Professor Judith Harford wins Irish Research Council Impact Award 2022
Posted: 6 December, 2022
Professor Judith Harford, University College Dublin (UCD), was awarded this year’s Researcher of the Year: Impact Award. The Impact Award is presented to a current or former Irish Research Council awardee who is making a highly significant impact outside of academia.
Professor Harford is Professor of Education and Deputy Head of the School of Education, UCD.Her research focus is on gender and social class in relation to education, particularly in the Irish context. She has leveraged her scholarship and funded research to expose inequalities in relation to gender and social class, raise awareness of these issues at a national level, and work with policy makers to achieve greater equity in and through education.
The impact of Professor Harford’s research in the Irish context has seen her serve on several committees and working groups of the Department of Education and the Teaching Council of Ireland. Her most impactful public projects include a study into the under-representation of women in senior positions in higher education, which led to a symposium on gender equality in higher education held in the Royal Irish Academy.
Her study into the participation of girls in STEM subjects in DEIS Schools in less advantaged areas led to her being nominated for a Teaching Council ‘Teachers Inspire’ award in 2019 and a runner-up award in the 2021 UCD Research Impact Competition.
She is leading a project called Power2Progress which is providing a dedicated programme to more than 600 senior cycle students in 21 designated disadvantaged schools nationally. It comprises weekly after-school on-site tuition, mentoring, career support and visits to the UCD campus. The focus of the programme is to break the cycle of inter-generational disadvantage, de-mystify higher education and build educational resilience. Power2Progress was the centerpiece of a recent symposium, Rethinking Educational Disadvantage, in the Royal Irish Academy.
Professor Harford writes regularly in the national press on issues relating to education and access—bringing her expertise to a wider audience and shaping the discourse at a national level. She is a member of the Royal Irish Academy Social Sciences Committee and the Public Interest Representative on the Law Society of Ireland Board of Examiners.
You can hear more about Judith’s research to date and her reaction to winning the award in the video below.