Athena SWAN resources, funding and publications
Find out more about resources and links relevant to Athena SWAN, including support and funding from external organisations.
Inspiration for women and girls
Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) helps organisations to inspire women and girls to pursue STEM subjects as pathways to exciting and fulfilling careers. Their mission is to push the presence of female employees from 13% to 30% by 2020, boosting the talent pool to drive economic growth.
Women in Science Research Network (WISRnet) is a cross-disciplinary network of academics, archivists and practising scientists who have come together to examine the participation of women in learned scientific societies, from the early 19th century to current times.
External funding bodies
The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres contains a (non-exhaustive) database of funding bodies for STEM subjects.
The National Express Foundation Group offers bursaries to select institutions and individuals to address gender imbalances such as for men in nursing and women in engineering.
Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships provide funding for outstanding, early-career scientists in the UK who require a flexible working pattern due to personal circumstances such as parenting or caring responsibilities or health issues.
The Janet Thornton Fellowship is a postdoctoral-level fellowship aimed at getting scientists back into scientific research if they have had a career break of a minimum of 12 months. The Fellowship can be taken as full-time, part-time or flexibly worked position. Successful candidates will receive a fellow's salary, research expenses, training and generous Sanger Institute benefits.
Funding for great ideas
Horizon 2020 is one of the largest EU Research and Innovation programmes with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.
Funding for research and training
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing more than £800 million a year in a broad range of subjects - from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering.
The EPSRC offer a range of funding opportunities.
Scholarships for women
British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG) Scholarships are awarded annually to women studying for doctorates at British universities in competition on the basis of overall academic excellence. The amounts offered in awards range upwards from £1000 with the average award being around £3000 and the maximum being £6000.
The L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme recognises the achievements and contributions of exceptional females across the globe, by awarding promising scientists with Fellowships to help further their research.
Returning to work after a career gap
Daphne Jackson Fellowships are designed to return STEM professionals to their careers after a break. Fellows normally carry out their research part-time over 2 years, in a university or research establishment in the UK. They are flexible and include a tailored training programme designed to update skills and knowledge and support you in your return to research.
Study in UK offers information for female international students interested in studying in the UK and presents facts and details relating to the steady increase in female students enrolled in science programmes.
Engineering and computing
Gradcracker is a careers website for engineering and technology students. It contains information on work placements, graduate opportunities, events and fairs.
The Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Their Women in Engineering (WIE) professional organisation and Women in Computing Computer Society are dedicated to promoting women and inspiring girls around the world to follow their academic interests to a career in engineering and computer science.
The Association for Computing Machinery Women (ACM-W) UK chapters support women in pursuing computing related careers, finding like-minded colleagues, and learning new skills. They celebrate and support women in Computer Science and organise events and talks. A local University of Hertfordshire chapter was established in 2017.
The South East Physics Network (SEPnet) provides research, teaching and outreach activities along with innovative programmes that bring the excitement of physics to students, teachers and employers alike. They also lead the Sepnet Graduate Network postgraduate school.
The Institute of Physics (IOP) coordinates Project Juno, which recognises and rewards physics departments, schools, institutes and organisations that can demonstrate they have taken action to address gender equality in physics and to encourage better practice for all staff.
Their website also contains:
- resources (e.g. teaching resources, video interview and demonstrations of experiments)
- notifications of events
- support for students, teachers and academics
- information on networks and groups
The Royal Society of Chemistry is committed to providing services relevant to the scientific and professional needs of women in the chemical sciences and actively promotes the entry and re-entry of women to the profession.
The mission of the Academy of Medical Sciences is to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society. They run the SUSTAIN programme for women researchers to thrive in their independent research careers. It provides an innovative programme of training and support to develop participants’ leadership and career potential. Their website also includes a list of grants and schemes.
This collection of publications focuses on issues women (and men) face in academia, including career breaks:
- 'Gender bias in academe: An annotated bibliography of important recent studies' offers insight into the struggles faced by academia in adequately confronting persistent and entrenched gender bias in its own corridors through summaries of over twenty research articles on gender bias in academe.
- 'Career gaps: Maternity muddle' talks about maternity leave and the way it impacts on a career in research.
- 'Dark World Awaits Women' discusses the issues faced by female PhD students.
- 'Gazing at the future: The experiences of male and female physics and astronomy doctoral students in the UK' presents the findings of a survey of around 1000 male and female doctoral students in physics and astronomy and their differing experiences, and provides a number of key recommendations for departments, funders and professional societies.
- The Wellcome Trust gives useful advice on 'How to return to research after a break from the lab'.
- 'Time for men to sign up to female-dominated caring and sharing jobs' argues that, just as more women are needed in STEM industries, more men should be encouraged to take up nursing and teaching for better pay and greater diversity.
The National STEM Centre has a collection of STEM teaching and learning resources. The Centre works with business, industry, professional bodies and other organisations to provide support for schools and colleges and to promote STEM careers awareness.
The Higher Education Academy offers a range of support including:
- resources (curriculum design, teaching and learning), such as discipline-specific guides on embedding equality and diversity in the curriculum
- professional recognition (fellowships, awards, accreditation)
- information on events and conferences
- information for STEM disciplines
Home and work balance
Working Families is a charity that helps working parents and carers and their employers find a better balance between responsibilities at home and work.
The charity provides information for working mothers, fathers and carers on:
- their employment rights
- Tax Credits and in-work benefits
- maternity and paternity leave
- maternity discrimination
- flexible working options
Internal support for students and staff
There is also a range of Athena SWAN inspired support for students and staff at the University of Hertfordshire.
Contact the Equality Office if you have queries about Athena SWAN or need further information.