Athena SWAN Silver Departmental award application by suchenfz



Athena SWAN Silver Departmental award application
Name of institution: University of Cambridge       Year: 2010

Department: Physics

Contact for application: Professor Valerie Gibson
                         Mr David H Peet

Email: Telephone: 01223 337373                     01223 337362

Departmental website address:

Date of University Bronze SWAN award:          Renewed March 2009


The University of Cambridge Department of Physics (the Cavendish Laboratory) is committed
to a “best practice for all” ethos and adheres to the Athena SWAN and IoP Juno Code of
Practice for the advancement and promotion of women in science. This application for an
Athena SWAN Silver Award follows 7 years of activity to monitor, assess and act upon gender
and equality issues within the Department and consists of:

  1.   baseline gender data and associated datasheets, supplied separately;
  2.   a completed application form;
  3.   an action plan; and
  4.   a letter of endorsement from the Head of the Physics Department (Prof. Peter

The application benefits from and builds upon the University of Cambridge Athena SWAN
Bronze award and is endorsed by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Alison Richard.

The Department became a IoP Juno Supporter in February 2008 and achieved Juno
Practitioner Status in April 2010 (unannounced).

Note: the University of Cambridge Human Resources Division changed its information system
to CHRIS (Cambridge Human Resources Information System) in January 2006; hence no
central data are available before that time.

Other relevant web-sites

University Human Resources:
University policy and procedures:
Senior Academic Promotions:
University childcare provision:
Flexible working :        
Equality and Diversity:   

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

1. A picture of the department

The Cavendish is one of the largest physics departments in the country and one of the largest
departments within the University. The Department is driven by the desire to understand
physics at its most fundamental level and prides itself on its excellence in research and
teaching. It also encompasses new initiatives, including biophysics and medicine, and
encourages applied and collaborative research with industry.

The Department is home to about 750 people, including 65 academic staff, 175 research staff
and ~290 postgraduate students. The organization is shown in “Datasheet 1”. The Head of
Department, advised by the Executive Board, is responsible for the day to day running of the
Department and interaction with all official bodies. There are two Deputy Heads and the
individual Research Groups designate their own Head, “Datasheet 2”, who reports directly to
the Head of Department. The Personnel Committee oversees all personnel issues and
champions the Athena SWAN and IoP Juno schemes. Further details can be found at

Over 600 undergraduates are admitted annually by the colleges to read Natural Science
(NatSci); ~350 read Physics as one of 4 subjects during the first year and ~140 continue to
read Physics in the second year. During the first two years, lectures and practical classes are
organized by the Department; colleges take responsibility for the direction of studies and
supervision of their own students. The Department has made a positive action to expose the
first two years of undergraduates to all women staff members. Approximately 120 students
read Experimental and Theoretical Physics in the third and fourth year: a course solely
organized by the Department with the majority of lectures and research projects undertaken
in-house. Each year ~250 students apply to the Department to undertake a postgraduate
degree; ~70 are selected by the relevant research groups.

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2.   Gender Data

Student data

(i) Numbers of males and females on access or foundation courses –

The Department does not offer a foundation course.

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(ii) Undergraduate male and female numbers –

Colleges admit students to read NatSci not Physics per se; the gender breakdown is gauged
from those who sit the Physics exam. The M:F ratio in the first year is 73:27% (“Datasheet 3”);
compared to 59:41% for NatSci and 25% national average of females who sit A2-Level
Physics. UGs become committed to Physics in the third year; the vast majority remaining for 4
years. The M:F ratio increases slightly through the 4 years; the percentage of females in the 4th
year is ~19%.

The Department annually surveys the intentions of first years who read Physics as part of
NatSci. The results (“Datasheet 4”) show that 33% (55%) of women (men) who intended to
specialise in Physics, plan to continue in their second year. Two contributing factors for this
difference have been identified. First, the diverse experience of pre-University practicals was

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

addressed with a review of the practical class arrangements; the outcome was that the
intention of women to continue with Physics rose from 25% to 44%. The second factor is the
mathematical content of the Physics course; 51% (63%) of female (male) students had taken
A2-level Maths and Further Maths; a disparity shown to contribute to the exam performance

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(iii) Postgraduate male and female numbers completing taught courses –

The Department does not currently offer any taught postgraduate programmes.

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(iv) Postgraduate male and female numbers on research degrees –

Each year, around 70 postgraduate students (26% female aggregated over 2002-2008) are
admitted to the Department to undertake a PhD (“Datasheet 5”). All students are registered, in
the first instance, for a Certificate of Postgraduate Study (CPGS); the examination for which
consists of a short dissertation and an oral examination after 9 months of research. A
significant proportion (~50%) of postgraduate students come from overseas or outside

Part-time applications to undertake a postgraduate degree within the Department are invited,
although the application must be justified by career or family needs and not so the applicant
can work the rest of the time to pay for the course. Very few postgraduate students apply for
part-time study, although, in recent years a few postgraduates (all male) have taken this
opportunity sponsored by their respective employer.

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(v) Ratio of course applications to offers and acceptances by gender for (ii), (iii) and
(iv) above –

For (ii): Undergraduates apply to and are admitted by colleges to read NatSci; the course
covers both biological and physical sciences. Detailed admissions data are not available.
Although the Department is unable to influence selection directly, many academic staff take
part in their own college’s admission procedure. Students choose their specialised subject in
the third (sometimes second) year.

For (iii): n/a

For (iv): Students apply directly to the Department; the applications are then dealt with by the
relevant research group(s). Studentships are awarded by a committee of academics,
reviewing interview scores and applications. All the interview/acceptance procedures are
monitored by central administration in the Department. Admittance is much influenced by the
availability of funding, with different sources accessible by different groups (e.g. overseas
students). The Department has limited scope to influence funding decisions made outside the
Department and hence final admissions. The ratio of the number of PG acceptances to the
number of UK (non-UK) applicants, aggregated over 2002-2008, is 37.2% (17.4%) for men
and 44.5% (23.1%) for women (“Datasheet 5”).

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Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

(vi) Degree classification by gender –

The Department is committed to ensuring that Physics is equally accessible to all UGs of
equivalent aptitude and ability. However, women perform significantly worse in Physics than
men in the first year (“Datasheet 3”); 11% (30%) of women (men) gained a 1st and more
women gained a 3rd. This discrepancy is reduced in overall NatSci. This picture is also
apparent in other year samples (“Datasheet 6”) and in cognate subjects. One explanation is
the correlation between the results in Physics and Mathematics (“Datasheet 6”), supported by
the findings of the Intentions Survey (1(ii)).

There is no evidence of any difference in performance between men and women in the Year
3&4 Physics course, suggesting that the Department offers a supportive environment in which
women thrive. Notably, the women outperformed the men in 2008/09, 100% gaining a 1st/2.1;
the top three 1st’s were awarded to women.

The performance for two cohorts of UGs (“Datasheet 6”) show that, although women perform
worse in the first year, their performance improves throughout the course and that they tend to
outperform the men in later years. This trend is indicative of women only continuing to later
years if they believe they are capable of doing well.

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(vii) Length of time for postgraduate completion by gender –

The data (“Datasheet 7”) show that the male and female PhD completion rates (an average of
~45 months) are nearly identical and virtually all postgraduates complete their PhDs.

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Staff data

(viii) Number of male and female staff (academic and research) at each grade –

The statistics for the number of staff at each grade over a 4 year period is given in “Datasheet
8”. The total percentage of women academics in the Department is currently 7.1%; the
percentages of females at each grade (researchers 20.1%, lecturers 22%, senior
lecturers/readers 0% and professors 6.7%) are commensurate with the IoP 2007 statistics
(16.8%, 19%, 8.1% and 4.7% respectively). However, there is an indication of a reduction in
the percentage of female researchers between the Research Associate grade 7 (22.6% in
2009) and the Senior Research Associate grade 9 (13.5% in 2009) which is currently being
investigated as part of the Action Plan.

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(ix) Job application and success rates by gender and grade –

In the past three years there have been 11 academic appointments in the Department; a
single external professorial appointment (male) and 10 appointments to Lecturer/Reader. The
numbers of Lecturers/Readers appointed were 9 male (out of 307 applications, 2.9%) and 1
female (out of 46 applications, 2.2%).

