Accessibility statement

Athena SWAN



The Department is committed to a policy of ensuring that all members of staff achieve their full potential in a supportive and responsive work environment. We have enthusiastically adopted the Athena SWAN charter of good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology in higher education and research. We were delighted to receive the Gold Athena SWAN Award in 2019.

We are very fortunate in having so many excellent female staff in the Department, both in academic and non-academic roles. To support their career development and also to meet the needs of all staff, we support flexible and part-time working patterns where possible, provide mentoring, and fund the activities of an Early Career Forum run by postdocs for junior researchers in the Department.

You can read the Department's successful 2019 Gold Athena SWAN Award Application (PDF , 2,870kb).

Recent successes

Recent successes for women in the Department


Dr Silke Göbel (Senior Lecturer)

  • Promoted to Senior Lecturer 2015
  • Director of the MSc course in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience 2013-present
  • Chair of MSc Board of Examiners 2015-present
  • Principle Investigator on ESRC grant Cross-format number integration and its relationship to mathematics performance 2017-2020
  • Editorial board, Lernen und Lernstörungen, Hogrefe & Huber Verlag 2011-present
  • Editorial board, Journal of Numerical Cognition, PsychOpen 2011-present

Dr Lisa Henderson (Senior Lecturer)

  • Promotion to Senior Lecturer 2017
  • Co-Director MSc course in Development, Disorders & Clinical Practice, 2012-present
  • Chair of Graduate School Board 2018- Present
  • Principal Investigator on Waterloo Foundation grant 2014 - 2015
  • Principle Investigator on ESRC grant to carry out research in to sleep and memory consolidation across typical and atypical development 2015-present
  • Co-Investigator on ESCR grant 2018-2019

Professor Elizabeth Jefferies

  • Chair of York Neuroimaging Science Committee 2013-2015
  • Chair of Inclusiveness and Development Committee 2015- present
  • Principle Investigator on Starting grant from European Research Council (ERC) 2012-2016
  • Principle Investigator on grant from Stroke Association 2013-2017
  • Principle Investigator on Consolidator grant from European Research Council (ERC) 2017-2022
  • Associate Editor for Journal of Neuropsychology 2014-present
  • Action Editor for PeerJ 2014- present
  • Member of the MRC’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Board 2018-present

Professor Elizabeth Meins

  • Chair of the Departmental Research Committee 2017-present
  • Professorial Fellowship from ESRC 2014-2017
  • Principle Investigator on an ESRC grant Maternal Mind-mindedness: Transmission mechanisms and Predicting Development into Early Adulthood.  2018- 2021
  • REF2021 Assessment Panel for Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
  • 2019 Dutch Universities Research Assessment Panel for Pedagogical and Educational Sciences

Dr Harriet Over (Senior Lecturer)

  • Promotion to Senior Lecturer in 2017
  • Principle Investigator on Future Research Leaders Grant, Economic and Social Research Council 2014 – 2017
  • Co-Investigator on Leverhulme Trust Project Grant 2016 – 2020
  • Principle Investigator on Starting grant from European Research Council (ERC) 2017 - 2022
  • Margaret Mead Award for Social Sciences, British Science Association 2017
  • Margaret Donaldson Early Career Prize, British Psychology Society 2018
  • Philip Leverhulme Prize 2018

Dr Shirley-Ann Rueschemeyer (Senior Lecturer)

  • Chair of Board of Studies 2015-2018
  • Member of the Faculty of Sciences Board 2018-present
  • Co-Investigator on Unilever Industry Grant 2017
  • Co-Investigator on a grant from British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant to investigate the neural mechanisms of perspective taking during communication 2015
  • Action editor for Royal Society Open Science 2014-present

Professor Katie Slocombe

  • Promotion to Professor 2018
  • Career and student employability coordinator 2013-present
  • Principle Investigator on Consolidator grant from European Research Council (ERC) 2017-2022
  • Gave a Plenary lecture at Animal Behaviour Society, Milwaukee, USA, 2018

Early Career Researchers

Emma James, Year 3 PhD student receives a $1000 prize (2018) following the publication of three pre-registered experiment in Developmental Science awarded by COS (Centre for Open Science)

Jet Sander, Year 3 PhD student receives first prize in the Falling Walls contest at York Falling Walls Lab (2018) and advances to the finals in Berlin (November, 2018)

