We provide a space for women to discuss the particular issues they experience in the research domain and have over 190 members across the University.
The Women in Research Network (WiR) started as part of York’s EDI strategy for the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account to form a Women in Science Group exploring the barriers to women applying for grants and funding and undertaking more entrepreneurial activities.
The network is open to women of all backgrounds and this includes people who identify as trans women or non-binary. We recognise that women's experiences, while often common or similar, are different depending on their background, heritage and life experiences. Our members enjoy the interdisciplinarity of the network and support from colleagues for their research and career progression.
I started today feeling pretty despondent - actually quite upset about how powerless I am in my career. But this all changed within the first hour! Loads of positive and inspiring tips for how to take control and ownership of our profiles. What have we got to lose?
What we do
Throughout the year we organise a series of coffee mornings with bite size training sessions which have included topics such as, 'How to use Social Media to enhance Research Impact', 'Mentoring Opportunities at York', 'Athena Swan at York', 'Research Funding Opportunities at York' and 'The new Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers', Imposter Syndrome and Intentional Careers™ workshops with Dr Hannah Roberts and The Neuroscience of Stress.
We have hosted five annual Women in Research Conferences to celebrate International Women’s day in March (Women in Research Conference Report 2022: Calibrating the Change). The conference workshops were led by trainers Catherine Cuffley and Hannah Roberts, experienced in women leadership coaching and developing women’s careers.
The events were supported as part of the University's Athena Swan agenda by Professor Deborah Smith, Special Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kiran Trehan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement, Professor Matthias Ruth, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and by Professor Karen Bloor, Research Champion for Health and Wellbeing. The conferences included talks from both internal and external speakers, followed by networking opportunities.
Our commitment to gaining equality for women, trans, non-binary and those who identify as women was recognised at the 2023 Inclusive Impact Awards, where we took home the Gender Inclusion Award. This award demonstrates the work we've done to advance the University's gender inclusion agenda.
The value of the network
The women who attended the events value being able to share their experiences and to network with other researchers from across the University. We are building the network with the support of the Equality and Diversity Office and will continue to provide a blend of events such as an annual conference and coffee mornings with bite size training from speakers (both internal and external) as well as more informal get-togethers.
I thought motherhood and redundancy had crushed my chances of a fulfilling and autonomous research career. The speakers at the Women in Research Workshop really changed my outlook on this and made me far more optimistic. Catherine Cuffley's workshop on overcoming imposter syndrome was really pivotal in making me rethink the image I was projecting to the research community. I applied for a new job a few weeks after the workshop, back in my original field of research, and was delighted to be offered the post in May. I am sure that the confidence and mindset that I gained from the workshop had a major impact in my putting together a high-quality application and coming across confidently at interview.
Training and events
WiR Network Working Group
The WiR Network Working Group was formed to lead on the development of a University-wide network of women in research including women from different backgrounds, encompassing those identifying as trans women or non-binary, who are interested in celebrating and promoting progress and good practice in relation to gender equality.
The group offers support for the provision of training and opportunities and disseminates information to support members of the network in their career progression and development and health and wellbeing. The group also supports the Annual Women in Research Network Conference where we can celebrate and promote the successes of a diverse range of women, including those who identify as trans women or non-binary.
Read our Terms of Reference.
Meet the team
We welcome new members to the group and are always on the lookout for new areas of training and speakers. If you have a topic that you would like to share with the group, would like to invite a speaker or lead one of our events, then just get in touch via email@example.com.