In the past year there has been 12 (9 male, 3 female) Research Associate appointments, see
“Datasheet 9”, and, in the past 3 years, 11 (8 male, 3 female) awards of personal fellowship

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

appointments, see “Datasheet 10”. In both cases, the application success rate is greater for
women then for men. Although the data are encouraging, the Department is aware that the
success rate could be improved and has put in place positive actions, through the mentoring
and Staff Review and Development schemes, to identify and encourage high quality
applicants to apply for personal fellowships.

In order to increase the number of women applying for staff positions, the Department now
includes an explicit statement about equal opportunities on all job adverts and ensures that
there is at least one woman on all search and interview committees.

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(x) Turnover by grade and gender –

Tenured academic staff: In the last 3 years, there has been a turnover of 3 female academic
staff (1 Lecturer to Edinburgh to join her partner; 1 retirement and 1 new appointment) and 15
male academic staff (1 Lecturer to Professorship at UCL; 1 death in service; 3 retirements and
10 new appointments).

Research staff: At any one time, the Department is host to ~100 Postdoctoral Research
Associates. The average contract lengths are given in “Datasheet 11”. In general, women
have slightly longer contracts, although the retirements of one or two long-serving female staff
have reduced the average in recent years.

All members of staff are invited to an exit interview with the Administrative Secretary and to
complete an exit questionnaire. The majority of responses come from Research Associates
who are very positive about the work environment, conditions of service and opportunities for
career development, but express concern about the lack of job security, poor pay and
promotion. The feedback is summarised annually, reported to the Personnel Committee and
forms part of the annual report to the Executive Board. One example of positive action taken
as part of this process has been the encouragement of the transferable skills programme

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(xi) Maternity return rate –

The University promotes explicit procedures for maternity (and paternity) leave and return to
work through the University web-site and at staff induction in the Department. The maternity
(and paternity) leave return rate in the Department has always been 100%. In the past 3 years,
2 members of academic and research staff have taken maternity leave. As an example, a
Royal Society Research Fellow who was appointed in January 2006 at 80%, reduced to 40%
from February 2006 to support her child and then reverted to 80% in May 2006 and increased
to 100% from June 2007. Most recently, she was on maternity leave from February 2009 until
October 2009. Another member of staff also has an agreement to flexible working on return
from maternity leave. All members of staff have good access to childcare through the
University nurseries, one of which is located adjacent to the Department, and the University
playscheme which runs during the school holidays. The University also runs a salary sacrifice
scheme which in effect provides tax-free nursery provision.

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Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

(xii) Paternity, adoption and parental leave uptake –

Over the past two years, there have been 6 members of staff (all Research Staff) who have
taken paternity leave. The paternity forms and guidelines are easily accessible from the
departmental website and all staff used the University approved procedure. In a recent focus
group with PDRAs in the Department, the ease and openness of paternity leave was
mentioned, as well as the flexibility around needing to take time off at short notice for children
for a variety of reasons including illness, dropping them off/picking them up from school etc.

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(xiii) Promotion application and success rates by gender and grade –

Each year, all eligible staff receive a copy of the Senior Academic Promotions booklet,
prepared by HR Division and distributed by the Faculty Promotions Committee. All staff
considering applying for promotion are also advised to discuss with the Head of Department
(HoD). Staff also receive advice biannually through the Department’s Staff Review and
Development scheme and women are offered CV mentoring through WiSETI. Statistics show
(“Datasheet 12”) that 67% (44%) of applications from women (men) have been successful
over the past 4 years.

Promotion to Senior RA (SRA) is conducted via nomination by the PI to the HoD and is
endorsed by the Faculty Board; SRAs are expected to have at least 3 years’ postdoctoral
experience. The Department has few (1-2) SRA promotions per year; most staff either moving
on or applying for personal fellowships. A salary increment scheme is run each term; any one
researcher is eligible for 3 increments within one year provided the finances are available. The
PI nominates staff members and the HoD writes a supporting letter to the General Board. The
gender-balance of the SRA promotion and salary increments are now monitored by the
Department, although it is too early to establish any pattern.

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(xiv) Male and female representation on committees –

The male/female representation on committees internal to the Department is given in
“Datasheet 13”. The data show that female representation has increased by 50% over the past
three years, including specific appointments to cover female post-docs on the Personnel
Committee. The membership of Departmental committees is reviewed annually and
monitored for seniority and gender by the HoD and Departmental Secretaries. All new
appointments to committees are endorsed by the Executive Board.

Women academics from the Department are also very prominent in decision making
committees within the University, e.g. Prof. Athene Donald and Dr Rachael Padman are
elected members of the University Council and thus play an important role in many University
committees. In particular, Prof Athene Donald is a member of the Human Resources
Committee and the Equality and Diversity Committee; Dr Padman is a member of the General
Board and Education Committee whilst also fulfilling the role of Director of Education for the
School of the Physical Sciences; and Dr Julia Riley is a member of the Faculty Board.

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Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

(xv) Numbers of applications and success rates for flexible working by gender and
grade –

The University promotes explicit procedures for encouraging flexible working; although these
are not usually applied for academic and research staff since they do not have fixed hours.
The policy for flexible working in the Department for administrative and technical staff is
described in Section 2(iii). The percentage of FTE has been adjusted as part of a flexible
return to work for one female research fellow (see 1(xi)).

Most academic and research staff take advantage of working remotely from the Department
now that internet connections have become faster and more reliable.

Results from the ASSET 2010 survey are included in Section 3(iii). In the focus group recently
held with PDRAs in the Department they were questioned about the Departments flexible
working policies. The feedback was that all the PDRAs feel that they can all work flexibly and
this flexibility is seen as embedded within the culture.

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(xvi) Female:male ratio of academic staff on fixed-term contracts and open-ended
(permanent) contracts –

All Lecturers, Readers and Professors in the Department are initially employed on
open-ended contracts and all research staff on fixed-term contracts. The introduction of a new
policy (from Jun 09) means that after one fixed-term contract, research staff are moved on to
open-ended contracts, although in most cases, contracts are still time-limited by the restricted
funds available.

The Department is one of 10 institutes in the University’s School of Physical Sciences; in
terms of numbers of members and research income it accounts for about one third of the
School’s activity. ASSET 2010 revealed that the Department has 13% of all research staff on
permanent contracts, compared with 8% of the School; double the percentage of female
research staff on permanent contracts compared with the School, and 5 times the percentage
compared with the University. The male research staff are about in line for all.

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3.   Initiatives to advance and support women in the department

This section includes some results of the ASSET 2010 survey (ASSET 2010) and quotes
taken from recent departmental surveys of research (Survey_RS) and academic (Survey_AS)

(i) Promotion and career development –

The Senior Academic Promotion (SAP) Exercise (1(xiii)) is open to all academics and
proceeds through application to the Faculty Promotions Committee. Eligible staff are sent the
SAP booklet and are given confidential advice from the HoD and through the Department’s
Staff Review and Development (SRD) scheme. ASSET 2010 revealed that only 4% (13%) of
academics felt that they had little or no knowledge of the promotion process (criteria)
compared with 10% (18%) in the School; all academic women responded positively about the
SAP Exercise.

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

Survey_AS: ”The SAP exercise is very transparent. The Departments procedures…worked
very well in my case. HoD was very supportive.”

The SRD scheme: ASSET 2010 revealed that 78% (42%) of academics in the Department
(School) felt they were reviewed routinely; all female academics and 81% of all staff found
their reviews useful. All record forms are scrutinized to monitor, identify and prioritize training
and career advice and to identify underlying issues; feedback is given to the Executive Board
and reported at Staff meetings. The SRD scheme is currently under review to improve career
advice for researchers and to encourage personal fellowship applications, in particular those
targeted at women.

Survey_AS: “The usefulness depends on the reviewer... in my case, the experience has been

The Department’s Continuing Professional Development for Research Staff programme,, is highly successful and staff are
encouraged to participate in the wide range of activities. These include a transferable skills
programme with a dedicated School advisor (female) – informal one-to-one sessions are also
held within the Department. The uptake from research staff (17%) is the largest of any
department in the School. ASSET 2010 revealed that >50% of staff, including 67% (64%)
female academics (postdocs), felt encouraged to undertake career development activities; far
higher than across the School which is 45% (57%).

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(ii) Support for staff at key career transition points –

The Department is sensitive to the need for support and advice at key career transitions, such
as from postdoc to a more senior post; securing an academic position and promotion within
academia, as well as maintaining an optimal work-life balance.

