Why get involved with Athena SWAN?

Engagement with the Athena SWAN charter, principles, and self-assessment is a key tool in confronting the challenges we face regarding gender equality in higher education. Not only will it equip your School with a better understanding of its staff and students, it is also a way to develop and enage with the culture within your School and the wider community. This process provides a framework for thinking about equality, diversity, and inclusion, and it should be the start of a process of positive changes for all.

Also, it is important to note that engagement with the Athena SWAN charter is required by the HEA, with specific deadlines in place for HEIs attainment of Bronze and Silver awards. NUI Galway has achieved a Bronze award, but in order to comply with HEA guidelines the university must continue to hold the Bronze award until it is successful in applying for a Silver award.  The HEA guidelines state that HEIs may renew Bronze once, and then should apply for Silver accreditation until it is achieved.  In order for the institution to apply for a Silver award, the majority of its departments must hold an award - with at least one holding Silver.

Athena Swan Silver Seminar, June 2023

A seminar on Silver Athena Swan Silver accreditation, organised by the OVPEDI, was held on Wednesday the 21st of June 2023. University of Galway will be applying for a Silver Athena Swan award in April 2025 and multiple Schools will be applying for Bronze and Silver awards over the coming years, so this Seminar was timely and well attended. Those who couldn't make it on the day can watch the Seminar back here:  

Guest speakers; Sarah Fink, Athena Swan Ireland (The new Athena Swan framework vs the previous iteration, and the criteria that need to be addressed to achieve a Silver Athena Swan award) and Dr Caroline Murphy, Kemmy Business School, UL (Achieving Silver Athena Swan accreditation and the transition from Bronze to Silver). Our own  Dr Maeve Duffy, School of Engineering, University of Galway, talked us through the school's journey in achieving the School of Engineering Silver award status in 2022 status. 

Internal Resources for Schools

The first point of contact for Schools interested in starting the journey toward Athena SWAN accreditation is the Office of the Vice President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (OVPEDI).  Schools will have access to data, templates, and learnings from the previous institutional and school submissions. If you are interested in learning more about the application process, please review the Resource Guide developed for University of Galway school applications:

NUI Galway Athena SWAN Resource GuideNUI Galway Athena SWAN Resource Guide

Further resources are available on the University's Athena Swan SharePoint Site.

School application timelines are managed by the OVPEDI to ensure that appropriate support is available. If you are thinking of starting the application process, contact the OVPEDI.

Guidance from AdvanceHE

AdvanceHE, formerly ECU, have developed a comprehensive suite of supports and resources for those applying for Athena SWAN awards.

Find out more about Athena SWAN in Ireland.

Learn how to apply for an award, including specific guidance on writing your application and complying with word counts.

Review all of their resource guides, including handbooks, SAT guidance, and application forms.

If you have further questions, make sure to review the Athena SWAN FAQs.