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Athena SWAN in Ireland

In a major national initiative supported by the Higher Education Authority, the Athena SWAN Charter was launched in Ireland in early 2015. Figures published by the Higher Education Authority highlight gender inequality as an issue for the sector. Across Irish universities, only 19% of professors are women. In institutes of technology, women make up 45% of academic staff but just 29% of senior academic staff.

Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter was established 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. The charter has since 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.

Guidance for applications >

Applications for Advance HE's Athena SWAN awards are accepted on the last working day of April and November each year.  Applicants from Ireland may use the original process focusing on women in STEMM in academia (known as the "pre-may 2015" process in the UK), or the expanded process (known as the "post-may 2015" process in the UK).  All applicants from Ireland must use the expanded process by November 2020. Additional resources, including copies of the relevant handbooks can be found here. Applicants must inform us of their intention to submit two months in advance of each deadline. An Athena SWAN Ireland Seminar including an awards ceremony will be held on an annual basis.

Application forms >
Athena SWAN Ireland Committee and Travel Fund >

The expansion and development of the Athena SWAN Charter in Ireland is supported by the National Committee. The committee is comprised of representatives from eligible HEIs, Advance HE, and the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Irish research agencies, as well as other stakeholders, including the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) are also represented.

The committee was reconstituted in March 2018 for a term of three years.

Institutional members

Name of Institution

Serving representative*

Alternative representative

Athlone Institute of Technology

Chris McDermott

Louise Doherty

Cork Institute of Technology

Áine Ní Shé

Deirdre Casey

Dublin Institute of Technology

Yvonne Galligan

Hugh Byrne

Dublin City University

Greg Hughes

Sandra Healy

Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology

Andrew Power (Chair)

Niamh Clifford

Dundalk Institute of Technology

Patricia Moriarty

Gerald O’Driscoll

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology

Cáit Noone

Fergal Barry

Institute of Technology, Tralee

Helen McMahon

Joseph Walsh

Institute of Technology, Tallaght


Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown

Liam McGlynn

Eileen Quinn

Institute of Technology, Sligo

Jacqueline McCormack


Letterkenny Institute of Technology

John Andy Bonar

Helen McGrandles

Limerick Institute of Technology

Marian Duggan


Maynooth University

Claire McGing


National College of Ireland

Corina Sheerin

Jimmy Hill

National University of Ireland, Galway

Lokesh Joshi

Aoife Cooke

Royal College of Surgeons

Avril Hutch (Vice Chair)

Cathal Kearney

Trinity College Dublin

Eileen Drew

Chris Morash

University College Cork

Ann King

Karl Kitching

University College Dublin

Kathleen James Chakraborty

Rory Carey

University of Limerick

Patrick Ryan

Marie Connolly

Waterford Institute of Technology

Brendan Jennings

Valerie Brett

Institute of Technology, Carlow

Martin Dolan

Allison Kenneally

Mary Immaculate College

Frank White

Elaine Murtagh

*a description of the procedure for electing and selecting serving and alternative committee members is available in the committee’s Terms of Reference. 

Other members

Name of Organisation

Name of representative

Higher Education Authority

Gemma Irvine

Advance HE

Ruth Gilligan

Advance HE

Victoria Brownlee

Higher Education Authority

Louise McCann

Irish Research Council

Gemma Duke

Advance HE

Abbie McKenna

Science Foundation Ireland

Rochelle Fritch

Health Research Board

Caitriona Creely

Queen's University


Ulster University

Maria Loughrey

Irish Universities Association

Jennifer Cleary

Technological Higher Education Association

Jennifer Brennan

Additional information on the Ireland Committee’s responsibilities, as well as the process for selecting committee members, can be found in the committee's Terms of Reference.

The Athena National SWAN National Committee Travel Fund

The Athena SWAN National Committee has a travel fund to assist HEI staff with the costs of travelling to participate in Athena SWAN panels and to other relevant events.

Applications can be made by staff in HEIs in the Republic of Ireland. Travel costs for staff from Northern Irish HEIs travelling alongside ROI staff can be included in the application.  Further details about the fund and how to apply can be found in the Athena SWAN Ireland Travel Fund Application Form.

Eligible HEIs >

To be eligible to apply for an Athena SWAN award, higher education institutions must commit in writing to the Athena SWAN principles. A template letter to commit to the expanded principles can be found here. Eligible institutions: *signed up to original principles ** signed up to expanded principles

  • ·         Athlone Institute of Technology**
    ·         Carlow College
    ·         Cork Institute of Technology**
    ·         Dublin City University
    ·         Dublin Institute of Technology*
    ·         Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology*
    ·         Dundalk Institute of Technology
    ·         Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
    ·         Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
    ·         Institute of Technology, Carlow**
    ·         Institute of Technology, Sligo
    ·         Institute of Technology, Tallaght
    ·         Institute of Technology, Tralee**
    ·         Letterkenny Institute of Technology
    ·         Limerick Institute of Technology
    ·         Mary Immaculate College**
    ·         Maynooth College/Saint Patrick’s College
    ·         Maynooth University**
    ·         National College of Ireland
    ·         National University of Ireland, Galway*
    ·         Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland**
    ·         Trinity College Dublin
    ·         University College Cork*
    ·         University College Dublin
    ·         University of Limerick**
    ·         Waterford Institute of Technology**
Award holders >
Name of institution Name of department (if applicable) Award level Round Awarded
Dublin City University   Bronze Nov-16
Dublin Institute of Technology   Bronze Apr-18
Maynooth University   Bronze Nov-17
National University of Ireland Galway School of Medicine Bronze Nov-17
National University of Ireland Galway   Bronze Nov-17
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland   Bronze Apr-18
Trinity College Dublin   Bronze Apr-15
Trinity College Dublin School of Chemistry Bronze Apr-15
Trinity College Dublin School of Natural Sciences Bronze Apr-15
Trinity College Dublin School of Physics Bronze Apr-15
University College Cork   Bronze Apr-16
University College Cork School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences Bronze Nov-17
University College Cork School of Chemistry Bronze Nov-17
University College Cork School of Pharmacy Bronze Nov-17
University College Dublin   Bronze Nov-16
University of Limerick   Bronze Apr-15
University of Limerick Department of Life Sciences Bronze Sep-15
University of Limerick Department of Mathematics and Statistics Bronze Sep-15
University of Limerick Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences Bronze Nov-16
University of Limerick Department of Physics Bronze Nov-17
University of Limerick School of Education Bronze Nov-17
Support Available to Irish HEIs >

Institutions covered by the HEA-Advance HE Grant Agreement can avail of a range of supports from Advance HE to assist their Athena SWAN work.  This includes email and phone support as well as an annual site visit.  Full details can be found in the Support Provision for Irish HEIs  

If you have questions about support for Athena SWAN in Ireland please contact the Ireland Programme Manager, Dr Victoria Brownlee

Contact >

Dr Victoria Brownlee, Athena SWAN Programme Manager for Ireland

Victoria leads the development and delivery of Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter in Ireland.  You can contact Victoria with queries about Athena SWAN in Ireland at

Tamara Szucs, Athena SWAN Programme Advisor (Ireland and UK)

Irish HEIs can contact Tamara for guidance and advice on the Athena SWAN application process at