ASSET 2010 revealed that the Department offers a more supportive environment compared to
the School: 79% (66%) of Academics in the Department (School) felt that the support of senior
colleagues contributes to their career success; 83% (70%) of Academics and 71% (57%) of
female postdocs feel supported by their peers.

Athena SWAN and ASSET 2010 have revealed two concerns. First, there is a reduction of the
number of women in physics between the level of RA and SRA (1(viii)). Second, fewer
research staff, 69% (79%) female (male), indicated a wish to continue their career in academic
science compared to the School, 73% (85%) female (male). These observations prompted the
Department to provide more career advice and support for research staff and feeds into the
current review of the SRD scheme. A checklist, available on the web, was recently formulated
by the newly formed Research Staff Committee and includes topics for discussion in the SRD
to provide a more valuable experience.

Excellent career advice is available from the University Careers Service; the Science Careers
Advisor runs 3 surgeries per month at the Cavendish to discuss opportunities in academia and

The University runs a widely-acclaimed Professional Development Programme for PIs at all
career levels; activities include a grant submission support scheme, skills development and
leadership and management training. Details can be found in

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

WiSETI run career development seminars for early career women researchers, topics include
confidence building in the workplace, speaking up and saying no and working smarter not
harder; these are widely publicised and encouraged within the Department.

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(iii) Flexible working –

The University’s policy for flexible working is well advertised; a link to the University HR site is
posted on the web to remind staff that the Department recognizes the many forms of flexible
working and guidelines on how to obtain a suitable flexible working arrangement.

Survey_AS: “The information is straightforward to find on the web. I had no difficulty in setting
up flexible working for an RA under my supervision.”

All academics are free to set their own hours of work and many take advantage of working
from home when their departmental commitments allow. Research staff arrange their hours in
association with their Supervisor and requests to reduce hours and graduated return to work
are usually accommodated. Assistant staff work to defined hours, allowing for considerable
flexibility to meet the needs of childcare etc. Since significant areas of the Department offer a
time-defined service where flexi-time is inappropriate, the above is deemed as an equitable

Survey_RS: "If I need to take time off to look after the kids then I just do it, there's no problem."

All academics are entitled to paid sabbatical leave one term for every six terms of service. The
application is endorsed by the HoD and granted by the General Board; to date all applications
for sabbatical leave have been granted. While on sabbatical, the duties of an academic are
covered by other members of staff.

ASSET 2010 revealed that 4% (3%) of academics (postdocs) currently work less than
full-time, although, at some point, 33% (21%) of female academics (postdocs) have worked
part-time; 83% (100%) of all staff (postdocs) feel they can take time off at short notice, 96%
(100%) feel they have flexibility in the work pattern and 100% (89%) say they can work
remotely– this is more than in the School.

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(iv) Culture –

A major aim of the Department is to treat women and men as equals, at the same time as
being sensitive to individual needs, and to develop a culture that is open and comfortable for
all. ASSET 2010 revealed that the Department is very highly rated:
     • 88% (100%) of all (female) staff and 82% of postdocs feel that the working
        environment is friendly and colleagues are co-operative;
     • 92% of academics are WiSETI aware; 42% are actively engaged; and
     • 83% of academics feel that the management are accessible to respondents.

Survey_AS: “A few years elsewhere. More women, but a very strange atmosphere -- locked
doors, …, grey steel furniture. Hated it. Cavendish infinitely preferable before I went and after
I returned.”
Survey_RS: "The culture is friendly, open, helpful and cooperative; albeit slightly competitive."
"The Department responds to requests e.g. picnic benches were provided when requested."

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Other aspects that influence the Department’s culture:
   • Equality and Diversity: staff are given a booklet and encouraged to attend training
   • WiSETI activities are actively encouraged;
   • Communication: web-site, Staff meetings (all staff attend and are invited to send
       questions in advance); Heads of Group and Group meetings and the Cavendish
   • Discussion groups: e.g. the Research Staff Committee gives researchers the
       opportunity to address issues, such as career advice, mentoring, induction and social
   • a small museum celebrates the success of alumni and has a vision to include current
       career successes, including successful women;
   • a Nominations Committee puts staff forward for external awards and prizes. Women
       academics have been very successful and their successes will be advertised more
       widely; and
   • transport : family commitments and unsociable working-hours are high on the list of
       criteria for allocation of car-parking spaces.

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(v) Recruitment of staff –

All job vacancies in the Department are advertised widely and attract excellent fields; the
policy of the Department is to appoint the very best. The appointment panel for academic staff
always includes a female member of staff. Appointment panels for postdocs are organized by
the PI and are normally conducted via interview where at least 2 academic members of staff
are present. All appointments are monitored through Equal Opportunities spreadsheets; a
sample of returns for 2009 is shown in “Datasheet 9”. It should be noted that the Department
receives a very large number of speculative applications from overseas. During the
recruitment process, PIs are required to submit formal short-listing and decision grids for all
research appointments to ensure fairness and equality throughout. These processes are
monitored by the Departmental Administrators who alone have the authority to make formal

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(vi) Representation on decision-making committees –

See “Datasheet 13”. The percentage of women on decision making committees within the
Department (18% in 2008/09) is commensurate with the total number of women in the
Department and exceeds the percentage (9%) of senior academic women. One of the Deputy
Heads of the Department is also female. The representation on each committee is considered
by a gender-balanced group, led by the HoD, who made a positive decision to include early
career people on committees. The aim is to optimise the potential to influence decision
making, personal career development and succession planning within the Department.

ASSET 2010 revealed that 71% of staff feel they have the opportunity to serve on important
departmental committees, compared with 60% in the School, and that more female academics
have been members of appointments/promotion committees for both the Department and the
University than other women in the School.

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Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

(vii) Workload model –

The Department is committed to fairness in the workload for all staff. In particular, the
Teaching Committee monitors and documents the teaching workloads of academics annually;
the documents are presented to the Teaching Committee and Executive Board and are
accessible to all members of staff. The procedure to select staff members for teaching
responsibilities is based on several aspects including their current departmental teaching,
their     departmental      administrative/committee       load     and       their    University
committees/administrative loads. The selection procedure excludes college teaching
responsibilities and research student supervision. When choosing a staff member for a
particular teaching responsibility, account is also taken of their particular teaching strengths.
ASSET 2010 revealed that 63% of staff in the Department believe that the workload is
allocated openly and fairly compared with 50% in the School.

A snapshot of the academic staff teaching workloads is shown in “Datasheet 14”.
Comparisons of the core departmental workload, the college supervision loads and the total
supervision loads show two distinct features. First, 5 out of the 7 female members of staff have
a significantly large teaching workload. Second, there are a substantial number of male
academics who do not have college responsibilities, but do some small amount of
departmental organized supervisions.

The Department recognizes the need to encourage more women into Physics and that the
colleges are a critical part of that process. Hence, there is a need for the overall teaching loads
to be reviewed in order to take into account college teaching responsibilities. This action has
highlighted a general concern within the Department about the overall workloads of staff and
encompasses many areas such as teaching, administrative, college, committee and outreach
duties; the Department’s management are therefore in the process of reviewing the overall
workload model in conjunction with cognate departments and schools.

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(viii) Cover for maternity and adoption leave and support on return –

The number of female staff who have taken maternity leave from the Department is rather
small, several male staff have taken paternity leave and many staff use the University nursery
and childcare facilities. In the Department there are 2 senior female academic staff, both
Professors, who have children. The policy of the Department is that the teaching load for
female academic staff taking maternity leave is covered by other existing staff in their
absence; arrangements for research responsibilities are covered by the individual research
groups. On return from maternity leave female academics are relieved from lectures in the first
term back and no new lecture courses are assigned in the 12 months following return. For
those Research Associates/Fellows employed on Research Council/Royal Society funding,
the tenure of the appointment is extended accordingly; for non-Research Council Research
Associates, maternity leave is given according to the terms of the employment.

ASSET 2010 revealed that 100% of the women staff in the Department, compared to 67% in
the School, who went on maternity leave utilized flexible working on their return.

