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Government Initiative to Improve Gender Diversity Awards Major Funding for New Chair in Political Economy

The Departments of Economics and Political Science have been successful in obtaining funding for a Chair in Political Economy, one of the 20 women-only* professorship roles approved by the State recently as part of the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI). Launched by Minister of State for higher education Mary Mitchell O'Connor last year, SALI is one of a number of initiatives in the 2018 Gender Equality Taskforce Action Plan aimed at strengthening gender equality in higher education institutions.

The funding award is the result of a joint application aimed to address the significant long-standing gender imbalance in Trinity’s Departments of Economics and Political Science, which have never had a female professorial Chair. Both Departments are committed to embedding gender equality into the organisational culture and are active members in the Athena SWAN application process to achieve the bronze medal award for the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy.

The SALI Chair in Political Economy will have a significant impact not only on the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy but also on the wider College community and Irish society as a whole. The Chair will enable Trinity to take an important step towards the model of an urban university with social sciences as a priority. It will enable the institution to establish itself as a centre for interdisciplinary research and outreach and by involving globally orientated academics, government policymakers, NGOs, think tanks and the private sector it will help maximise policy impact.

Commenting on the award, Professor Gaia Narciso, Head of the Department of Economics said: “The SALI Chair in Political Economy will have a significant impact on the two Departments' research profiles by strengthening their ability to contribute to important debates in Irish society, such as Ireland's role in the global economy and effective means of promoting growth, equality, and social protection.”
Professor Will Phelan, Head of the Department of Political Science added: This is a great government initiative and we are delighted to be able to hire a new Chair and diversify the senior academic leadership of our School”. 

*Preferential consideration of female candidates is excluded if other reasons worthy of legal protection prevail. In exceptional circumstances, applications from candidates who are in a minority or protected under Irish social legislation, or who also belong to an underrepresented minority in academic posts may be considered if the institution can clearly articulate reasons worthy of legal protection as to why they should be considered (HEA SALI Call 2019).