Impact and initiatives

As a self-assessment team we are hugely enthusiastic about ensuring that individuals have equal opportunities to progress in Biosciences. Athena SWAN allows us to bring about genuine cultural and structural change in areas where we feel individuals can be better supported.

In order to do this we have written an action plan which we are continually developing as we aim to promote gender equality throughout the department.

Some of our proactive actions include:

  • Focus groups and workshop events
  • Cross college mentoring
  • Securing Daphne Jackson fellowships
  • Enhanced media profiling of female researchers
  • Greater support for early career academics
  • promotion of Athena SWAN principles throughout the department

Since Athena SWAN has been core to our business strategy, we have seen an increase in the proportion of female staff members, especially around Grade F (Lecturer/Research fellow). While we are proud of this success, we acknowledge there are further strides forward we can make.


The University of Exeter's Bioscience's Department are now proud holders of an Athena SWAN Bronze Award. The University is a member of the Athena SWAN Charter and has held a Bronze institutional award since November 2011, successfully renewing this in November 2014. All departments at Exeter are committed to holding an Athena SWAN award. As part of sharing good practice, the Biosciences Department’s Athena SWAN application is publically available for download:

Additionally, all University and Departmental applications are available for download here.

The University was also pleased to be included in the Gender Equality Charter Mark (GEM) trial. The department of Classics and Ancient History participated in the trial and applied for and were awarded a Bronze Departmental Award (April 2014). Further information can be found at Classics and Ancient History GEM webpages.

The University is also participating in the Race Equality Charter Mark (REM) trial.  ‌