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Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

(ix) Timing of departmental meetings and social gatherings –

All departmental meetings are held during the main part of the working day (9-5pm); termly
Staff meetings are held at 4pm. The main departmental seminar which is advertised as
mandatory for postgraduate students is held at 4pm followed by drinks; the timing of this
seminar has just been revised as part of the Juno/Athena preparatory work to allow for
attendance of staff members with childcare/carer commitments.

Due to the short Cambridge term (8 weeks), undergraduate lectures within the University are
normally scheduled on a Saturday morning. However, the Department has made a positive
decision to schedule lectures that are solely organized by the Department between Monday
and Friday. This includes the Year 3 and 4 Experimental and Theoretical Physics lectures with
the exception of those Year 4 courses that are lectured by other departments in the University.

During the year the Department organizes several social gatherings, such as receptions for
UG prize-winners and new PG students, a Xmas lunch for all members of staff, a retired staff
event and a dinner for new academic or promoted staff and their partners. Many social
gatherings are organized by the colleges for students and many of the research groups have
regular group activities. Even so, the Department is investigating the possibility of extending
its social aspect to include families, such as hosting a summer garden party, and has invited
suggestions from the newly formed Research Staff Committee.

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(x) Outreach activities –

The Department runs a very active Outreach programme, directed by a female Outreach
Officer. The strategy is to raise aspirations and widen participation in students aged 11-19 by
offering a diverse range of activities both for students and teachers in school in East Anglia
and the South East. The numerous events that are run throughout the year by the Department
and by individual research groups rely on the support and contributions of academic staff,
researchers and students. The contributions vary from hour-long lectures to practical
demonstrations and experimental support; these contributions are recognized as essential
transferable skills in researcher and PG training programmes. Some of the main annual
events include the Physics at Work Exhibition, the Senior Physics Challenge, School
Workshops and the High Energy Physics Masterclass. More details of the Department’s
Outreach activities can be found at

An annual survey of the individual contributions to Outreach is undertaken by the Outreach
Officer (see “Datasheet 15”). In general, the female members of the Department contribute
disproportionally to the number of Outreach activities. Two fine examples, within the last two
years, are female RAs who have taken their own initiative to participate in the Science,
Technology and Facilities Council Member of Parliament pairing scheme and the Royal
Society School Partnership scheme.

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(xi) Induction and training –

Induction of new staff is generally performed at the Group level. The Department runs a
mandatory Health and Safety course, currently under review to include an E&D component.

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

New research staff attend a welcome induction meeting with the Administrative Secretary who
gives an overview of the organizational structure, explains the role of the PI and provides an
induction checklist, briefing and support documents on career development and transferable
skills opportunities. The induction procedure has significantly improved over the last 5 years;
at a recent PDRA focus group, one newly appointed participant said that

Survey_RS: "The Department's induction procedure was exciting and informative."

Another participant who had experienced it 5 years ago commented that it was previously
“fairly perfunctory, just handing out of documents that I had to sign”.

The Department runs a voluntary mentoring scheme in which all new staff are assigned a
mentor. Briefing documents can be found at
The Department is currently seeking to enhance the uptake of mentoring amongst postdocs; a
particular focus of the Research Staff Committee.

The Department recognizes that new academics need support in the early stages to develop
their own research programmes and is provided in a number of ways:
    • Start-up packages - funding for equipment and laboratories, underwriting of PDRA
        posts, preferential allocation of studentships and additional funding for consumables.
        As well as supporting new academics, the overall infrastructure of the Department is
        enhanced providing an improved environment for all.
    • The University runs a PI training scheme (2(ii)) and all staff can benefit from the
        support and training provided.
    • All new staff are provided with a mentor and lectures of all academic staff are
        monitored through an informal peer review scheme.
    • Staff are encouraged to undertake E&D training.
Further support is available through membership of a college.

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(xii) Support for female students –

The Department is sensitive to the needs of all students, both undergraduate and graduate,
who study or do research in Physics. Much of the pastoral care, such as tutorial advice from
their Personal Tutor, direction of studies, women’s advisor and a teaching staff contact who is
independent to the Department, take place within the student’s college environment. This is
the case for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The Department also appoints a
second supervisor for graduate students and two advisors (1 male, 1 female) who are
available to all students for harassment guidance and support. The Department has published
a policy on harassment: see

Postgraduate training in transferable skills is provided, as part of the School of the Physical
Sciences Graduate Training Programme, through courses offered locally, demonstrating
training, participation in outreach activities and individual training (e.g. language courses).
These courses include training in soft skills (e.g. presentation techniques) as well as career
advice and assistance. Roberts funding underpins the training in all these activities. More
details can be found in

The Department runs an annual PG Opportunities Exhibition Week which gives potential
postgraduate students an opportunity to see the research going on in the individual research

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groups and to discuss possible research projects with the supervisors. The Department also
runs an annual postgraduate conference which features talks from postgraduates from all
research groups.

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4. Case study: impacting on individuals

Prof. Valerie Gibson
BSc Sheffield, DPhil Oxford. She came to the Department in 1989 from CERN in Geneva
having joined her partner. Her research group (High Energy Physics), sensitive to the needs of
couples, provided her with interim resources whilst she applied for funding. She secured a five
year SERC Advanced Fellowship and a college Senior Research Fellowship. In 1994, she
secured a Lectureship and was elected fellow of Trinity College where she remains as the
most senior female teaching fellow. In 1998 and 2002 she took full advantage of the
University’s policies on maternity leave, flexible working and graduated return to work
following the birth of her 2 children. In 2006 she was promoted to Reader. In 2007 she was
awarded a Royal Society Leverhulme Fellowship, relieving her of teaching duties for a period
of one year. In October 2009 she was promoted to Professor. She provides general advice on
women’s issues in the Department and is Chair of the Personnel Committee. Key criteria in
this career path have been the support from the HoD, the Head of Research Group, the SRD
scheme, the SAP exercise, policies on flexible working and University childcare provision.

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5.     Further SET-specific initiatives

The Cambridgeshire Further Mathematics Centre (FMC) delivers Further Mathematics to
students in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area in collaboration with local
schools/colleges. It is based at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of
Cambridge. The Cambridgeshire FMC is linked to the Millennium Mathematics Project (MMP).
The Head of the Physics Department sits on the MMP Management Committee and the
Administrative Secretary on the MMP Executive Committee. For further information see

The Cambridge Science Festival takes place annually and is organized by the University
Community Affairs team. This is a very popular event visited by many thousands of people
over a period of 2 weeks. The Department opens is doors on “Science Saturday” for lectures
and interactive activities targeted at school-children and their parents.

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6.     The self-assessment process

The Cavendish Personnel Committee (CPC) was formed in response to the 2003 IoP “Women
in Physics” site visit. It is committed to “best practice for all” and to improving the working
environment and culture within the Department. It is comprised of staff from all categories with
a wide range of life experience and is gender-balanced. It is an “active” committee with all
members soliciting advice from peer groups and works in close collaboration with the Head of
Department, reporting to the Executive Board. The terms of reference can be found at

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

The current membership is:

Dr Gareth Beirne: Postdoc in Optoelectronics, PhD University of Galway. Previously,
Research Fellow, University of Stuttgart.

Prof. Valerie Gibson: See Section 4. Chair of the CPC, member of the University’s Athena
SWAN self-assessment panel and contact person for IoP Juno.

Mr Robert Hay: Academic Secretary, with substantial experience in educational
management. Responsible for the administration of the academic programme and is the
Disability Liaison Officer.

Ms Tracy Inman: Sector Administrator. Previously, Recruitment and Selection Manager for
local government, where she completed the Certificate in Personnel Practice.

Dr Yan Ji: Postdoc in Biological and Soft Systems (BSS), PhD Peking University. Previously
worked in Procter & Gamble Technology (Beijing) and is experienced in cross-cultural issues.

Dr Julian Huppert: RCUK Academic Fellow in Computational Biology with a broad
experience of inter-disciplinary research. Elected as Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge in
the 2010 General Election and stepped down as CPC member; his successor to be

Mr David Peet: Administrative Secretary, with a broad background in education and
management. Responsible for personnel management of all staff; has led on projects such as
the redevelopment of the SRD Scheme, Career Management for postdocs and an
Apprenticeship training scheme.

Mr Alan Turner: Technical staff member with 24 years experience in the Department. He is a
Maintenance Supervisor and line-manager for 8 personnel.

