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Principal's Medal for Roslin team

Leaders of The Roslin Institute’s Athena SWAN application win 2018 Principal’s Medals of the University of Edinburgh.

Roslin’s Career Development Committee 2017.
Roslin’s Career Development Committee 2017.

Professor Helen Sang, Dr Vicky MacRae and Ms Catherine Eastwood of The Roslin Institute’s Career Development Committee have been named winners of the 2018 Principal's Medals of the University of Edinburgh. They will receive the Exceptional Service Medal.

They are three of this year’s four medal receivers. Undergraduate student Bharat Chaturvedi receives the Contribution to the Community Medal.

First awarded in 2008, the Principal's Medals celebrate the achievements and dedication of the University's community members. Recipients are nominated by colleagues or fellow students.

Exceptional service

The Principal's Medal for Exceptional Service recognises a staff member, or team, who makes a contribution to the University that far exceeds what is expected of their role.

Professor Helen Sang, Dr Vicky MacRae and Ms Catherine Eastwood lead The Roslin Institute’s Athena SWAN related activities, advancing support of gender equality. In October last year, these activities received a departmental Athena SWAN Gold Award. The Roslin Institute currently holds one of only ten awards in the UK.

The team’s activities in support of Roslin’s Athena SWAN aspirations over the last decade have benefitted other departments in the University through mentoring. They have also delivered talks at other institutions, to share their knowledge and the guiding principles for gender equality and career development. Their activities have formed the basis of what are now University-wide initiatives such as exit questionnaires, involvement in the "Career Ready" programme, hosting apprenticeships and providing 1:1 career coaching for academic staff.

We are delighted to have been recognised for our efforts in creating an inclusive and supportive culture within The Roslin Institute, which resulted achieving an Athena SWAN Gold award in 2017. We accept the Principal’s Medal on behalf of the entire Career Development Committee, who lead our efforts towards gender equality, and for all those who have supported and shown engagement with our activities and initiatives over the years.

There has been incremental positive change, measured by our annual staff survey, since our engagement with the Athena SWAN process in 2011. This is the real reward and spurs us on to look for new ways to support staff. It is very heartening to see improvement in the awareness of family friendly policies, promotion processes and access to developmental opportunities, alongside an increase in success of female staff in achieving promotion to higher grades, including a marked increase in the proportion of female professors at the Institute from 22.7% to 35%.

Professor Helen SangFormer Chair of the Career Development Committee, The Roslin Institute

Contribution to the community

The Principal's Medal for Contribution to the Community honours a student or staff member who plays a key role in a project or service that has been of benefit to the wider community.

Bharat Chaturvedi is an undergraduate studying Politics and receives the award in recognition of his work in developing the project Sanitree in his hometown of Bhind, India. The project seeks to provide females in Bhind with access to affordable, reusable sanitary pads. The pilot scheme reached over 2200 women and young girls and it is seeking to expand its activities through its website.

Related links

The Roslin Institute receives Athena SWAN Gold award

Principal’s Medals

Athena SWAN Charter

Investors in Young People



L-R: Vicky MacRae, Cat Eastwood and Helen Sang celebrating the Athena SWAN Gold Award.
L-R: Vicky MacRae, Cat Eastwood and Helen Sang celebrating the Athena SWAN Gold Award.