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This Prof Can.

This Prof Can Gallery

THIS PROF CAN is a celebration of our progress towards a better gender balance at the University of Bradford.

We recognise there is a lot more to be done, as although women make up some 47% of our academic staff, only 28% of our professors are female. Nevertheless we are indebted to our colleagues who amaze us with their courage, determination, passion and unique perspectives. We are grateful to them for providing us with this insightful commentary on their achievements, and challenges they have faced in their careers and personal lives.


Get inspired by our women Professors.


My achievements include an interest in toxicology, and cancer biology trying to identify those individuals who are most at risk of developing cancer. In 2016, I was nominated for an Albert Einstein award for this type of work. I am a Fellow of various professional bodies and government committees. I have also worked in industry [ICI plc]. I have successfully supervised 29 PhD students.

I really enjoy research and teaching students. I have taught at the Universities of Sydney, Australia, and Bradford. My proudest achievements are having 2 daughters and 4 grandsons.

Diana Anderson
Professor of Biomedical Science

It has been my constant mission to promote diversity at all levels of leadership. However, I remain endangered – one of only a few Black Women Professors in the UK! I enjoy supporting people and organisations, celebrating diversity and promoting equality in public, private and third sector organisations globally.

I feel honoured to lead an area that underpins our University's core value, and to be recognised with numerous international awards – including being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for my contributions to higher education and equality.

Uduak Archibong MBE
Professor of Diversity

As a teenager the combination of science (pharmacology of medicines) and health advice from pharmacists attracted me. Studying pharmacy at Bradford gave me a passion for pharmacy practice research. Self-funding my part time PhD while working, I was bold and applied for a junior lecturer post. My career has involved collaborating with many role models – starting with my Grandma in a team of fantastic women working part time at a local pharmacy.

I've come a long way from being the first person in my family to go to University to my OBE. Things are always better done together!

Alison Blenkinsopp OBE
Professor of the Practice of Pharmacy

I am fascinated by how the brain and eye work together to allow us to perceive the world around us. To explore this I combine my understanding of physics, from my first degree, with techniques from experimental psychology, and computational modelling.

I come from Argentina, the only child of a scientist and an artist. My dad died when I was starting University so I studied part-time while working as tutor and lab demonstrator; I have never stopped learning, teaching and mentoring and hope I never will.

Marina Bloj
Professor of Visual Perception

I began my professional career as a student nurse at Guys Hospital, then completed midwifery training at Queen Charlotte's and went on to occupy senior clinical roles in Midwifery before turning to research and teaching.

My Doctoral Study inspired in me a preoccupation concerning ‘how clinicians learn’. This has indeed been the fortification for my time in Bradford where a rewarding career enables this quest to enrich the experience of all our students – and to change their lives by finding knowledge as not something to simply accept – rather to be worthy of their intellectual challenge and used to make a difference in society

Gwendolen Bradshaw
Professor of Health Service Education

My career began in a largely female dominated nursing profession, where the majority of leaders were male.

Recognising the significant benefits to patient outcomes in combining clinical expertise with academic excellence I embarked on a second career in Higher Education, developing expertise in evidence based practice and educational development.

During the early stages of my career I had three young children and relied heavily on the support of my mother June. Balancing my career and family responsibilities has been rewarding and challenging; it has developed my resilience, confidence and effective leadership skills.

Shirley Congdon
Professor of Educational Development

My expertise is in developing and evaluating services and supports for people living with dementia and their family carers.

I am interested in what it is like to live with dementia, from the person's perspective. I got interested in this area as I felt we as a society under estimated what people living with dementia could contribute. I was drawn to academia because I thought that if we could demonstrate people's abilities and how they were compromised by what we did, then we would help to change things for them.

Murna Downs
Professor of Dementia Studies

My academic achievements include the delivery of internationally leading edge research and scholarship on the study of working lives, notably critical approaches to leadership, gender, diversity and ethics. I believe that professors should provide research leadership, especially to early career researchers and postgraduate research students.

I organise, coordinate and participate in seminars, workshops, reading exchange events as well as more formalised research reviews and mentoring sessions for colleagues within the School, across the University and in the wider international HE.

Jackie Ford
Professor of Leadership and Organization Studies

I was 27, married to a coal miner and mother of two sons when I enrolled to study for my first degree – the first person in my family to go to university. I fell in love with studying.

Years later, I'm a Professor of Organisation Theory (and a grandmother), and my intellectual work gets more and more enjoyable.

My philosophy today is: pass on this knowledge, learning and wisdom to the next generation – and anyone who'll listen. But remember to keep on learning – we should never stop learning.

Nancy Harding
Professor of Organisation Theory

I'm not sure of how I got to be a Professor of Radiography. I've always asked questions but haven't always got the answers I wanted, or indeed any answer at all! I realised over time that the lack of response was probably because there were no answers (yet!).

Radiographers work at the interface between patients, service and digital imaging technologies. As such, they have unique healthcare insights informed by their multi-faceted role. My ambition is for radiographers to realise their potential as healthcare professionals and, through multi-disciplinary, multi-perspective research, optimise their important contribution to health.