The self assessment panel for the Athena SWAN Silver and IoP Juno applications consist of
the CPC and the following invited members:

Prof. Peter Littlewood FRS: Head of Department. Previously Head of the TCM Group and
Head of Theoretical Research at Bell Laboratories, New Jersey, where amongst other roles he
was part of an affirmative action team and intermediated upward feedback.

Prof. Athene Donald FRS: Deputy Head of Department, Director of Cambridge WiSETI,
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and University Gender Champion designate. Member of University
Council and dependent committees, including HR and E&D. Chair of the Gender Equality
Group, set up by Council to take forward actions necessitated by Equal Pay Reviews. Outside
Cambridge she is active in the E&D Advisory Network of the Royal Society and is Chair of the
Athena Forum. She has served on University Promotions and Appointments Panels.

Ms Sigrid Fisher: Head of E&D Division, incorporating the Disability Resource Centre and
WiSETI. Her career has been in the field of equalities, initially in the voluntary sector, and she
has managed complex projects such as working with Ethnic Minority communities. She
juggles a career with family responsibilities, sustaining continuous employment through
part-time/flexible working. Prior to the University, she worked as Equalities Officer for a local

Ms Sarah Dickinson: University WiSETI Project Officer; previously the Good Practice in HE
Specialist at the RSC. She runs a CV mentoring scheme and career development
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workshops for postdocs across STEM departments. She is also undertaking an MSc in
Gender and Society, necessitating flexible working. Her role in Athena SWAN has been to
provide advice and support via a departmental survey and a postdoc focus group.

Prof. Jeremy Sanders FRS: Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Head of the School of Physical
Science, former Head of the Cambridge Chemistry Department where he still conducts his
research, Chair of the WiSETI Steering Group and Chair of the Gender Representation
Review Group.

This application has been written by the CPC, in consultation with the Head of Department and
departmental committees, and scrutinized by the self-assessment panel. The contents have
been informed through many sources:

     •   baseline data;
     •   explicit surveys of students, research and academic staff;
     •   ASSET 2010 survey;
     •   implicit surveys of staff through the SRD scheme, the mentoring scheme, exit
         questionnaires; and
     •   peer group discussions, such as the PG Consultative Committee, Research Staff
         Committee and Senior Women discussion group.

Members of the CPC attend the IoP Juno Workshops and the IoP Diversity team visited the
Department in Nov 2009. The Athena SWAN and IoP Juno schemes are regularly discussed
at Staff meetings and this application has been placed on the web-site.

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7.       Action plan

See attached

8.       Any other comments

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

University of Cambridge                                                                May 2010

Physics Department : The Cavendish Laboratory Action Plan (CLAP)

The IoP “Women in Physics” site visit in 2003 prompted the Cavendish Laboratory
management to address many aspects of “best practice for all” in the Department and put in
place many initiatives to support and provide advice to students and staff in all aspects of their
career management and working environment. Of particular note is:

   •       the formation of the Cavendish Personnel Committee;
   •       the review of the Staff Review and Development scheme;
   •       the introduction of a mentoring scheme for new staff;
   •       the formation of a Teaching Office; and
   •       the reorganization of the UG teaching laboratories.

The Department has observed significant progress over the last few years and has highlighted
many examples of “good practice” in the application. However, the Department does
recognize that there are on-going issues that need to be understood and addressed in the
future. These have become apparent in the process of putting together this application. In
particular, the highest priority actions include:

    •      the performance of women undergraduates in physics at the end of their first year;
    •      the reduction in women researchers between Research Associate (grade 7) and more
           senior positions (grade 9);
    •      career advice for post-docs, including a review of the mentoring and Staff Review and
           Development schemes;
    •      the formation of a Research Staff Committee; and
    •      a review of the workload model for academic staff.

The Cavendish Laboratory Action Plan (CLAP) aims to monitor and review current practices
and instigate new initiatives designed to support and advise students and staff within the
Department. The Actions are listed under the 6 headings:

       •    Baseline Data and Supporting Evidence;
       •    UG and PG Students;
       •    Key Career Transition Points, Appointments and Promotions;
       •    Career Advice and Support;
       •    Culture, Communications and Departmental Organization; and
       •    Career breaks/flexible working.

The details are discussed in the following sections. The CLAP was initially formulated in March
2010 and a progress log is given in this application. It is expected that, in future, several of the
“Baseline Data and Supporting Evidence” actions may introduce further actions into other
categories. The start-up dates for new actions span over 3 academic years 09/10, 10/11 and

1: Baseline Data and Supporting Evidence

The Cambridge Student Information System (CAMSIS), the University’s official repository for
handling student information from induction to graduation, has been operational since 2005
and from 2008 can provide gender information along with the examination results for each UG

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student. The Department also holds a summary of each years examination results in the
Teaching Office. Therefore, the Department now has at is disposal a means to monitor the
numbers (Action 1.1) and performance (Action 1.2) of all UGs that read Physics as part of the
NatSci tripos.

The poorer performance of women in Physics in their first year is of particular concern; the
evidence indicates that the mathematics background may be the key to this discrepancy.
Therefore, an action in the CLAP (Action 1.3) is designed to monitor the mathematics
background of UGs by gender in order to test this hypothesis; the A2-level scores or
equivalent will be stored in CAMSIS from 2010. The Department has also run the first year UG
Intentions Survey for several years and this will continue as part of the CLAP (Action 1.4) to
provide additional information.

The PG students form a major part of the Department. There is no evidence of any bias in the
training of PGs and PhD completion rates between women and men. The CLAP will continue
to monitor the gender-balance of PGs admitted to the Department and their progression
through to completion (Action 1.5).

The breakdown of the number of staff at each grade and by gender is available from the
University Human Resources Information System (CHRIS); the Department will continue to
monitor the staff breakdown in Physics overall and at Research Group level (Action 1.6). The
staff breakdown will be compared with other SET departments within the University (Action
1.7). In addition, new staff appointments, personal fellowship awards and salary increments
(Action 1.8) and staff destinations (Action 1.9) will continue to be monitored.

The promotion statistics by gender for academic staff in the Department will continue to be
monitored through the CLAP (Action 1.10) and a new initiative to monitor the promotion of RAs
to SRA posts and researchers salary increments will be started (Action 1.11).

2: UG and PG Students

As part of the initiative to understand the performance of women UGs reading Physics in their
first year, a CLAP action (Action 2.1) will be to obtain a more complete picture of the
performance of women in Physics compared to other large SET departments such as
Engineering and Chemistry and to look at trends across all subjects in collaboration with the
University Human Resources division. The aim of the comparison with other SET departments
will be to ascertain whether the level of mathematical or other subject background influences
the performance of NatSci UGs in their first year and their subject choices for later years. Once
the cause of the poorer performance in Physics of women UGs in their first year is understood
through the monitoring of the baseline data, the Department will provide remedial action if
necessary. This action (Action 2.2) will require the full support of the Head of Department, the
Teaching Committee and if necessary through the direction of studies provided by the

As mentioned in Section 1, the UG students are surveyed at the end of their first year to
provide a picture of their intentions within NatSci. In addition, UG representatives of each year
group are consulted once per term via the Staff-Student Consultative Committee. The
Personnel Committee has recognized the need to provide a confidential means for both final
year UGs and PGs to feedback their experience of the Department via an exit questionnaire
such that any recurring issues can be addressed by the appropriate committees (Action 2.3
and Action 2.4).

Part-time PG research is provided for by the Department; the Departments policy is that it
must be based on family or career commitments. The Personnel Committee recognises the

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need to advertise the Departments policy to prospective PG students more widely on the
web-site (Action 2.5).

The Personnel Committee are aware that due to the nature of the NatSci tripos for UGs and
the parity of PG studies with other SET departments in the University, that it will be necessary
to report to and, if appropriate, to collaborate with the School of Physical Sciences in order to
take forward some UG and PG actions applicable to other SET disciplines (Action 2.6).

3 Key Career Transition Points, Appointments and Promotions

The number of staff in the Department at each level is commensurate with national statistics.
However, the Personnel Committee has identified that there appears to be a significant
reduction in the number of women at the key career transition point between Research
Associate (grade 7) and more senior posts (grade 9) compared to men. The cause of this
reduction is as yet unknown; it may mean that women are more likely not to continue with
research in academic environment or are more likely to get promoted to other more senior
posts (e.g. personal fellowships) in the Department or elsewhere. In addition, the ASSET 2010
survey data has revealed that fewer research staff (male and female) wish to continue their
careers in academic science than in the School of Physical Sciences. The CLAP aims to
identify the cause of the reduction in women between RA and SRA positions (Action 3.1) and
act upon the results of the ASSET intentions data (Action 3.2a) and, if necessary, introduce
remedial action. All staff were strongly encouraged to take part in the 2010 ASSET survey
(Action 3.2) which is now complete.

