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SAT and Working Groups

Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team and Working Groups

The Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (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.

Restructure from ASSA team to SAT

people.pngDuring 2010 we established 5 Athena SWAN Self-Assessment (ASSA) teams, one in each of the main administrative units within the department. On the basis of a consultation in 2015, the groups were merged into one team during the early part of 2018. This was done, in part, as a centralised Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT) aids with consistency of approach across NDM and supports target directed action, whilst representation from each of the key Units ensure that we maintain sensitivity to the needs of individual Units. The restructure also provided us with the opportunity to ensure gender balance on the panel. To engage key individuals with the appropriate skills and knowledge to maintain good progress on specific time-limited projects and maintain breadth and depth of involvement of staff and students across NDM a formalised structure of working groups were established for specific projects, reporting into the SAT.

NDM Working Group and SAT Policy (March 2018)

What is the role of the SAT?

The SAT’s primary purpose is to aid the Athena SWAN initiative by contributing to the action plan process and ensuring its implementation. To ensure a broad range of experiences and knowledge are drawn upon, NDM’s Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT) is gender balanced, has representatives from each of the key administrative Units of NDM, a student representative and individuals from a range of staff types and career levels.  The Working Groups report to the SAT, making recommendations and proposing action. The SAT meets termly, and reports to the Senior Management Committee within NDM, who provide strategic direction. The membership of the SAT will be reviewed on an annual basis, ensuring workload of it’s members is considered and representation remains diverse.

Philippa MatthewsPhilippa MatthewsExp Medicine Azim AnsariAzim AnsariExp Medicine Carla WrightCarla WrightTrop Med
Ed GibbsEd GibbsTrop Med
Lisa WhiteLisa WhiteNDM RB/BDI/TDI Fraydoon RastinjadFraydoon RastinjadNDM RB/BDI/TDI Sue WilsonSue WilsonWHG David BartleDavid BartleWHG
Thea PerryThea PerryWHG Pedro Moura AlvesPedro Moura AlvesWHG Andres NoeAndres NoeStudent Rep
Claire WorlandClaire WorlandAthena SWAN

What is the role of the Working Groups?

As a part of the Athena SWAN assessment process, an Action Plan has been developed, and key projects identified. 8 Working Groups have been established in the first instance to investigate the areas under review and propose forward action. The Working Groups report to the SAT.

2018 Structure of the SAT and Working Groups


Express your views and provide feedback

Consultation with the members of the Department will continue to be conducted through surveys, focus groups, target-orientated interviews, committees, student open information sessions, and working groups. We will continue to adapt our current initiatives and develop new ones on the basis of the feedback received, and our surveys will be targeted to inform our understanding of the issues under review during each year. We would urge you to provide your feedback and inform our initiatives by completing the Staff and Student Surveys. The results from these surveys also provide us with essential data for our Athena SWAN application, which is renewed as Awards expire every 5 years.

We have a dedicated e-mail for you to share your views and ideas. Circulars and notices will continue to be used to communicate Athena SWAN activity with staff and students throughout the process; in the form of a termly newsletter, e-mails, posters, leaflets, and table-top signs in each communal or canteen areas.

We will continue to provide updates, guidance, links to resources, information and seek feedback on these dedicated Working for NDM and Athena SWAN website pages.

Strategic Direction

Professor Richard Cornall, Head of Department
Darren Nash, Associate Head of Department (Academic Support and Finance)

Support for SAT and Working Groups

Elena McPhilbin, NDM Head of Human Resources

Claire Worland, NDM Athena SWAN Coordinator

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.


A summary of the recommendations that have been put forward can be seen below.

  • The development of an on-line FAQ resource providing links as signposting and also a distilled version of the pertinent information. The interviews conducted as part of this research provided a list of subject areas and questions.
  • Investigate the possibility of a one-hour on-line course guiding managers to policies and guidance and providing a top-level overview and key points summary as a learning tool.
  • Develop a learning contract to be completed with the PDR.
  • An annual date to be set (no later than the 31 July after you have been confirmed in post) to align all units of NDM to one process, to aid in monitoring and data reporting and to encourage completion.
  • Either party can request a confidential discussion if consensus is not reached 4 weeks from completion of the PDR to facilitate momentum, follow through and usefulness of the PDR process.
  • Follow-up reminders through the year
  • Link PDRs to CVs, emphasising the support for researchers link.
  • Questions to be developed around career barriers.
  • An on-line feedback questionnaire to be developed (based on the ACAS template) upon completion of the PDR meeting, anonymised, to track where further improvement may be needed. Not only aids in further development of the PDR scheme, but also acts as a reflective practice tool for the appraisee.
  • Continue to monitor survey results and feedback on the PDR process
  • Feedback on stats to staff to nurture a positive PDR culture with enhanced understanding of the potential benefits.
  • Changes to the scheme to be well communicated in advance to staff to aid understanding and buy-in.

