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Aurora: Development Programme for women

People First


"We will create excellent development and progression opportunities so that employees can take ownership of their own career and personal development."

In support of the University’s commitment to promoting leadership development and career progression for women, Queen’s supports female staff to attend the Advance HE Aurora leadership development programme.

The programme is aimed at women and those who identify as a woman, up to Senior Lecturer level or the professional services equivalent (staff at level 2 of our Leadership and Management Framework typically, but not exclusively Academic staff, grades AC2 – AC4 and Professional Services staff at grades 7 – 9), with the potential to progress into more senior roles. Queen's has committed to supporting a number of individuals from each Faculty and Professional Services to complete the Aurora programme.

  • What is involved in the Aurora programme?

    Aurora addresses core areas associated with leadership success:

    • understanding organisations and the sector
    • developing leadership behaviours, skills and knowledge
    • identifying and overcoming barriers and obstacles
    • growing confidence and a leadership identity
    • building networks, coalitions and support processes

    Further information about the programme is available on the Advance HE website

  • What additional support is provided by Queen's?

    In addition to providing financial support to enable staff to participate in Aurora, Queen's provides initial support through structured networking events and guidance for mentors. Each year, we hold a welcome event which is open for all new and past participants. This is an opportunity to build connections with fellow participants while also hearing from past participants about their experiences.

    An integral part of the programme is having access to mentoring support throughout the programme. All Queen’s participants will have a mentor allocated via the Queen’s Gender Initiative (QGI) mentoring scheme.

    Participants and mentors alike have access to our interactive mentoring guide.

    There is a further opportunity to build connections and broaden your network through the Aurora Coffee Morning that takes place halfway through the year. This event is open to past, current and prospective participants in the programme.

  • What are the dates for the 2020/21 programme?

    The programme requires participants to commit to 6 days’ development from November 2020 – May 2021 and you must complete all elements of the programme in the same academic year (Sept 2020 – July 2021)

    Please note that the 2020/21 programme will be offered online, with a proposed face to face networking event available in 2021, when circumstances allow. Cohorts are based on geographical location to allow for specific groups to come together if they wish and to potentially make it easier for groups to meet face to face for a proposed networking event should conditions allow. However if particular dates don’t suit you from the Ireland cohort, you are able to join a cohort from another geographical area on a module date that suits. Once you have booked your dates however, you can only change 1 date if required, as otherwise charges are incurred. Note however that you must attend the Introductory Webinar and both action learning sets at the same cohort.

    Dates for the Ireland cohort are as follows:

    • Intro Webinar: 24 November 2020
    • Identity, Impact and Voice: 1 December 2020
    • Politics and Influence: 19 January 2021
    • Action Learning Set 1: 9 February 2021
    • Core Leadership Skills: 9 March 2021
    • Adaptive Leadership Skills: 20 April 2021
    • Action Learning Set 2: 11 May 2021
    • How do I apply for the 2020/21 programme?
      • The Aurora programme is aimed at staff at level 2 of the Leadership and Management Framework , typically but not exclusively, Academic staff at grades AC 2 - 4 and Professional Services staff at grades Grade 7 - 9
      • Interested staff who meet the grade criteria above can complete the application form, with short supporting statement from Director/Head of School, and forward to by Friday 28 August 2020
      • Applications are reviewed and participants selected at Faculty Executive Board/Registrar’s Group meetings in September 2020
      • Names of successful applicants are forwarded to Organisational Development in early October 2020 who contact participants with full details of programme, next steps etc.
      • Please hold all dates in your diary at time of application

    You can hear from some of our previous Aurora participants in the videos below.