In Trinity College
The Centre for Women in Science and Engineering Research (WiSER) in Trinity College was launched in November 2006 by then Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Mr Micheál Martin TD, through funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Trinity College.
A 2005 call from SFI aimed to address the under-representation of women in science, engineering and technology (SET) careers. The SFI Women in Science & Engineering Programme, through which WiSER was established, contained three elements:
To recruit more women and girls into SET careers and education
- Presently only 20% of students entering engineering undergraduate programmes are women.
To enable highly skilled women researchers to remain in SET careers
While 40% of contract researchers in the Faculty of Engineering, Maths & Science in College are women, only 8% of full professors are women*, as of September 2008. Retention measures help to address this imbalance.
- Institute Planning Grants In 2005 the IPGs gave 11 Higher Education Institutes the opportunity to conduct a self-assessment of women’s participation in science and engineering research activities and research management.
- Institute Development Awards WiSER, UCC and UL were all awarded funding for 12-month pilot projects to enhance the participation of women in science and engineering research activities and research management.
To encourage and assist top-level researchers to return to work following a career break
- Research shows that women returning from career breaks may experience lower salaries than they previously held, as well as greater difficulty in securing research funding (Source: Daphne Jackson Trust, Real Returners, 2006)
- PI Career Advancement Awards This award was introduced in 2005 to support outstanding researchers to return to academia. 10 women received PICA Awards, including 3 from TCD. To read about the award winners, click here.
WiSER was established through an Institute Development Award under the Retain section of the SFI programme.
* Source: WiSER Database