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Athena SWAN

The School of Natural Sciences came into being on 1st August 2018 from a merger between the Schools of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography (SENRGy), Biological Sciences and Chemistry. SENRGy was awarded the Bronze Award in December 2016 and the new School of Natural Sciences Self-Assessment Team (SAT) are working hard on the submission for the new school, which will be submitted in April 2020.

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises the advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.

The Equality Challenge Unit’s 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.

The Athena SWAN Charter covers women (and men where appropriate) in:

  • academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
  • professional and support staff
  • trans staff and students

In relation to their:

  • representation
  • progression of students into academia
  • journey through career milestones
  • working environment for all staff

SENRGy was awarded the Bronze Award in December 2016

Mrs Carol Scott receiving the Athena SWAN award on behalf of SENRGy, from Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society and Director of the Francis Crick Institute

Links to Athena Swan at BU

Links to Athena Swan

SNS Mentoring Scheme for Early Career Researchers (ECRs)

SNS runs a mentoring scheme for post-doctoral staff on contract, which is distinct from the Personal Development Review (PDR) process which remains the responsibility of the line manager. The intention of the scheme is that it is directive in terms of support and advice, and also provides more general support to build confidence and capabilities to meet current and future development needs. There are some general principles underlying, namely:

That participation in the scheme is voluntary.

The Scheme is a confidential process and the content of the discussions will not be discussed with any third party, although it is expected that outcomes and objectives will usually be shared with the mentees' line manager.

Adequate time will be made available for the session during the working day.  There are also no limits on the length of the mentoring relationship but it is anticipated that the relationship will last no more than a year.

The Mentoring Scheme will comply with the principles of the Data Protection Scheme.

Either party may end the relationship and alternative arrangements will be made to continue the mentoring / coaching with another person.

SNS has a panel of mentors which comprises: Davey Jones, Julia Jones, Dave Chadwick and Morag McDonald. New ECRs are at liberty to select a mentor from this group, or discuss with Morag McDonald (Head of School) if more direction is needed as to who would most represent their interests. Once the mentor-mentee agreement is in place, mentees contact their mentor to arrange an initial meeting.

BU Researcher Development programme.