The success rate of applications for personal fellowships (JRF, RSUF, EPSRC, STFC etc) in
the Department is good and an objective of the CLAP is for all suitable fellowship candidates
to be encouraged to apply through the Staff Review and Development scheme and by Heads
of Groups (Action 3.3).

A few years ago the Department introduced a staff exit questionnaire and interview, although
only a few staff have requested an interview. The Personnel Committee recognize the
importance of the feedback received at this key career transition point and through the CLAP
will instigate an action to review the staff exit procedure and improve the response (Action

4 Career Advice and Support

The Department runs an induction procedure for new staff, although most of the induction
takes place at the research group level. Academic staff have a mentor appointed and receive
considerable support (see 2(xi)). For research staff, the Department’s induction also includes
a voluntary mentoring scheme (both mentors and mentees) which has been running for
several years. However, the uptake has not been high and it has been difficult to persuade
more senior researchers to participate in the scheme. The Personnel Committee therefore
recognizes the need for the mentoring scheme to be reviewed (Action 4.1) and if necessary to
be incorporated into the Staff Review and Development scheme (see below) for Research

The observation that the number of women in postdoctoral research posts reduces
substantially between the Research Associate and a more senior level has indicated a specific
need for a review of the career advice and support given to postdoctoral researchers. As part
of this procedure, a review of the Staff Review and Development scheme has been initiated
(Action 4.2). In addition, it will be made more apparent to both reviewers and reviewees at
induction that the SRD scheme provides an important opportunity to gain career advice and
also to optimise it for the needs of researchers with short term contracts. The redesign of the

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SRD scheme and the introduction of a Research Staff committee are also expected to provide
more formalised ways to obtain invaluable feedback for the Personnel Committee on the
induction process, mentoring scheme, and career advice for all members of staff (Action 4.3).
In addition, the Department will continue with its excellent collaboration with the University
Careers Service and advertise widely the opportunities for career advice at the Career
Surgeries hosted by the Department (Action 4.4).

5 Culture, Communications and Departmental Organization

The Department is committed, in its pursuit of academic excellence, to all aspects of Equality
and Diversity (E&D). The Athena Scheme and Juno Good Practice Checklist have highlighted
a need within the Department to enhance E&D awareness. In this respect, the CLAP includes
an action to promote E&D via a mandatory welcome session for the induction of new staff and
at suitable staff meetings (Action 5.1).

The present form of the management and committee structure of the Department was
introduced by the current Head of Department in 2006. The organization is effective in many
ways, it is well documented and transparent to all members of staff, there are clear divisions of
responsibilities and early career staff have been included at many levels. The position of Head
of Department will turn-over in October 2010 which is an appropriate time to reflect on the
effectiveness of the current organization. The Personnel Committee has therefore included an
action on the CLAP (Action 5.2) to aid with this process through the consultation of all staff
categories and working with the Head of Department to ensure the organization of the
Department builds on its excellent foundation. The CLAP also includes an action (Action 5.3)
to continue to monitor annually the gender and seniority profile of the committee memberships
and to ensure that women are fully represented at all levels.

A major aspect of an academic staff member’s research, teaching, life-balance is the overall
departmental, University and college workload that an individual is expected to undertake.
Until now, only the departmental teaching load has counted towards the workload model.
However, it is evident from the Personnel Committees investigations that this model is biased;
women are frequently more in demand to contribute to University committees, college
direction of studies, admissions and outreach. The CLAP therefore includes a major
reassessment of the Departments workload model to include all aspects of work and with the
aim of a providing a documented, fair and transparent workload model (Action 5.4). The
workload model will be monitored annually (Action 5.5).

The Department has a Nominations Committee for awards and prizes, but its membership is
not currently advertised. The Personnel Committee has therefore identified a need to review
the mandate of the Nominations Committee and ensure that the process for being nominated
for a prize is publicized and made more inclusive (Action 5.6). The Department also
recognizes the need to celebrate and advertise more widely individual career success stories;
for example to include case studies in the update of the museum and picture gallery (Action
5.7) and publicizing achievements of major awards and prizes (Action 5.8).

The Department has set up several consultative committees such as the UG Staff-Student
Consultative Committee and the Graduate Student Consultative Committee. The Personnel
Committee has identified a strong need to set-up a Research Staff Committee to provide a
discussion forum and to feedback needs to the Department on matters such as induction,
career advice, mentoring, training and transferable skills opportunities, teaching opportunities
and event organization (Action 5.9). The existing groups have all fed into the Athena/Juno
process directly or indirectly.

Meetings organized by the Department such as staff and committee meetings take place
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during normal working hours. Attendance at the Department’s main seminar (The Cavendish
Physical Society seminar) is obligatory for all students, researchers and academic staff. On
the instigation of the Personnel Committee, the timing of the seminar has just been changed to
4pm in order to allow those with carer/childcare responsibilities to attend (Action 5.10).

Many social gatherings within the Department take place either within individual research
groups or in colleges (for students). However, the Department does host several social events
(see section 2(ix)) and plans to extend its social aspect to include families, such as a summer
garden party (Action 5.11).

6 Career breaks/flexible working

For many years, the University and Department have promoted explicit procedures for career
breaks and flexible working and many members of staff have taken advantage of the
opportunities available. Although, these procedures and policies are in place, they are not
widely advertised on the Departments web-site. Therefore, the Personnel Committee has
initiated an action (Action 6.1) in the CLAP to advertise these opportunities on the
Departments web-site, along with the career success stories of individuals, in particular
women, who have had significant career breaks, especially for family reasons (Action 6.2).
The Department is also sensitive to the needs of academic women returning to work after
maternity leave and has a policy for a reduction in the workload model on return; the CLAP
also includes an initiative to advertise this policy on the web-site (Action 6.3).

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

Action Juno   Description of action               Action taken already        Further action          Progress Log   Responsibility    Timescale   Success
       Ref                                        and outcome at              planned at March                                                     Measure
                                                  March 2010                  2010

1     Baseline Data and Supporting Evidence

1.1   1       Monitor UG student data by gender   Data collected for entry    Create record of                       Teaching          1/5/09-     Maintain or
                   Annual report to               and for cohorts; local      national data (IoP);                   Committee,        30/6/10     increase above
                 -     Teaching Committee         systems fit for purpose;    create standard                        Teaching Office   onwards     national figures.
                 -     Personnel Committee        data in line with           ongoing process and
                 -     Executive Board            national figures            record
                 -     Staff meeting
1.2   1       Monitor UG performance by           Data collected and          Data collection and                    Teaching          1/5/09      Same gender
              gender                              processed into              processing in                          Committee,        -30/6/10    performance at
                   Annual report to               standard form and           standard form                          Teaching Office   onwards     end of each year.
                 -     Teaching Committee         analysed; systems fit       –ongoing. Investigate
                 -     Personnel Committee        for purpose. Issue over     further difference in
                 -     Executive Board            performance in 1A (first    performance in first
                 -     Staff meeting              year) see text; practical   year by gender
                                                  courses modified
1.3   1       Monitor UG UMS A2 scores (or        Data will be available in Data to be extracted                     Teaching          S2010:      Get all data and
              equiv) in Physics, Maths and        2010                      from Admissions                          Committee,        1/5/09      reach conclusion
              F.Maths. Include in UG                                        Office and stored in                     Teaching Office   -30/6/10    with respect to
              performance report (1.2).                                     standard form, to                                          onwards     1.2
                                                                            allow comparison with
                                                                            outcomes in 1.2
1.4   1       Review and monitor the UG Part      Data collected and        Ongoing data                             Teaching          2005        Increase return
              1A Intentions survey                analysed over past        collection and                           Committee,        -30/6/10    rate to 75%.
                    Annual report to              years; systems fit for    analysis; further case                   Teaching Office   onwards     Increase female
                  -    Teaching Committee         purpose. Females less studies                                                                    retention.
                  -    Personnel Committee        likely to pursue Physics
                  -    Executive Board            to later years – see text
                  -    Staff meeting

