DCU’s Access Programme and JPMorgan Chase launch Step Up in STEM

Photo (L-R) Sophie Phipps, Kelsey Scully, David Ogunniyi, Dylan Nolan, Sarah Proudfoot

Dublin City University Access and JPMorgan Chase have today (December 6th) announced the new Step Up in STEM programme.

Research shows that women and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are consistently underrepresented on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) courses, and as a result, STEM careers.

Over the next two years, Step Up in STEM hopes to inspire a love of STEM subjects and an interest in STEM careers through outreach activities that will reach a thousand transition year students in disadvantaged schools linked to DCU Access.

The DCU Access programme is Ireland’s largest, with almost 1,300 Access Scholars, representing every county in Ireland, studying at undergraduate and postgraduate level across the university.

JPMorgan Chase’s support is part of the firm’s $350 million global commitment to prepare people for the future of work and connect them with the skills they need for promising, sustainable career pathways.


Speaking about Step Up in STEM, Carin Bryans, Senior Country Officer at JPMorgan Chase Ireland  said:

“We are delighted to support this new initiative by DCU. JPMorgan Chase is committed to preparing young people for the jobs of today and tomorrow. We are passionate about supporting social mobility and we believe that career orientation and exposure to employers can be great tools to engage young people and support them throughout their educational journey towards careers in STEM. This investment is an example of this commitment in action.”


Prof Daire Keogh, President of Dublin City University said:

“I warmly welcome JPMorgan Chase’s major investment in this initiative, which adds a new dimension to DCU’s extensive work to advance inclusion in STEM. The project builds on DCU’s long term engagement with schools in our region, broadening horizons for thousands of students in disadvantaged schools, and developing key skills that young people will need in their future education and careers.”


Dr. Claire Bohan, Director of Student Support and Development in Dublin City University said:

“This programme has the potential to inspire a life-long interest in STEM in students, and will help us to address the need for greater diversity in this sector. It is clear that our system is not always a level playing pitch for young people from disadvantaged schools. Step Up in STEM addresses this by boosting the confidence and skills of students who may think that University is ‘not for them’.”

The programme will have three main components:

  • Workshops to explore the wonders of STEM through experiential learning in a university environment. These workshops will bring DCU researchers, teachers and young people together to learn, share ideas and create.

  • A programme of coding activities that will include training for teachers to deliver coding lessons in their classroom settings and access for students to Smart Skills Coding Bootcamps on campus during holidays.

  • Careers in STEM events to promote career opportunities and share real life experiences and role modelling.


About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase is a global leader in financial services, offering solutions to the world’s most important corporations, governments and institutions in more than 100 countries. They are committed to working to uplift all communities. Through ongoing investments, business initiatives and philanthropic commitments, they aim to help employees, customers, clients and communities grow and thrive sustainably – with opportunity for all.

J.P. Morgan can trace its roots in Ireland back to 1919, and we are now one of the largest providers of custody and fund services in Ireland. They offer products and services from our corporate and investment bank, including, fund services, custody, treasury services, commercial banking, merchant services and fixed income trading.


About DCU Access

From its inception as a small technological university DCU has sought to actively engage and provide equal access to all groups within the wider community.

In 1989, DCU’s Governing Body voted in favour of implementing a local initiative aimed at addressing the low numbers of students entering third-level from one of its closest neighbourhoods in North Dublin, Ballymun. In September 1990, a new scholarship scheme, later to become the DCU Access Programme, welcomed six students into DCU.

Today, almost 1,300 Access Scholars, representing every county in Ireland, are studying at undergraduate and postgraduate level across the university.

Impact Stories