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Queen Mary Academy


UNIque is an online women's development programme for early career researchers.

To register to participate

in the April-June 2024 Cohort

complete this form

UNIque is a development course created by a woman and is open to women and non-binary people.*

The early career research stage is tough. Interesting, intellectually challenging, pushing back frontiers of knowledge, working with talented people from around the world — all fantastic things. But have you ever:

  • Wondered what on earth the next career step is going to be?
  • Wondered if you can have a university career?
  • Felt surrounded by researchers who are brighter and more together than you?
  • Felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of 'stuff' you are supposed to do as a researcher?
  • Thought of leaving academia but have just spent so long getting to this point?
  • Looked at those 'high ups' in your institution and wondered where the women are?
  • Tried to explain to your parents that postdocs seldom get Nobel Prizes? 

The gender pay gap in UK universities is 15.5%. 
Only 25% of professors are female. Big battles. 

But as a researcher you are focused on your own battle: your career. 
The only person who is going to prioritise your career is... you.

So what if you could:

  • Step back to understand your career options in and out of the university sector
  • Explore what is important to you, so decisions are based on your values
  • Get clear no-nonsense advice to help you get that next position
  • Learn tools to help you set goals and realise them

AND what if you could do this with a bunch of like-minded women from Queen Mary, King's College London and Imperial College London?

So welcome to UNIque — the online programme for university women. Early career researchers just like you.

*Please note: The videos and exercises refer to women and use the pronouns she/her. It is every person’s responsibility to decide whether UNIque is right for them, but we are committed to giving as much information as possible to help you make that decision.

Format and dates

The format is simple. A fortnightly webinar – a chance to say hello to women researchers from the three universities, ask questions, and watch on record if you miss it. In between the webinars, you will have to complete some self-guided video lessons and activities to explore the focus of the webinar. The topics covered are: you and the university; you and yourself; you and your career, and you and your goals.

The programme is structured as follows:

  • Launch webinar
  • Video lessons and activities
  • Week 1 webinar
  • Video lessons and activities
  • Week 2 webinar
  • Video lessons and activities
  • Week 3 webinar
  • Video lessons and activities
  • Closing webinar

Dates for 2023/2024 are as follows:

January Cohort (closed for recruitment): Wednesdays 17/01/24, 31/01/24, 14/02/24, 28/02/24, 13/03/24

April Cohort: Wednesdays 10/04/2024, 24/04/24, 08/05/24, 22/05/24, 05/06/24


Trainer: Dr Emma Williams


To apply

Recruitment for January is closed. To register for the April cohort, please use this Expression of Interest  form. 

Places will be offered on a first come, first served basis and priority will be given to postdoctoral researchers and ECRs who are on temporary teaching contracts.

For more information contact Dr Rui Pires Martins (

You should take this course if you want to put some time aside to make reflections on your career because it is always useful to think about your path and your possibilities.
— Former participant of UNIque, 2023
Attending UNIque made me reassess my career trajectory and identify areas that I need to prioritise. It gave me confidence to see that I can make changes to enable me to be in charge of my own future and not just fall into jobs as I have done since finishing my PhD.
— Former participant of UNIque, 2021
Confidence building in the walk-through exercises e.g. talking about our work without feeling ashamed or uncomfortable, drilling out some of those bad, probably gender-based (or in my case, I believe personality-driven) tendencies to be much more comfortable underselling oneself! It's not a bad trait but at some point, we discover that academia demands more self PR!!
— Former participant of UNIque, 2023
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