Rachael Ainsworth wins Rising Star award

Posted by g.law on 15 May 2020 - 8:14am

Rachael AinsworthDr Rachael Ainsworth, the Institute’s Research Software Community Manager, has been named a Rising Star in the 2020 Rising Star awards run by WeAreTheCity.

The Rising Star awards, now in their sixth year, aim to identify female talent in roles below management level, and to create role models across 20 different industries and professions.

Dr Ainsworth was one of five winners in the education and academia category.

Based in the eScience Lab of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Manchester, she manages the Institute’s Fellowship Programme and Collaborations Workshop series, promoting better research through better software practices.

“To me, this award represents a year of professional and personal growth. I found clarity in terms of which direction I wanted my career to go, and worked hard to make the shift - becoming a Community Manager at the SSI where I could fulfil my passions for community building and open research advocacy,” says Dr Ainsworth. 

“It also represents the success of the HER+Data MCR community, a women in data meetup group that I organise in Manchester. The group has inspired and motivated me through the career stories and insights of Manchester’s Women in STEM. Through this award, I hope to increase the accessibility and impact of HER+Data MCR, an initiative which shares the mission of the Rising Star Awards to showcase extraordinary role models, inspire others and empower them for success. I am truly honoured and appreciative of this award, and look forward to celebrating and networking with all of the inspiring winners at the awards ceremony after lockdown!”

Dr Ainsworth was previously a Research Associate at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, Postdoctoral Research Fellow and PhD Student at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, and Undergraduate Student Intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She received her BSc in Physics from the University of Tennessee and her PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Dublin, Trinity College. Her research involved observing jets from young stars with next-generation radio telescopes to investigate the physical processes that assemble stars like our Sun.

Dr Ainsworth is also an Institute Fellow, FOSTER certified Open Science Trainer, Mozilla Open Leader, Founder and Organiser for the Manchester chapter of the women in data meetup group HER+Data MCR, member of the first cohort of Tech Future Female Leaders, and TEDx speaker.

Rising Star logoThe Rising Star awards were entered by over 1,000 individuals and were judged by a panel of 45 independent judges. Over 35,000 public votes of support were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees from 115 countries.

Vanessa Vallely, Managing Director, WeAreTheCity said, “I am so proud that for the sixth year running WeAreTheCity has been able to shine a light on the achievements of so many remarkable women across the UK.”

“Our 2020 winners join a phenomenal alumni of 550 previous winners who continue to soar, both professionally and personally.”