Following the inaugural Women Global Chair call, the International Relations Office is pleased to announce that two world-leading academics will join our University as 2019/2020 Women Global Chairs. Bath will welcome Professor Soraya Seedat, an expert on global mental health at Stellenbosch University, from January 2020. From March 2020, Bath will host Professor Jacqui True, who is a renowned scholar on gender-based violence at Monash University.

The Women Global Chair Scheme highlights women in academia through the funding of international visiting professorships. Our newest visiting professors will be able to use the Global Chair platform to enrich the celebration of women academics across all disciplines at the University of Bath.

The appointments of Professor Seedat and Professor True will lend further support to Bath's core partnerships in Australia and South Africa, and will strengthen our University's global research networks in the fields of mental health and gender.

Professor Seedat leads global mental health research at Stellenbosch

Professor Soraya Seedat is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Executive Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Stellenbosch, and will be hosted by Professor Sarah Halligan in the Department of Psychology.

She is a prominent expert on post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders, and has more than 20 years of clinical, epidemiological and basic neuroscience research experience as a psychiatrist, including as a prestigious South African Research Chair. With a focus on the mental health of children and adolescents, she has worked with the some of the most vulnerable population groups in South Africa, while leading collaborative efforts to build research capacities across lower and middle-income countries in South-East Asia and Latin America.

Commenting on Professor Seedat's appointment, Professor Sarah Halligan said:

I’m absolutely thrilled that we will be welcoming Professor Soraya Seedat as a Global Chair. Soraya is an international leader in child and adolescent mental health, with expertise ranging from psychiatric genomics to intervention-based research. Her appointment will be a major opportunity to consolidate our existing links and to develop a wider range of collaborations in the global mental health field. I’m very much looking forward to hosting her in Bath.

Head of the Department of Psychology, Professor Gregory Maio, added:

The visit from Professor Seedat is a fantastic opportunity for the University. Professor Seedat is an exceptional international academic who will help consolidate and further develop networks that build on our particular strengths in studying the psychological impacts of childhood adversity. I see important possibilities for collaborative international research development, particularly in light of the prominence of mental health in UKRI funding priorities.

Professor True is a prominent gender and international relations scholar at Monash

We are also honoured to welcome Professor Jacqui True, FASSA, who is Professor of International Relations at the School of Social Sciences at Monash University. She is the founder and Director of Monash University’s Centre for Gender, Peace and Security, which is a leading global, policy-oriented research centre on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in the Asia-Pacific region.

Professor True's research is focused on understanding the political economy of violence against women globally. As well, her work examines the gender dimensions of violent extremism and women's roles in conflict, and analyses how gender-sensitive peace processes impact on women’s participation in post-conflict societies. She is also a prominent public advocate for the WPS agenda and gender-inclusive peace building.

Professor True will be hosted by Dr Jennifer Thomson in the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies (PoLIS). Following Professor True's successful appointment, Dr Jennifer Thomson shared the following:

We are delighted that Professor Jacqui True will be joining PoLIS, University of Bath as Global Chair in 2020. Professor True is a globally recognised expert in gender, peace and security and the political economy of sexual and gender-based violence. Her visit will be particularly timely as it will coincide not only with International Women’s Day 2020, but also the 20th anniversary of the first United Nations Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace and Security. We look forward to her public lecture as well as a range of interventions with Bath staff and students, including work with the Gender and Sexuality Research Cluster which works across the University.

Dr Nicholas Startin, Head of the Department of PoLIS, said of Professor True's forthcoming visit to Bath:

It is fantastic news that Professor True will be with us in PoLIS as a Global Chair next year. She is a renowned scholar in the field of Gender, Peace and Security and her work aligns clearly with PoLIS research interests - in particular with our burgeoning Gender and Sexuality cluster, which has amassed real traction in the last 12 months both within and beyond the institution.

The call for nominations for our Global Chairs 2020/2021 will open on 1 October 2019. If you are interested in hosting a Global Chair at Bath, please get in touch with the International Relations Office.