Recipients: Standing: Dr Narelle Eather, Dr Melissa Tadros, Dr Kcasey McLoughlin. Sitting: Dr BoBae Choi, Dr Karen Blackmore, Dr Rachel Buchanan, Dr Rachael Unicomb.DR Kcasey McLoughlin feels “excited” and “humbled” to have been chosen as one of seven recipients of the University of Newcastle’s Women In Research Fellowship, saying it complements her owninterest in and commitment to gender equity.

UON Pro Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation, Professor Deborah Hodgson said the fellowship was designed to champion diversity and gender equity in the workplace and support the development of women’sacademic careers.

She said women represented 56 per cent of the university sector workforce, but held only 35 per cent of senior academic positions.

“The program empowers recipients to pursue their research goals, manage their career trajectory and exceed in ways that may otherwise not be possible,” Professor Hodgson said.

Fellows have access to mentorship from senior academics; training, placement and travel opportunities; as well as support juggling family and carer responsibilities.

“I was really excited and really humbled by the opportunity,” said Dr McLoughlin, who is a lecturer in Newcastle Law School.

“It’s a real investment in my career.

“It really lifts my spirits that my employer is supportive of women in research and willing to think creatively about how to address some of the barriers or hurdles of womenprogressingat the university.”

Dr McLoughlin’s PhD was conferred in 2016 and received the n Political Studies Association PhD Thesis Prize. It explored the relationship between gender and judging in the High Court of .

“It used to be thought that women spoke in a different judicial voice,” she said.

“My research shows its not as simple as that –people don’t judge based on gender alone.

“Judging is more or less a human activity.

“It’s important to have diversity in voices so it reflects the population.”

Dr McLoughlinsaid she was interested in applying her research in domestic courts in the United Kingdom and USA and international courts.

She said she was also interested in how the law can be used as a tool to achieve gender equity and exploringthe notion that the law is gendered or reflects a particular gender bias.

She said the fellowship will allow her to attend international conferences and providearesearch assistant to help “turbo-chargemy research output for the year”.