Athena SWAN

The MRC CBU is a member of the Athena SWAN Charter and recipient of a Bronze Athena SWAN award

The CBU applied for, and was extremely happy to receive, our first Athena SWAN award in the November 2014 submission round. The CBU has been a member of the Athena SWAN Charter since September 2014, shortly following completion of a pilot awards project that welcomed Research Institutes to the Athena SWAN Charter.

A copy of the MRC CBU Athena SWAN November 2014 submission, and action plan, can be found here.

Despite becoming a formal member of the Athena SWAN charter relatively recently, the MRC CBU has had a strong and active Equality and Diversity Committee since 2009. The good work of this committee has, from the outset, been guided by the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises commitment to the advancement and promotion of women’s careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM) in academia. Launched by the Equality Challenge Unit in 2005, the Charter covers women in academic roles, students progressing into academia, and working environments for all staff.

The beliefs underpinning the Charter are

  • The advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine is fundamental to quality of life across the globe
  • It is vitally important that women are adequately represented in what has traditionally been, and is still, a male-dominated area
  • Science cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population, and until women and men can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords

In May 2015 the charter 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 Equality Challenge Unit’s (ECU’s) 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
  • the progression of students into academia
  • their journey through career milestones
  • the working environment for all staff

The MRC CBU Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team, which works very closely with the CBU Equality and Diversity Committee, includes the following members:


Fionnuala Murphy

Tom Manly


Duncan Astle

Debbie Davies

Martina Di Simplicio

Emily Holmes

Alex Kaula

Polly Peers

Julie Ji

Rogier Kievit

Olaf Hauk

Jane Hall