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Action Juno   Description of action                  Action taken already       Further action          Progress Log           Responsibility   Timescale   Success
       Ref                                           and outcome at             planned at March                                                            Measure
                                                     March 2010                 2010
1.5   1       Monitor PG student data and            Data collected on          Ongoing data                                   Departmental     1/5/09      Maintain 100%
              completion rates by gender             robust departmental        collection and analysis                        Academic         -30/6/10    submission rates
                    Annual report to                 systems and analysed;                                                     Secretary        onwards     and no change in
                  -    Graduate Education            systems fit for purpose                                                                                completion
                       Committee                                                                                                                            times.
                  -    Graduate Students
                       Consultative Committee
                  -    Personnel Committee
                  -    Executive Board
                  -    Staff meeting
1.6   1       Monitor staff data at all grades and   Data collected on          Ongoing data            1/4/10 – staff data    Departmental     1/10/09     Increase
              by gender overall and at the           robust departmental        collection and          updated for 31/12/09   Administrative   -30/10/10   percentage of
              Research Group level                   systems and analysed       analysis; review data                          Secretary        onwards     females in senior
                    Annual report to                 – see text                 on fellowship                                                               (grade 9) posts
                  -    Personnel Committee                                      applications where                                                          to match IoP
                  -    Executive Board                                          known                                                                       levels / RA
                  -    Staff meeting                                                                                                                        percentages.
1.7   1       Comparison of staff data at all                                   Data dumps from                                University       S2010:      Get all data and
              grades with other SET                                             CHRIS to be defined                            WiSETI office,   1/5/10      compare.
              departments in the University                                     in consultation with                           Departmental     -30/6/11    Differences to be
                                                                                SET departments                                Administrative               <=5% on large
                                                                                                                               Secretary                    data sets. Create
                                                                                                                                                            further action to
                                                                                                                                                            address any
1.8   2       Monitor staff appointments,            Equal opportunity          Encourage uptake of                            Departmental     1/5/09 –    Increase rate of
              including fellowships and pay          forms; short list and      EO training and                                Administrative   31/12/10    return to 95%
              award success rates                    decision grids collected   increase return of                             Secretary,                   50% of PIs to
                     Annual report to                for most appointments.     forms                                          HoD Office                   complete EO
                   -   Personnel Committee           No evidence of                                                                                         training
                   -   Executive Board               discrimination                                                                                         (e-learning
                   -   Staff meeting                                                                                                                        module).

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

Action Juno   Description of action                Action taken already    Further action          Progress Log               Responsibility   Timescale   Success
       Ref                                         and outcome at          planned at March                                                                Measure
                                                   March 2010              2010
1.9    1      Monitor staff destinations           Modify exit             Collect and collate                                Departmental     M2010:      Increase
                   Annual report to                questionnaire – no      data                                               Administrative   1/10/10 –   proportion of
                 -     Personnel Committee         outcome yet available                                                      Secretary        30/6/11     leavers
                 -     Executive Board                                                                                                                     destination
                 -     Staff meeting                                                                                                                       information.
                                                                                                                                                           Monitor for
1.10   3      Monitor academic staff promotions Data collected from        Data to be fed to                                  HoD Office       1/5/09      Maintain high
              by gender                         applications – good        Administrative                                                      -30/6/10    success rate for
                                                gender balance             Secretary                                                           onwards     both genders
1.11   3      Monitor the promotion rates by                                                                                  Departmental     M2010:      Obtain a gender
              gender from RA to SRA.                                                                                          Academic         1/10/10 –   balance in
                                                                                                                              Secretary        30/6/11     applications and
                                                                                                                                                           success rates.

2      UG and PG Students

2.1    1      Comparison of UG performance                                 Define and obtain       1/4/10 – Wiseti data for   University       S2010:      Put system in
              with other SET departments                                   agreement on data       engineering and maths      WiSETI office,   1/5/10 –    place. Establish
                                                                           required                rec’d; revealing similar   Teaching         30/6/11     reporting format
                                                                                                   discrepancy. Data for      Committee.       onwards
                                                                                                   Chemistry and
                                                                                                   comparison with
                                                                                                   Maths marks
                                                                                                   requested from
                                                                                                   WiSETI office.
2.2    1      Identify the cause of any            Use data from 2.1 and   Follow up statistical                              HoD, Teaching    S2010:      Reach valid
              difference in performance of         current data            analysis with                                      Committee,       1/5/10 –    conclusion;
              women in Physics in Part 1A and                              interviews, feedback                               Colleges.        30/6/11     plan and
              take remedial action if necessary.                                                                                                           implement
                   -    Action 1.2, 1.3                                                                                                                    remedial action
                   -    Action 2.1                                                                                                                         if necessary,
                                                                                                                                                           possibly extra
                                                                                                                                                           maths support.

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

Action Juno   Description of action                  Action taken already     Further action          Progress Log           Responsibility    Timescale   Success
       Ref                                           and outcome at           planned at March                                                             Measure
                                                     March 2010               2010
2.3    1      UG exit questionnaire                                            Create questionnaire                          Teaching          S2010:      Instigate and
              Annual report to                                                                                               Committee,        1/5/10 –    achieve high
                   -   Teaching Committee                                                                                    Teaching Office   30/6/11     return rate
                   -   Personnel Committee                                                                                                                 ~60%.
                   -   Executive Board
2.4    1      PG exit questionnaire                                           Create questionnaire                           Graduate          M2010:      Instigate and
              Annual report to                                                                                               Education         1/10/10 –   achieve high
                   -   Graduate Education                                                                                    Committee         30/6/11     return rate
                       Committee                                                                                                                           ~60%..
                   -   Graduate Students
                       Consultative Committee
                   -   Personnel Committee
                   -   Executive Board
2.5    5      Advertise Departmental policy on                                                        COMPLETED 4/5/10       Departmental      L2010       Complete.
              part-time PG degrees.                                                                                          Academic                      Policy
                                                                                                                             Secretary                     published
2.6    1      Report outcome of UG and PG            School aware of Juno     Actions identified as                          Personnel         S2011       Inform and
              actions to School of Physical          and Athena               applicable at School                           Committee,                    review an
              Science and, if necessary,             application which will   level will be taken                            Teaching                      Action plan at
              collaborate with School to take        be discussed .           forward.                                       Committee                     the School
              actions further.                                                                                                                             level.

3      Key Career Transition Points, Appointments and Promotions

3.1    3      Identify the cause of reduction in                              Analyse fellowship      1/5/10 Discuss issue   Personnel         L2010:      Reach valid
              women researchers between RA                                    applications;           at RSC meeting –       Committee         1/1/10-     conclusion.
              (grade 7) and grade 9                                           follow-up individual    14/5/10                                  30/6/10
              appointments                                                    cases
                  -     Action 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9,
                  -     Action 3.2, 3.3, 3.4
                  -     Action 4.2, 4.3
                  -     Action 5.9 

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

Action Juno   Description of action                 Action taken already    Further action         Progress Log             Responsibility   Timescale   Success
       Ref                                          and outcome at          planned at March                                                             Measure
                                                    March 2010              2010
3.2    1      2010 ASSET questionnaire               Staff have been         Review resulting      1/5/10 COMPLETED –       Personnel        L2010       Achieve high
                                                     encouraged to           report and            achieved highest         Committee                    return rate and
                                                     participate in the      implications for      response rate in         Head of                      address
                                                     survey.                 Department.           School                   Department                   implications for
                                                                                                   Data incorporated into                                Department
                                                                                                   SWAN application
3.2a   1      Identify the cause of fewer                                                          1/5/10 NEW Action as     Personnel        L2010       Reach valid
              research staff (M&F) wishing to                                                      a result of ASSET        Committee                    conclusion.
              continue with a career in                                                            2010. Discuss issue at
              academic science.                                                                    RSC meeting –
3.3    2,3    Ensure PGs and researchers are        Nomination forms        To agenda of next                               HoGs to          Continue    Transparency
              aware of opportunities to apply for   circulated to HoGs      RA Committee                                    encourage        Summer      of procedures.
              personal fellowships (JRF,            Funding opportunities   meeting                                         and apply for    Term        Emphasise at
              RSUF, EPSRC, STFC etc), pay           circulated to groups                                                    RA pay awards,   2010        RA meeting
              awards                                                                                                        SRD
                                                                                                                            RA Committee
3.4    1      Staff exit interview and                                      Follow-up non-return                            Departmental     Continue    Improve return
              questionnaire. Report to                                      of forms – new                                  Administrative   1/6/10      rate on
              Personnel Committee.                                          administrative                                  Secretary                    questionnaire
                                                                            procedure                                                                    to 80%.

