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Human Resources

Aurora Women's Leadership Development Programme 2022

Queen Mary is proud of its ongoing relationship with Advance HE and is again participating in Aurora 2023.

Reflecting the challenges we are all currently facing with Covid-19, Aurora has been re-designed as a fully virtual experience. All Aurora sessions will now be delivered online, with one face to face event in London. 

What is Aurora?

Aurora is a unique partnership bringing together leadership experts and higher education institutions to take positive action to address the under-representation of women in leadership positions in the sector. It aims to enable women in academic and professional staff roles to think of themselves as future leaders; to influence their institutions and to develop leadership skills.

As part of our core values, we believe in supporting women, working across academic and professional services to achieve their best potential and become future leaders at the university.

Aurora Leadership programme 2022: Developing women leaders at Queen Mary

Participation in the programme will involve attending a series of development days and action learning sets, as well as participating in projects or assignments at Queen Mary which will build their leadership skills.

2022 Cohort Dates

Advance HE have confirmed that their Aurora initiative will run online for 2022/23. There are 6 regional cohort dates beginning between October 2022 and March 2023.

Queen Mary will be participating in the October 2022 intake, as part of South of England cohort. 

• Introduction and Guest Speaker: 4th October 2022
• Identity, Impact and Voice: 11th October 2022
• Core Leadership: 15th November 2022
• Action Learning Set 1: 6th December 2022
• Politics and Influence: 11th January 2023
• Adaptive Leadership Skills: 7th February 2023
• Action Learning Set 2: 7th March 2023

In person event London "Your Future in Higher Education": 22nd March 2023

Who can apply?

Aurora is for staff who identify as women, up to and including senior lecturer level or the professional services equivalent (Grade 7) working in a university, college or related organisation who would like to develop and explore issues relating to leadership roles and responsibilities.

Participants should have the endorsement of their line manager and be committed to developing and enhancing their career.

Participants will be asked to:

  • attend the introduction webinar which will introduce the aims and objectives of Aurora as well as the Action Learning Set Groups (this session will be recorded for participants who join Aurora at a later date);
  • attend each of the four development days, and the two action learning set days organised by participants in their assigned groups;
  • undertake self-directed learning throughout Aurora, aligned with developing interests and where time allows;
  • commit to finding and working with a mentor;
    be prepared to access leadership opportunities and champion for change.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 7th September 2022.

For further information, or to send a completed Aurora application form [DOC 34KB], please e-mail

What other ways can staff get involved?


Aurora participants are required to have a mentor to support and guide them throughout and after the end of the formal learning process. Mentors may be male or female and be well-established and knowledgeable members of the institution who will usually be more senior than the Aurora participant.

Mentors will:

  • Be considered successful in their careers;
  • Be knowledgeable and experienced in their organisation and understand its culture;
  • Have sufficient time available to work with the mentee;
  • Have the endorsement of their Aurora champion;
  • Have sufficient general higher education experience to be able to offer advice and support;
  • Be a good listener;
  • Have a genuine interest in helping women to develop their careers and particularly support his/her mentee;
  • Have a supportive or ‘coaching style’ of communication.
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