Maryann Hardy
Professor of Radiography and Imaging Practice Research

The University of Bradford originally declined my application to do a degree because I left school at 16 without A-levels. However, I was determined, did an Access course and achieved first class honours and a PhD. Ironically, last year I was Dean of that same Faculty. It's a privilege to work in academia and very rewarding.

I've been blessed by fabulous colleagues and outstanding mentors to share with and learn from. I'm currently Chair of the Global STEP Family Enterprising Project leading 36 universities to research successful transgenerational entrepreneurship.

Carole Howorth
Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Business

I got my professorship in 2005 and am the first female professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics. My research has been revolved around aeronautical communications, being a part of the demonstration team for the transmission of the first mobile phone call from an aircraft in Europe in 2004. Being a female working in male dominated environment has been challenging but with my supportive husband and charming son, work has been less stressful than it could have been. I found housework therapeutic and at times inspiring to my research.

Y. Fun Hu
Professor of Wireless Communications Engineering

My research investigates the politics of aid and reconstruction in post-conflict Asia, an interest that stemmed from working as a newspaper reporter in Asia in my twenties. I've written or co-written five books in this field. Because my research requires a lot of overseas travel, balancing work and family commitments can be difficult. I've been fortunate to have a partner who embraced the 'stay-at-home dad' role, and three very portable children.

Attitudes to women academics still sadly fall short of equality, but in my experience female leadership and collegiality make a huge difference.

Caroline Hughes
Professor of Conflict Resolution and Peace

I am a critical social psychologist whose work sits at the intersection of social psychology, sociology and other social sciences. My research interests focus on issues around gender, parenting, identity and health. I have a particular interest in what society constructs as 'good' mothering and fathering, and have applied this to a variety of areas including infant feeding, older mothers and fathers in primary care-giving roles.

Alongside my role at Bradford, I contribute to my professional body, the British Psychological Society, in a variety of leadership positions. My career and drive has definitely benefited from a very supportive partner and two wonderful daughters to keep me on my toes and working to make a difference.

Abigail Locke
Professor of Psychology

My research expertise lies in the subjective wellbeing of children. I am currently leading on a 26 country study of child well-being and publishing on the international impact of poverty on child welfare and well-being. At the UK level, I have recently been appointed to co-chair the JUCSWEC Research Committee. In my childhood, my mother constantly filled me with the belief that I could achieve anything that I wanted to do. She had a deep respect for education and the importance of women making their own unique contribution to its advancement.

Colette McAuley
Professor of Social Work

I'm a psychologist with expertise in language and memory. I didn't set out to be a career academic, but was encouraged by fantastic university tutors whilst doing my degree, and I'm very happy to be in a role that is hugely varied, from one-to-one meetings with students, to lecturing to classes of 500, to meetings about strategy for the university – and my own research, when I can fit it in! Every day is different and brings new challenges and opportunities.

I am a single mother of two children, so the work-life balance is challenging, but I believe universities are a very good place to work in terms of flexibility to support parents.

Catriona M. Morrison
Professor of Psychology

I have had a long and fascinating career in clinical practice and academia. I started work as an occupational therapist in mental health services in 1976, entering the world of research ten years later because it offered the flexibility which suited family life at the time. I soon found that research was for me and, significantly supported by others along the way, have made a success of this second career. My top tips would be to be persistent despite the inevitable knock backs, keep engaged with current issues in society and with policy and be sure to celebrate what goes well.

Gail Mountain
Professor of Applied Dementia Research

I am an international academic with teaching and research experience in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Romania. My research interests include the sustainability assessment of the built environment. I have developed the first sustainability assessment framework for noise barriers and lead the development of the first Eurocode Standard for the sustainability assessment of road traffic noise reducing devices.

Having led multi-national research projects and contributing to course development in several countries was challenging, but has given me a sense of achievement; also my son, Johnny, embracing a career in STEM education brings me absolute pleasure!

Crina Oltean-Dumbrava
Professor of Sustainable Built Environment

‘What happens when the war is over?’ is a question that has driven my teaching and research interests since coming to Peace Studies nearly 25 years ago. It is a question that has enabled me to use analyses of gender relations in research and publications, and to find a fantastic network of feminists working on similar themes. I am now researching the impact of combat on men's mental health and behaviour.

I held several university management positions over the years, which taught me a lot, and I have also enjoyed the privilege of working alongside our local communities in Bradford, in several roles including secondary school governor.

Donna Pankhurst
Professor of Peacebuilding and Development

I became a professor in January 2013 and am still surprised to find myself with such a title. I have always been torn between research and practice as a clinical psychologist. For years, I kept a foot in both camps, working part-time so I could spend time with our two children. With offspring now thoroughly independent, I regained freedom of time and a chance to move to a new challenge. It's a constant pleasure to be still learning new things, while also contributing to better dementia care research.

Jan R Oyebode
Professor of Dementia Care

Being a single parent meant including Conor, who was born during the first year of my psychology degree and Rory, born in the second year of my PhD, in my work activities. Now grown men, they tell me that they enjoyed being dragged half way around the world to attend research meetings. Spending time with Conor and Rory also means that I take regular breaks from work. It is my boys, therefore, who I have to thank for my success and for the encouragement that they continue to provide to pursue an academic career.

Barbara Stewart-Knox
Professor of Psychology (Food Behaviour)