4      Career Advice and Support

4.1    3      Review and monitor uptake of          Monitoring guidance     Use RA Committee /     1/5/10 to agenda of      Personnel        M2009:      New scheme in
              Mentoring Scheme                      published. Discussion   group administrators   RSC mtg                  Committee,       1/10/09     place by
                                                    group in place and      to embed                                        Departmental     -30/11/10   October 2010.
                                                    active.                                                                 Administrative
4.2    3      Review SRD scheme for RAs             Scheme currently in     Absorb new             1/5/10 New checklist     Personnel        M2009:      New scheme in
                  -   Asset survey                  place. Discussion       University changes;    based on Athena and      Committee, RA    1/10/09     place by
                  -   Induction procedure           group in place and      consider increasing    Juno principles          Committee,       -30/11/10   October 2010.
                  -   Update guidelines             active.                 frequency of review    produced. To agenda      Departmental
                  -   Frequency of SRD                                                             of RSC mtg               Administrative
                  -   SRD feedback                                                                                          Secretary

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

Action Juno   Description of action                Action taken already     Further action          Progress Log   Responsibility    Timescale   Success
       Ref                                         and outcome at           planned at March                                                     Measure
                                                   March 2010               2010
4.3    3      Feedback on induction,                Already in place, but    Review annually.                      Personnel         M2009:      New scheme in
              mentoring, SRD and careers            needs improvement                                              Committee, RA     1/10/09     place by
              advice                                                                                               Committee,        -30/11/10   October 2010.
                  -   Asset survey                                                                                 Departmental
                  -   RA committee                                                                                 Administrative
                  -   SRD scheme                                                                                   Secretary

4.4    3      Career advice for RAs                Careers surgeries        Ensure careers                         Personnel         Continue    Maintain
                  -   Continue with Career         and events in place      adviser funding                        Committee,        1/10/10     highest
                      surgeries offered by the                              remains in place;                      University                    participation
                      University careers                                    monitor participation                  Careers Service               rate in School.
                  -   Advertise widely

5      Culture, Communications and Departmental Organization

5.1    4      Improve awareness of Equality                                 Encourage uptake of                    Personnel         M2010:      Launch new
              and Diversity at                                              EO e-learning                          Committee,        1/10/10 –   welcome
                  -   Welcome and induction                                 modules; develop                       Departmental      30/11/11    session and
                      sessions for all new staff                            continuity training                    Administrative                schedule E&D
                  -   Staff meetings                                                                               Secretary.                    session at staff
                                                                                                                                                 meeting. 50%
                                                                                                                                                 PIs to take
5.2    1      Review the Departmental              New structure in 2005    Review structure                       HoD,              M2010:      New HoD
              organization                                                  with new HoD                           Executive         1/10/10 –   report to
                                                                                                                   Board             30/11/11    Executive
5.3    1      Monitor committee membership         Committee                Continue                               HoD Office         30/6/10    Maintain
                                                   membership reviewed                                                                onwards    gender balance
                                                   annually – gender                                                                             on committees
                                                   balance achieved                                                                              commensurate

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

Action Juno   Description of action                Action taken already    Further action        Progress Log             Responsibility   Timescale   Success
       Ref                                         and outcome at          planned at March                                                            Measure
                                                   March 2010              2010
5.4    4      Review and document                   Senior management       Convene focus        30/3/10 – EB agree to    HoD, Executive   L2010:      New scheme in
              Department Workload Model to          aware of need for       group and define     establishment of         Board            1/1/10 –    place Summer
              include                               focus group and in      terms of reference   working group. ToR in                     30/6/11     term 2011.
                   -    Internal and External       conjunction with                             preparation.
                        committees                  School.
                   -    College teaching load
                   -    Outreach
5.5    4      Monitor Workloads within new                                 Collect data and                               HoD Office,      M2010:      New scheme in
              Workload Model                                               process                                        Appropriate      1/7/11 -    place Summer
                   -    Internal and External                                                                             Officers.        onwards     term 2011.
                   -    College teaching load
                   -    Outreach
5.6    1      Review and develop the mandate       Informal scheme in                                                     HoD              M2010:      Ensure HoD
              of the Nominations Committee.        place                                                                                   1/10/10     aware.
              Publicise the procedure for                                                                                                  onwards
              nominations for awards and
              prizes to all staff.
5.7    4      Update Cavendish museum and          Current collection      Ensure gender         1/5/10 old display       Museum           L2011:      Produce a
              picture gallery to include current   seen as male            balance of success    removed; specification   Curator,         1/1/11 –    vision
              career successes                     dominated               stories               of new display system    Outreach         30/3/12     document for
                                                                                                 agreed; new poster       Officer,                     museum by
                                                                                                 holders mounted          Development                  2012.
5.8    4      Publicize awards and prizes on       New website has         Continue              1/5/10 New website       HoD              M2010:      Continue with
              web, staff meetings etc              rolling news function                         homepage launched                         1/10/10 –   good practice.
                                                                                                 with updated news                         30/11/11
5.9    4      Form RA Committee to advise on       RAs introduced to       Hold RA meeting and   COMPLETED –              Personnel        M2010:      Form RA
                  -   Induction procedure          Personnel Committee     establish committee   Renamed RSC              Committee        1/10/10 –   Committee by
                  -   Mentoring                                                                  formed, first meeting                     30/11/11    Michaelmas
                  -   Career advice                                                              held 14/5/10                                          Term 2010.
                  -   Training needs
                  -   Events
5.10   4      Review timing of CPS seminars        Done – moved 15                               COMPLETED                HoD; staff       1/1/10      Agree time to fit
                                                   minutes earlier to                                                     meeting                      with
                                                   finish by 5.00pm                                                                                    carer/childcare

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

Action Juno   Description of action                 Action taken already      Further action        Progress Log            Responsibility   Timescale   Success
       Ref                                          and outcome at            planned at March                                                           Measure
                                                    March 2010                2010
5.11   4      Improve social aspect of               Group functions and       Look to establish    Reschedule Summer       HoD              AY2012:     Event in
              Department e.g. summer garden          retirement parties        more                 2012                                     1/5/11 –    Summer 2011.
              party for families                     held; pensioners tea      department-wide                                               30/6/12
                                                     party – all seen as       events
                                                     positive to working

6      Career breaks/flexible working

6.1    5      Advertise parental leave, return to   HR policies               Produce               1/5/10 COMPLETED –      Personnel        S2010       Update
              work and flexible working policies    highlighted on            departmental          see                     Committee,                   web-site by
              widely                                website; high uptake      introductions to HR   HoD Office                   Summer Term
                                                    of parental, sabbatical   polices               .uk/athenaswan/                                      2010. Maintain
                                                    and maternity leave                                                                                  high uptake and
                                                                                                                                                         zero complaints
6.2    5      Advertise career success stories                                Produce posters and                           Personnel        L2011:      4-5 case
              of women with families in the                                   publicity materials                           Committee,       1/1/11 –    studies by
              Department widely and on the                                                                                  HoD Office       30/6/11     Summer 2011.
6.3    5      Advertise policy for workload after                             As 6.1                                        HoD, Executive   S2010:      Web-site by
              return from maternity leave                                                                                   Board,           1/5/10 –    Summer term
                                                                                                                            Teaching         30/6/10     2010. Maintain
                                                                                                                            Committee                    zero complaints

Notes and Key to Action Plan:

 Start Date                              Timescale          Colour
 Already embedded/completed
 Michaelmas Term 2009                    M2009
 Lent Term 2010                          L2010
 Summer Term 2010                        S2010
 Michaelmas Term 2010                    M2010
 Lent Term 2011                          L2011
 Summer Term 2011                        S2011
Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

 Academic Year 2011-2012               AY2012

 Completed since March 2010

1.   HoD = Head of Department 
2.   HoG = Head of Research Group 
3.   RA = Research Associate 
4.   RSC = Research Staff Committee 

Athena SWAN Silver award form v2

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