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2023 Phillips Award: Dr June McCombie

For pioneering and sustained contributions to diversity and inclusion within the physics and broader STEM community.

Dr June McCombie has been active in promoting diversity within the STEM community throughout her professional career. Her work with the Institute of Physics (IOP) on diversity and equality has been extensive, and she was a key driving force in the initial phase of the IOP Juno programme, which was established to identify best practice from female IOP members in university physics departments. McCombie was chair of the Juno Awards Panel from 2007–2012 and her contribution to this played a large role in her receipt of an MBE in 2013 for services to science. A review of the Juno scheme in 2013 by heads of physics departments outlined a range of benefits, most notably in raising awareness of gender issues and leading to improved working practices.

McCombie's contribution to diversity and inclusion within IOP continues to the present. She is a past (2003–2013) and present (2016 onwards) member of the IOP Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee and is also an elected member of the IOP Council with special responsibility for the D&I portfolio. She has had many other diversity-related roles, both within IOP and out in the broader STEM community. For example, she served as a member of the IOP Opening Doors site visit team in 2015, which looked at gendered STEM teaching in secondary schools. She was also a member of the Women in Science and Technology Focus Group from 2014–2016, an initiative supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Alongside the above, McCombie is a specialist in molecular physics and astrophysical chemistry, and has published widely in these areas. She is also actively engaged in various issues surrounding STEM education and public engagement. Indeed, she is currently chair of the STFC Advisory Panel for Public Engagement.