Athena SWAN

The Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine enjoys continued success by attracting the best staff and students from around the world, and providing them with the challenges, support, and career development opportunities they need to thrive. We are committed to the principles set within the Athena SWAN charter and are very proud to hold the Athena SWAN Silver Level Award. We are continuously seeking to address gender imbalance and put in place initiatives to create a better working environment for both men and women. We are committed to the success of our staff and students, and strive to create an environment in which they can fully engage, develop and flourish.


Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT) – The third meeting of the Athena SWAN SAT for 2019 took place on the 25th November. The SAT is a group of individuals from across NDM who meet once a term and are tasked with furthering our Athena SWAN work, driving change and promoting equality and diversity across the Department. At the last meeting topics under discussion included; progress on our action plan and its impact, planning for a collaborative careers event in 2020, a debrief of the Diversity in Academia Event held in September, expanding and developing networks, mental health and wellbeing workshops and talks, work within bullying and harassment, and a shifting focus from funding bodies towards demonstrating lasting cultural change.

Working Groups update Nov 2019 – We are now half way through our current Athena SWAN action plan period (Nov 2017 – Nov 2021), which was developed as part of the Athena SWAN assessment and award application process (submitted in Nov 2017). The Action Plan contains 61 individual targets and we have had 8 specific project-based Working Groups working hard to tackle some of the key areas identified within that action plan. Most of these teams have conducted further targeted research, have submitted their recommendations and the projects are now at the implementation phase. To find out more about these projects, the Working Groups and the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT) who oversee these teams please click here. To find out more, and read the latest application and action plan, please click here.

Policies and Practices

To view information about initiatives and policies where the Athena SWAN principles have been embedded in the day-to-day operations of the Department, please see the Working for NDM pages. From there you can access a wide breadth of pages with details on topics such as: flexible working, parents and carers policies, women in science and career profile podcasts, mentoring, careers sessions and resources, training and development.

What is Athena SWAN?

The Equality Challenge Unit’s (ECU)  Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

Why is it important?

The Athena SWAN application process enables departments to reflect on, and celebrate, current organisational and cultural practices that promote gender equality. Athena SWAN also offers a valuable framework for introducing sustainable cultural changes that create a better working environment for both men and women. Soon, Athena Swan accreditation at Silver award level will be necessary when making funding applications to the NIHR, and it is expected other funding bodies will follow suit.

What does it mean to you?

We are continuously seeking to improve our policies and practices and embed equality in our day-to-day activities. We are currently working from our Silver Athena SWAN Award Action Plan to implement initiatives to enhance the department for all. Click on the additional links on the left hand side of this page for more information and guidance on our Athena SWAN work.

Getting involved

You can contribute ideas and feedback in a number of ways, including by contacting your local Athena SWAN Self-Assessment (ASSA) group, attending focus groups, completing surveys or by simply emailing the Athena SWAN Coordinator.

Athena SWAN coordinator