challenge?

Holly Else from ‘Times Higher Education spoke to six postdocs who work in a range of disciplines at UK universities about their hopes and fears, and the reality of life in the choppy waters of the academy immediately after completing a PhD.’


Filippo Contesi – ‘Some people have a plan B. I don’t. I am not going to make a plan B until I feel myself not getting what I want’

Elena Riva – ‘The baby changed my life quite a lot…I loved research but when you find something that makes you happy, you follow it’

Ozlem Edizel – ‘Sometimes all the deadlines from both universities come at the same time’

Bert van Landeghem – ‘I have moved around a lot already. It is nice to move around but you cannot keep on doing it for ever’

David Loudon – ‘You can’t keep carrying on being a postdoc without trying to progress in some way’

Adina Feldman – ‘I know that there are problems with academia but there are also good things. I like the flexible work environment’


You can read the full interviews here –

What are your experiences? What advice would you offer someone completing their PhD and considering a postdoc?

‘Sexist’ peer review causes storm online

‘A postdoctoral researcher has spoken out about her “shock and disbelief” at “sexist”, “sarcastic” and “patronising” comments she received in a manuscript review.

An anonymous peer reviewer suggests that the paper, written by two female researchers, should include at least one male author to make sure that the data were interpreted correctly, and says that only men have the personality necessary to make it to the top jobs in science.

The journal in question said that it regretted the “tone, spirit and content” of the review.’

See the full article by Holly Else in the Times Higher published on the 30th April here –

Thank you to Wendy Matthews for highlighting this news story!


Gender split on fellowship scheme ‘unacceptable’

In an article published on the 2nd March 2015 in the Times Higher, Holly Else examines why ‘the Royal Society has not been able to find any reason why so few women were successful in securing awards from one of its fellowship schemes in 2014.’  In 2014 only 2 of its 43 University Research Fellowships went to women.

The full article can be seen here –