The Aurora programme includes many opportunities for reflection, which helps with providing insights into our own character and professional effectiveness. It provides a safe environment to explore and experiment with leadership strategies; without realising it, being on the programme has made me become a bolder person professionally.

Ai Lyn Tan, Associate Professor, Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, School of Medicine.

What is Aurora?

Aurora is a women-only leadership development programme designed and facilitated by Advance HE.  Aurora was created to help address the under-representation of women in senior roles in higher education.

Participating in Aurora provides delegates with the opportunity to explore the nature of leadership and what it means to them, learn about the importance of visibility and ‘voice’, and consider the leadership skill set they already have. It introduces organisational culture and politics, ways of working within them and the importance of developing networks and establishing lasting mutually supportive connections. It looks at whether there are ‘gendered’ ways of leading, identifies personal underlying values and principles, and explores adaptive leadership skills.

The programme is delivered through day events, guest speakers, knowledge sharing, mentoring, action learning, watch parties on pertinent topics, coffee and connect opportunities and self-directed study –  to ensure your learning has a more enduring impact. The programme is for colleagues at or above lecturer level or Grade 7 technicians and those in professional services. 

The University of Leeds has been an active member from the beginning, supporting over 180 participants in their leadership career trajectory.  Potential participants are recognised and nominated through their faculty/professional services area, and you can also self-nominate. There are limited places and applications will be reviewed by a University-Wide panel.

Applying for the 2022-2023 programme

Applications for the Aurora 2022-2023 programme are open until Monday 22 August 2022. The application form provides further information about the programme, when it will be taking place, what to consider and how to apply. The core elements of the programme require you to commit to 7.5 days and 5-6 mentoring hours from January 2023 to July 2023. 

You can apply for Aurora by completing the application form on MS forms. Because you cannot save progress on the form you can download a Word Document version of the application form so you can prepare in advance and draft your answers if you need. When applying you will need to provide a valid account code. The programme fees are £925 plus travel expenses, however, a limited number of places are part-funded by OD&PL. More details about funding of the programme is available on our application form.

The deadline for receiving applications is Monday 22 August 2022. Applications will then be reviewed by a University-wide panel and confirmation will be communicated by the end of September 2022.

Aurora Alumni

If you are interested in Aurora and would like to find out who our Aurora Alumni are, you can find many of them on our Aurora Alumni webpage.