  • A process flowchart to be published on the NDM Website for easy reference
  • Priority candidate places on training courses to be investigated with training providers.
  • A weekly jobs e-mail to be sent to all redeployees across NDM.
  • A page is developed on the NDM website which includes what it means to be a priority candidate and links to the redeployment pages on the central HR Support website.
  • Redeployment procedure information to be added to page 3 of letter X1, which invites employees on fixed term contract with more than 2 years’ service to a meeting to discuss redeployment.
  • The establishment of an NDM wide redeployment discussion log.
  • To advise PIs/Managers when a new post is being developed or a new post is about to advertised of any redeployees.
  • Review the guidance made available to managers on the redeployment process, particularly for those looking to recruit.
  • Consideration to be given to the development of a list of priority candidates and their key skills and experience. A restricted access document for recruiters, if permission is given by redeployees.
  • Update Supplementary Researchers induction pack to include a sentence at the beginning of the funding section to point researchers towards their supervisor in the first instance, and their grants team, when they are starting to think about applying for funding.
  • Add a link to Research Services ‘Get that Grant’ course in the induction booklet, which is aimed at researchers applying for their first grant.
  • Add to the website pages an ‘Applying for Funding’ page with a list of grants officer contacts, and a sentence or so to detail funders commonly applied to and any areas of expertise within that’s grants team.
  • Add to the website links to key places to find information.
  • Create a list of award holders who would be happy to be contacted by other researchers for advice.
  • Create a network of grants officers
  • Advise staff, via the website pages, of the ability to set up grants alerts for funding bodies.
  • Development of a workflow diagram of how an application works with some key deadlines.
  • Produce a general statement of advice.
  • Ensure students are provided with the links to the appropriate website pages during their induction.

The Working Group arranged a Coaching Event which was held in March 2019 to help raise awareness of the POD (formally OLI) run scheme, which was launched in 2018, and promote its benefits.

  • Pre-registration from 63 individuals from 17 different departments across the University
  • 14 fully booked one-to-one coaching taster sessions.
  • On average, staff rated the event 9/10 for usefulness.
  • Following the event, 69% of respondents said they would like to receive coaching.
  • Following the event there was a 10% increase in people signing up to the POD (formally OLI) Coaching Scheme.

NDM funded 3 individuals for the OLI subsidized places on the Oxford Brookes Workplace Coach Programme, starting in 2019, on the basis of the Working Group recommendations.


  • NDM to send a termly reminder from the HR centre about the POD coaching scheme and other coaching opportunities.
  • NDM to continue to hold annual Coaching events in March following the format already successfully trialled – advertise the next event in Jan 2020 in time for March 2020. URLs should be checked to make sure any reference to OLI now links to POD.
  • Add some podcasts to the NDM website from coachees & coaches to share their experiences and further promote coaching
  • Promote coaching in PDR and probation review documents. Provide links to the POD coaching scheme.

A management team (led by our two Directors of Finance and Operations and in consultation with functional experts) are developing a new governance structure mapping document, to enhance transparency at unit and departmental lels.

  • Listing of career development talks and events around the University went live in March 2019, for 2019.
  • Consideration to be given to the continuation of this resource to raise awareness of career development opportunities.
  • The Working Group understand that NDM are in the process of a large website overhaul. Following this, and the implementation of improved signposting and a more effective search engine tool, it is recommended that a staff survey or series of focus groups be set up to investigate what resources staff want and what staff feel is missing, to pinpoint whether extra resources need to be created for staff needs, or whether current resources need improved signposted.
  • Expand Podcasts and Career Profiles to include more professional, support and technical staff groups.
  • Improve signposting by adding links to specific pages (detailed in the recommendations)
  • Add relevant Professional Registration links to NDM website for staff this applies to.
  • Improve careers advice support for professional and support staff.
  • Have subject-specific information listed to relevant staff training.
  • Have information about Masters courses and funding sources for professional staff.
  • Set up examples of career pathways for various roles.
  • Consider sending career development links to managers in advance of PDRs.
  • Develop a resource page to attach to the PDR and put in the induction booklet.
  • Develop PDR forms that include improved links on career development resources.
  • On NDM website add a staff development resources page link to the Central HR page.