2018 Departmental Teaching awards go to Anika Smith, Eithne Kavanagh and Kirsti Wailes-Newson, Year 3 PhD students

Dr Fionnuala Larkin

  • Associate Lecturer at the Department, University of York 2016-2019
  • Co-designed a novel psycho-educational intervention to promote mind-mindedness in parents using new technology with Professor Elizabeth Meins.
  • Managed a randomised controlled trial in partnership with the NHS to evaluate an intervention to promote mind-mindedness in new parents, including managing a small team of researchers and students.
  • Co-authored manual for an NSPCC Programme: Parents, Pregnancy and Well-Being.
  • Co-Investigator on ESRC grant Maternal Mind-mindedness: Transmission mechanisms and Predicting Development into Early Adulthood.  2018- 2021

Dr Kirsty Graham

  • 2017 Gorilla Awards in Behavioural Science, Shortlisted ,
  • 2016 Russell Trust Award (Postgraduate), University of St Andrews
  • 2016 St Leonard’s College Lecture Prize, University of St Andrew

Support staff

Support staff

The Department has 18 support staff of which 14 are women. Support staff play a vital role in the department's operations.


The Department allocates an annual budget to sponsor events enabling women to discuss issues surrounding their careers.

Recent Events

  • Athena Swan Lecture (2018) delivered by Dr Mairead MacSweeney from University College London, "Reading a language you can't hear". (27th November 2018)
  • Athena Swan Lecture (2016) delivered by Dr Sarah Garfinkel from the University of Brighton, "What the heart knows: brain-body mechanisms of emotion and memory". (1st November 2016)
  • Challenges and joys of different career paths (2016 & 2019)
    2016 Dr Ione Fine did a series of four talks, which covered the challenges and joys of different career paths. Speakers in the upcoming 2019 event will cover both research careers and those outside of academia and research.
  • Things you need to know if staying in Academia (2015 & 2017)
    This event covered tips, advice and things to think about if you are considering continuing your career in academia. Topics include:
    • Where and how to look for a postdoc job (in the UK, US and EU).
    • Obtaining postdoc grants.
    • Taking a break and part time positions.
    • Different jobs that one can have in academia.
    • How to stay research driven in a teaching focused post.
    • Dealing with the anxiety and stress of finding a job, post PhD.

      Speakers: Meesha Warmington, Keise Izuma, Helga Smallwood, Harriet Over, Emma Hayiou-Thomas, Mandy Kenyon, Cate Cowton, Karla Evans.

Past Events

  • Unconscious bias training (2015)
    Unconscious biases are automated thoughts based on our cultural environment and experience. They are triggered when making quick judgments and assessments of people. This training teaches you how to recognise bias in yourself and/or others and ways in which you can tackle it.
  • Tips for Women for Surviving in Science (2015).
    Aimed towards primarily junior female scientist (PhD, Post-doc and lectures). Given by Dr. Ione Fine. This very informal seminar was the same that Dr Fine gives at Washington University and has the theme as the page she also maintains at:...
  • Prof Anne Treisman
    In July 2014, the University conferred an honorary degree on Prof. Anne Treisman, the most influential Cognitive Psychologists in the world today her work has brought her international acclaim in recognition of the impact her research has had within and beyond the field of Psychology. In 2013 President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Science, the highest honour that can be bestowed in the US for science. She was a Fellow of the Royal Society and was the first Psychologist to be awarded the Golden Brain Award by the Minerva Foundation.
  • Dr Tanya Bryon
    In January 2009, the University conferred an honorary degree on Dr Tanya Byron (alumna), consultant clinical psychologist, for the contribution she has made to the public understanding of psychology through programmes such as Little Angels and The House of Tiny Tearaways. In 2007 she headed an independent review of into the potentially harmful effects of both the Internet and video games on children; this was published in 2008 as 'Safer Children in a Digital World'.
  • Professor Uta Frith
    In 2009, Professor Uta Frith (one of the winners of the 2007 Outstanding Women in Science Award) and Professor Chris Frith were distinguished visitors in the Department where they conducted master classes in developmental and cognitive neuroscience.

The charter

We are committed to supporting women in science and engineering.

Find out more about the Athena SWAN Charter for Women in Science.

Flexible working practices

The department is fully supportive of flexible working practices where possible. Currently two members of academic staff and three members of support staff are on part-time contracts by choice.