The University of Aberdeen and the Institute of Applied Health Sciences are both fully committed to increasing the representation of women in senior roles and the Aurora programme seeks to support actions taken to address under-

representation at this level. 


Aurora is managed by Advance HE and is a women-only programme which seeks to develop core leadership skills in women who aspire to reach senior levels. Further information can be found on the AURORA website.


Women who are interested in this opportunity will be invited to apply by means of a short application form which will be emailed to Institute members in the autumn of each year. Applicants should be Grade 8/Senior Lecturer or below and be able to attend all programme dates.


Professor Amanda Lee, Director of the Institute of Applied Health Sciences described her experience of Aurora:

 “I was moving into leadership roles and the number of staff I was line managing was growing.  I applied for the scheme to receive advice/support and form networks. It fully met my expectations, and I got a lot out of the scheme on a personal level. I got lots of hints and tips about managing a team including the acknowledgement that one size doesn’t fit all!”

Dr Lucy Thompson, Senior Research Fellow attended 2019/2020 

“There is something quite powerful about being in a room of around 250 women all with the same broad aims. None of us in my cohort realised it would be such a large gathering. Having time and space to focus on you and your career development feels like a luxury and it’s a good reminder to try to make time for this in one’s everyday working life.”

Dr Amudha Poobalan, Senior Lecturer attended 2019/2020

“When you do the AURORA initiative, there is an ‘Action Learning Set’ that is created for you with a few others. This little group work through some tasks while undertaking the initiative. However, what is great about this is the long-lasting friendship that develops; and a support group that is created through this journey. My Action Learning Set have become a close group. Even during the pandemic, we met virtually occasionally and could support each other during the difficult times of overwhelming workload and loneliness. While developing leadership skills, I also found friendship.”

Dr Rosalind Adam, Senior Clinical Lecturer attended 2018/19 

“Aurora exceeded my expectations. I gained practical insights into how to present myself and my research ideas. I learned how to manage challenging professional interactions and relationships and how to approach networking strategically. There were helpful tips on time management, prioritisation, and work-life balance. I heard from various senior leaders about the challenges they had faced as their careers progressed, and how they managed and overcame adversity.”

Dr Mairead Black, Senior Clinical Lecturer attended 2018/19 

“I was keen to overcome imposter syndrome in the early years of my senior clinical lectureship and to be inspired by stories of women excelling in leadership roles. It exceeded my expectations when it came to hearing success stories from other women who, sometimes unexpectedly, found and ran with leadership opportunities. The protected time away from work and even the experience of travelling with fellow-Aurora delegates was great for thinking time and relationship-building.”