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Athena SWAN toolkit

Find out useful resources that will support you at any stage of the Athena SWAN process.

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Athena SWAN focuses on diversity, equality and inclusion across our academic, professional staff and student community

Key operational documents

  1. If you're new to Athena Swan, you'll find an overview of the charter, charter materials, information pack and more on the main Athena Swan page hosted by Advance HE. If you're interested in renewing your award at the same level, visit the Renewals webpage for guidance, advice and a link to the application form. If you want to find your Athena Swan Lead at Departmental or Faculty level, check out the Athena Swan Network page.

  2. After you familiarise yourself with the process, the key document to refer to when writing your submission is the Advance HE Transformed Athena SWAN Handbook. This document will help you better understand how the submission works as the handbook showcases key sections, what data to present and how to conduct an effective analysis, which will help create an action plan to address any issues you have identified within your application. There is also guidance on how your application will be assessed, as well as the rubric used, here.

  3. Once you have met with DSAT - Departmental Self Assessment Committee - or an ED&I - Equality, Diversity and Inclusion - Committee, it might be helpful to start looking at data to identify any issues, gaps, success stories or any trends. Every year you'll receive a departmental data pack that covers the data required for Athena Swan.

  4. After looking at quantitative data, you are invited to check out Athena Swan Culture survey template found on pg 65-65 in the Information pack to ensure you collect all the required qualitative evidence. You can download an example staff survey from our Department for Health here, which you can use as the basis of your own survey.

  5. Once you have gathered all data and information required for an Athena Swan submission, your Athena Swan team can focus on identifying key issues and introducing appropriate actions. Throughout the entire Athena Swan process, Equality Charters Manager is here to support you from answering any queries to carrying out a review of your draft and more.

  6. If successful, your Athena Swan award is valid for five years. When your award expires, you can apply for an upgrade using the above guidance or renew the existing award at the same level. The process focuses on progress made since your initial action plan and your future priorities.

Tips from panellists and critical friends

There are many resources out there to support you during the submission writing stage. We have put together some documents that include Top tips and insights from experienced Athena SWAN panellists, to share best practice and help you to write your application.

AdvanceHE has a library of resources, including a list of good practice initiatives for you to choose from too. We also recommend you to keep regular contact with your ED&I Officer throughout the process, raising any concerns and asking for advice at any stage of the submission.

External reports

If you want to learn what research is showing to be effective in supporting women's progression, retention and success, check the recent well-received external reports by RSC and AdvanceHE.

Also, have a look at this Advance HE report from the Awards Ceremony in December 2019.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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