Juno Network in Ireland

23 November 2017

IOP Ireland recently held a meeting with interested parties on establishing a Juno Network in Ireland.

Project Juno is an IOP initiative to recognise and reward physics departments, schools, institutes and organisations that can demonstrate they have taken action to address gender equality in physics and to encourage better practice for all staff. There are a number of award levels within Juno and Irish colleges have achieved awards in all categories.

Juno Supporters include Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, the Department of Physics, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and the School of Physical Sciences, Dublin City University. The School of Physics, National University of Ireland Galway and the School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin are Juno Practitioners while the School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen's University Belfast has achieved Juno Champion status.

There are reciprocal arrangements between Project Juno and the wider institutional award system – Athena SWAN. With funding agencies in Ireland now requiring that higher education institutions have Athena SWAN gender equality accreditation in order to be eligible for research funding there is a renewed focus on this area in physics. The event, which was held in Dublin City University, brought together physicists from Ireland to examine ways to support such efforts. IOP’s head of diversity, Jenni Dyer opened the meeting with a discussion on the six Juno principles. The event also included a presentation on unconscious bias by Dr Heather Earnshaw of IOP who has been working over the past couple of years with schools in Scotland on improving gender balance. Dr Miriam Byrne from NUI Galway reflected on progress and issues there over the past decade. Miriam has recently joined the Juno Assessment Panel which visits departments to provide detailed feedback and assistance to Juno award applicants. Dr Miriam Arredondo closed the formal part of the meeting with a presentation on findings on gender surveys in Queen’s University Belfast. There was extensive discussion throughout the event on best practice and ways to implement these. The presentations are available on request by emailing ireland@iop.org