Tipperary student receives University of Limerick scholarship

Tipperary student receives University of Limerick scholarship

Lauren Hanrahan from Ballyneale, one of 10 recipients of the WiSTEM2D bursary at the University of Limerick

A college student from Ballyneale has earned a prestigious scholarship award at the University of Limerick. 

Lauren Hanrahan, a third year student in the  Faculty of Science and Engineering at UL, was one of ten students to be awarded the 2020 Johnson & Johnson Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing & Design (WiSTEM2D) bursary and award. 

Lauren’s application and interview process for the bursary focused on her particular interest in studying graduate entry medicine. It delved into gender imbalances and stereotyping within the Junior and Leaving Certificate cycle subject choice processes and also gender imbalances in medical specialties.

Lauren thanks Dr Marie Travers who guided everyone through the process and all the speakers who offered wonderful encouragement and insights into the J&J programme including Linda Higgins, Anna Rafferty, Kieran O’Connell, Ita Richardson and University of Limerick President, Professor Kirsten Mey. 

Lauren was presented with her award by Ireland’s first astronaut Dr Norah Patten at a virtual awards ceremony earlier this year. 

Dr Patten, who is a graduate of  UL  and aeronautical engineer, gave a presentation at the ceremony on her journey to become Ireland’s first astronaut and highlighted the gender imbalance that continues to exist in the Science Technology Engineering & Maths (STEM) fields of study. 

 “This programme is an important initiative which serves to support and encourage these female students who, although still in a minority, have made it into the STEM field. This is crucial to keep them in the sector going forward,” said Dr Patten.

Lauren along with other scholarship recipients are benefitting from extensive industry mentoring and leadership training as part of J&J’s WiSTEM2D programme. 

Johnson & Johnson launched its WiSTEM2D scholarship programme in 2015 to support female students undertaking STEM2D degree courses at UL and in universities around the world. The awards are supported by Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre and Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at the University of Limerick.