Page content

The Athena Swan Charter

Ulster University's commitment to the principles of the Athena Swan Charter is recognised through the achievement of the distinguished Athena Swan Silver award. This was celebrated in May 2023.

The Charter recognises advancement of gender equality, representation, progression and success for all and was established in 2005 to encourage women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) subjects.

Since then it has expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL).

The Charter also recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

Faculties, Schools and Departmental Awards

The University currently holds a number of Athena Swan awards at Faculty and School level.

  1. The School of Psychology - Silver award
  2. The School of Engineering - Silver award
  3. The School of Nursing - Silver award
  4. The Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment - Bronze award
  5. The School of Health Sciences - Bronze award
  6. The School of Biomedical Sciences - Bronze award
  7. The School of Geography and Environmental Sciences - Bronze award
  8. The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences - Bronze award
  9. The School of Sport - Bronze award
  10. The School of Computing - Bronze award
  11. The School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems - Bronze award
  12. The School of Education - Bronze award
  13. Ulster University Business School (Faculty) - Bronze award
  14. Employability and Careers (PTO Pilot Submission) - Bronze Award

Several Schools and Departments across the University have ongoing new applications. These will be added to this list upon successfully achieving their Athena Swan award.

For further information or if you wish to become involved in Athena Swan through the Athena Swan Committee or the Champions Network please contact Jonathan Matchett, Athena Swan Support Assistant.

Our successful Athena Swan submissions, and their associated action plans are available to view upon request. If you wish to view any of our Athena Swan Faculty, School or Department submissions or action plans, please contact the Athena Swan Inbox.

Returning Carers' Scheme

As part of Ulster University’s Athena Swan Action Plan (2023-2028), a Returning Carers’ Scheme (RCS) has been established to support all staff on return from extended leave (normally 4 months or more) for reasons connected to caring - such as adoption leave, additional paternity leave, maternity leave, or leave to care for a dependent.

The Scheme aims to assist the career and professional development of individuals affected by periods of leave for caring responsibilities. The Scheme offers funds to support academic activity and build up the research profiles of those going on, or returning from, a period away from work.

Further Athena Swan Information

  • Benefits of Athena Swan Award

    Through attainment of this Athena Swan silver award, the University is able to achieve its gender equality objectives, use a targeted self-assessment framework to support applicants, identify areas for positive action, as well as recognise and share good practice.

    The award also helps the university to meet equality legislation requirements, as well as the requirements and expectations of some funders and research councils.

    In support of its colleagues, it also allows us to promote inclusive working practices and increase our retention of valued academics and professional and support staff, by demonstrating commitment to an equitable working environment.

  • Progress on gender equality - actions and outcomes
    • Twelve schools currently hold Athena Swan awards, and UUBS achieved a Bronze award recently – the first Faculty award for Ulster University
    • The actions which have contributed to an improved gender balance in respect of application and success rates for sabbatical leave
    • Increasing the percentage of female academic staff applying for senior roles, which resulted in the implementation of several mentoring schemes to support female career development
    • Reducing the discrepancy between the promotion success rate (applying for Senior Lecturer and for Professor) of female applicants and male applicants, as a result of a series of measures to improve the promotion experience for academic staff.
  • Find out more

    Get ore information about the Athena Swan Charter

    If you have any further queries with regards to Athena Swan at Ulster University, please contact The EDI team 

    Follow us on twitter: @UlsterEquality

  • Application guidance for Athena Swan

    Further information on application guidance can be found on the Athena Swan Application Guidance webpage.