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Queen's academic appointed to UK equality panel

Professor of Comparative Politics in the School of HAPP and Director of Queen’s Gender Initiative, Yvonne Galligan has been appointed to a prestigious UK body established to promote equality and diversity in academia.

Professor Galligan is one of just eight members of the Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel (EDAP) of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), and the only representative based in Northern Ireland.

REF is a UK-wide assessment of higher-education institutions over a period of years which measures the impact of research across a variety of indicators and awards points accordingly, in effect creating a league table of the most research-intensive universities and colleges. The last REF was in 2014 with the next one is scheduled for 2021.

Going forward, EDAP has a remit to advise the UK higher-education funding bodies, the REF team and the REF panels on the implementation of equality measures.

Professor Galligan is an expert in the political, legislative and legal aspects of national and European policy relating to gender equality, and is regularly commissioned by European institutions and agencies to provide comparative research reports.

She was a member of the UK Independent Commission of Inquiry on The Consequences of Devolution for the UK House of Commons (the McKay Commission), in 2013.

She was also independent chairperson of the Irish Fianna Fail Markievicz Commission in 2015 on measures to implement the 2012 candidate gender quota law.

A Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Society of Arts, and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, she was awarded an OBE in 2014. Earlier this year, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Social Science from the University of Edinburgh.

Commenting on her latest appointment, Professor Galligan said: “I’m honoured and very pleased that I’ve been asked to sit on this important board. Here at Queen’s we’ve done a lot of work on gender equality, as evidenced by our strong record with Athena Swan, but there is still work to be done. “It’s a similar story across the UK. Although there is certainly more awareness around issues like gender pay gaps and the proportion of women at senior levels within the Professoriate, there are often difficulties with implementation. Equality and diversity in research is a particular challenge.

“The establishment of a board such as EDAP can only encourage and lend credibility to the notion that REF submissions should come from as broad and diverse a range of academics as possible, reflecting the reality on the ground.”