Athena Swan

Welcome to the website for the Athena SWAN bid from the School of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences and School of Clinical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.

In the autumn of 2013 we jointly applied for Bronze status as the Clinical Medical School, which we were awarded on the 1st of May 2014. We will now start working towards an application for Silver status. This site explains what we are doing, and why it is important.

The two Schools have a joint self-assessment panel which hold regular meetings, as well as four sub-committees, each looking into specific aspects: promotions, organisational culture, work-life balance and support. You can see who we are here; please feel free to approach us with any ideas or thoughts you might have.

Cathy Abbott and Karen Chapman



Professor Karen Chapman (right) and Professor Sarah Cunningham Burley (left) receive the Athena SWAN Bronze Award


Athena SWAN Charter – what is it and what does it do?

This charter recognises excellence in employment practices that advance and promote the careers of women in STEMM subjects (science, technology, engineering, maths, medicine) in higher education and research through an award scheme. The Athena SWAN Рcharter for women in science Рis now administered from the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU).


There are 3 levels of award:

  • BRONZE: assessment of data (quantitative – e.g. gender distribution across staff grades; qualitative – e.g. policies, working arrangements), identification of where the problems are and a plan of action to address these problems
  • SILVER: similar to bronze, but data showing the impact of policies already in place has to be included
  • GOLD: sustained excellence