Athena SWAN in Research Institutes
In April 2014, Athena SWAN membership was extended to include research institutes (RIs). Prior to this, RIs could only achieve Athena SWAN membership and awards if they held higher education institution (HEI) status, or were constituent units/institutes in an HEI. Only independent research institutes focusing on science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) research were eligible to apply.
The extension of Athena SWAN to RIs was done at the request of those working in- and with- RIs. They identified that there can be similar barriers to career progression for women in RIs and that the Charter could be adapted because of the close relationship between HEIs and RIs.
In May 2015, Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter was expanded to include institutions, departments and research institutes that focus on the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL) disciplines. This expanded remit includes staff in professional support roles, trans staff and students, and recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just the barriers to progression that affect women.
The research institutes application form has therefore been revised in line with the expanded criteria, and both the original and expanded forms can be found below.