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Fiona Groenhout is the Athena SWAN Advisor and Facilitator in the Social Sciences Division. She can:

•    Provide guidance on the process for your department
•    Attend departmental Self-Assessment Team meetings
•    Help with access to relevant data
•    Review draft applications
•    Support cross-departmental activity.

The division has an Athena SWAN Toolkit (please contact Fiona), comprising:

1.    Guidance for departments
2.    Suggested project plan
3.    Annotated departmental award application form 
4.    Template action plan
5.    Staff data guidance
6.    Student data guidance
7.    A data visualisation workbook for producing charts and graphs

An overview of Athena SWAN

You can choose to apply for a Bronze, Silver or Gold award. To do so, you will need to establish a Self-Assessment Team to drive your work forward.

There are two submission deadlines each year (in April and November). Awards last for four years from the submission deadline.

You will need commitment and leadership from your Head of Department, and time commitments from your Self-Assessment Team members. You must demonstrate engagement and consultation with your staff and students and draw up an action plan with SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) actions.

Staff and student data requirements

You will need to analyse and present your staff and student data. These are available as follows:

Student data
•    An Athena SWAN report is available here
    Further resources are available here
•    If you cannot access the data, contact:

Staff data
•    Staff data is provided centrally, as detailed here
•    You will need to complete the user access form available on the right hand side of the above webpage, and seek approval from your local HRIS Guardian (in most cases, this will be your Head of Administration). 

Surveys and qualitative data

You will need to run Staff and Student surveys, and you may wish to conduct follow up discussions, in order to:

•    Help you to understand the issues as experienced by your staff and students
•    Enable you to demonstrate engagement and consultation within your department
•    Allow you, in future applications, to benchmark progress

Example student surveys and a template Staff Experience Survey are available from Fiona.

Application form

Remember that the application is not an article or a grant application and doesn’t need to be too formal. It will be important to convey your department’s personality to the panel, as this gives a sense of local culture.

Be honest about your data and any issues – don’t try to hide these or place the blame elsewhere, but do ensure you have corresponding actions to address any issues you identify.