Aurora and FAQs
Advance HE Aurora guidance
In November 2017 the University, with funding and support endorsed by the Principal, made a commitment within its Athena SWAN Institutional Action Plan, action 4.2(a) for: Annual participation in the Advance HE (formerly Leadership Foundation in Higher Education) programmes.
Statement of support from Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal and Vice-Chancellor:
‘I support and advocate the Aurora programme. It is part of a suite of equality initiatives in the University of St Andrews. It affords women in grades 6-8 support, comment, and good networking opportunities in the sector at an important stage in their careers, and it can be a good launching point for academic women for our inhouse Elizabeth Garrett programme. We have seen great advances in women’s representation in higher education over the past forty years, but there is still more progress to be made, and the Aurora programme is a way of moving that along. If you are interested in exploring your career options, building contacts in the sector, and testing yourself in a supportive environment, do consider undertaking this programme.’
Aurora is Advance HE's leadership development initiative for those who identify as women. It is a unique partnership initiative bringing together leadership experts and higher education institutions to take positive action to address the under-representation of women in leadership positions in the sector.
Further information and dates are available from the Advance HE webpages
Expectations of participants:
- Committed to the full Aurora process, attending all four development days plus the two action learning set days and be prepared to undertake some self-directed study.
- Attend introduction to Aurora event and mentoring training at the University.
- Undertake all pre-work set for the course in advance of attending each development day.
- Liaise with a Mentor within the University to communicate progress or issues during the programme.
- Ready to embrace the mentoring relationship, and actively work with their mentors to address their personal development and build their self-reliance.
- Committed to a career in HE and prepared to devote some time to thinking about and planning their career.
- Willing to host an action learning set day at their institution (subject to Covid-19 restrictions), with the support of their institution.
- Prepared to embrace the extensive networking opportunities and participate fully in Aurora.
- Willing to undertake projects or assignments for their institution in order to build on their developing leadership skills.
- Prepared to participate in a longitudinal study to gauge the effectiveness of Aurora.
- Willing to act as mentors or role models to future participants.
How do I apply?
A call for participants will be made by the central EDI Team in advance of the programme. Applicants will be requested to submit an expression of interest email stating why they would like to join Aurora and confirm their availability for the programme dates. Your line manager must also submit an email to state their support for your application.
Recruitment for the 2021/22 Aurora Programme is now closed. Please contact email@example.com if you would like to register your interest for future calls.
Who is the programme for?
As stated by Advance HE: Aurora is for those who identify as women up to senior lecturer level or professional services equivalent in a university or higher education college, who would like to develop and explore issues relating to leadership roles and responsibilities. Therefore the programme is suitable for University staff at Grade 6, 7 or 8, and not as a head of school or director of a unit.
How will staff be selected?
Staff selection is conducted by the central EDI Team, including an Aurora Champion.
Who are the University of St Andrews Aurora Champions?
How much does it cost?
The costs for 2021/22 are £750 per participant, which are fully funded by the University's Diversity cost centre.
What are the programme requirements and time commitment?
Aurora consists of six interlinked days with additional self-directed learning throughout the programme. Each participant is required to attend one of each of the four development days: Identity, Impact and Voice; Politics and Influence; Core Leadership Skills; and Adaptive Leadership Skills. You will also attend two action learning set days organised by participants within your assigned group.
NOTE: for 2021/22 the programme will be delivered online.
The dates for the Scotland cohort are:
- St Andrews cohort welcome and information session, Wednesday 6th October 2021
- Introduction session, Wednesday 3rd November 2021
- Identity, Impact and Voice development day, Wednesday 10th November 2021
- Core Leadership development day, Wednesday 1st December 2021
- Action Learning Set 1, Wednesday 12th January 2022
- Politics and Influence development day, Wednesday 2nd February 2022
- Adaptive Leadership development day, Wednesday 2nd March 2022
- Action Learning Set 2, Wednesday 23rd March 2022
A series of short (up to 90 minutes) optional fortnightly online enhancements for informal networking will run throughout the programme (dates/times to be announced). Advance HE are also hoping to host one face-to-face meeting in Edinburgh (date to be announced, and subject to Covid-19 restrictions) for networking (travel expenses will be covered by the University).
What are the proposed start and finish times for the development days?
It is expected that the days will run from 10am and finish by 3.00pm.
Can I attend other development days in another cohort?
Ideally participants will undertake all of their Aurora activity on the same cohort, which for St Andrews participants will be the Scotland cohort to facilitate the formation and maintenance of regional networks. Subject to availability of space in the alternate cohort, participants are able to transfer one of the development days to another cohort.
How does Aurora relate to University diversity awards, such as Athena Swan?
Career development and mentoring for women is a major part of Athena Swan. An action to support staff advancement under the programme is one of the ways in which the University and/or schools can support the career development of women in the workplace to progress into senior roles.
Is a women-only programme legal?
Under UK legislation and the Scottish Specific Duties (2012) resulting from the Equality Act (2010) it is lawful to take positive action to address under representation and minimise workplace disadvantage.
Who were supported by the University in previous cohorts?
2020/21 cohort (14 supported):
|Emily Feamster||Office of the Principal|
|Gayle Doherty||Psychology and Neuroscience|
|Laura Bates||Research and Innovation Services|
|Jan McTaggart||The Byre Theatre|
2019/20 cohort (24 supported):
|Lindsay Wilson||Business Transformation|
|Dharini Balasubramaniam||Computer Science|
|Emma Shea||Corporate Communications|
|Christine Linton||Environmental Health and Safety Service|
|Lucy Donaldson||Philosophical, Antropological and Film Studies|
|Louise Nixon||Human Resources|
|Hannah Coutts||IT Services|
|Brenda Dobbie||IT Services|
|Jackie Proven||Research and Innovation Services|
|Claire Scott||Saints Sport|
2018/19 cohort (23 supported):
|Rosalind Campbell||Office of the Principal - Proctor's Office|
|Louise Reid||Geography & Sustainable Development|
|Pauline Brown||IT Services|
|Emma Herdman||Modern Languages|
|Dora Osbourne||Modern Languages|
|Victoria Turner||Modern Languages|
|Margarita Vaysman||Modern Languages|
|Sarah Bennison||Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies|
|Claudia Cisneros-Foster||Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies|
|Alison Kerr||Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies|
|Stavroula Pipyrou||Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies|
|Lucy Hadfield||Physics and Astronomy|
|Liliana Martins e Caneco||Registry|
|Lara Meischke||Student Services|
2017/18 cohort (24 supported):
|Stephanie O'Rourke||Art History|
|Amanda Baizan Edge||Biology|
|V Anne Smith||Biology|
|Gosia Mitka||Economics and Finance|
|Sharon Leahy||Geography and Sustainable Development|
|Katherine Roucoux||Geography and Sustainable Development|
|Fiona McCallum||International Relations|
|Katie Jones||Modern Languages|
|Emma Bond||Modern Languages|
|Victoria Donovan||Modern Languages|
|Katie Allan||Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies|
|Maggie Ellis||Psychology & Neuroscience|
|Claudia Cyganowski||Physics and Astronomy|
2016/17 cohort (10 supported):
|Bettina Bildhauer||Modern Languages (German)|
|Caron Gentry||International Relations|
|Emily Finer||Modern Languages (Russian)|
|Erin Robbins||Psychology & Neuroscience|
|Ishbel Duncan||Computer Science|
|Karen Brown||Art History|
|Leshu Torchin||Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies|
2015/16 cohort (10 supported):
Physics and Astronomy
Modern Languages (Spanish)
Office of the Principal
2014/15 cohort (5 supported):
Modern Languages (Russian)