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Posts tagged ‘Research’

An update on Athena SWAN at UEL

Lisa Mooney PVC

Dr Lisa Mooney, who recently started at UEL as PVC for Research and Knowledge Exchange, will be taking over as Chair for UEL’s Athena SWAN Steering Group. Lisa has worked in Higher Education for over 25 years where she has worked at the interface between interdisciplinary scholarship and business. Best known for her work on the study of collaborative research practices and interdisciplinary research methodology with industry. Previously the University Dean of Research and The Graduate School at the University of Lincoln, Lisa was responsible for research, ethical governance and graduate research strategies, as well as leading the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Lisa also has previous experience of work on the Athena SWAN charter.

What are we currently working on?


  1. Our Athena SWAN charter mark application – This is our main focus at the moment and we plan to submit in April 2017. The application involves qualitative and quantitative analysis in order to understand our current demographic and experiences of working culture in relation to gender for ALL staff (i.e. not only women). This has so far included consultation with staff through our online Gender Equality Survey (open from June – July 2016). The survey aimed to look at the experience of ALL staff at UEL in relation to gender and what, if any, improvements are needed. We had a good response to the survey – thank you to everyone who completed this. Analysis is now underway – watch out for further consultation events over the coming months.


  2. Embedding gender equality across UEL – for example working with Schools to embed gender equality within their School planning, promotion of unconscious bias training and review of recruitment processes. The School of Psychology are leading the way having recently set up their ‘Self-assessment Team’ to start work on their School (departmental) application.


  3. Supporting and advancing STEMM women’s careers e.g. through mentoring and network support. Our Athena SWAN mentoring programme is now in it’s second year and has recently been externally accredited. We have 50+ academics involved on the programme either as mentors or mentees. Hear from current participants on the programme about their experiences:


How to get involved?

If you are interested in getting involved in our mentoring programme, please contact  

Find out who your School Athena SWAN representative is, attend one of our events or follow us via social media: Contact Us


Gender Equality at UEL – Have your say!

Let us know what you think about gender equality at UEL by spending 5-10 minutes to complete our Gender Equality Survey (follow link to survey).

Who should complete this survey?

ALL staff should complete this survey – all academics, all professional and support staff, all genders.

Why is this important?

It is important for us to understand the experience of ALL staff at UEL in relation to gender (including for example working culture and career progression) and what, if any, improvements are needed.

The feedback from this survey will help:

  • to measure the impact of our actions to date
  • to inform our planning and approach to improving gender equality generally
  • to inform our Athena SWAN application specifically

What is Athena SWAN and what does it have to do with gender equality?

Athena SWAN is a charter mark which recognises work undertaken to improve gender equality in ALL academic disciplines as well as for professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. It covers gender more broadly and does not focus only on the under representation of women.

Work towards the charter mark has the potential to act as a catalyst for cultural change; to strengthen our equality agenda and improve the working environment for all.

You said, we did

Our last gender equality survey provided insight on issues important to staff which we were able to use to start work on a number of areas, including:

  • The Athena SWAN mentoring programme was piloted this academic year and we are now recruiting for 2016/2017
  • Work to increase the visibility of female role models, for example through case studies
  • Results of the survey were able to inform the launch of UEL’s Women’s network which has held a number of events during the year and continues to grow
  • Feedback on specific issues were able to inform our Athena SWAN action plan, including for example on the workload allocation system.

What are we currently working on?

UEL’s recent application for bronze Athena SWAN charter award was unsuccessful. However, recognition for the achievements to date was encouraging and the feedback useful on how we can more effectively embed Athena SWAN and gender equality into our day to day work. This has provided us with the impetus to look afresh at gender equality across the institution and we have started planning our re-application.

Further details on Athena SWAN work at UEL can be found on the Athena SWAN pages of the intranet.

UKRO – sign up now for H2020 updates

The UKRO Portal provides regular updates and daily news on EU funding programmes, with a particular focus on Horizon 2020. The Portal also provides information on other European funding programmes and has a dedicated EU policy section. When signing up, you can tailor your profile to meet your specific needs, by selecting research and policy areas of interest and by determining the frequency of email updates.

Horizon 2020 started at the beginning of this year and the first set of calls has been launched. UKRO keeps you up to date on the latest Horizon 2020 developments, including on the work programme development, the likely timetable for future calls, application, proposal writing and project implementation advice, information on networking and brokerage events, information days, partner searches and relevant related policy developments.

Signing up only takes a few minutes: New users from organisations that subscribe to UKRO can set up a profile on the UKRO Portal by going to There is a Quick Registration option or the option to tailor your profile according to specific areas of interest.


News: EU Survey Shows Strong Public Support for Research


A new public survey mapping EU citizens’ attitudes towards science and technology shows strong support for research and innovation but also concerns over the negative impact of new technologies to human health and the environment. 


This special Eurobarometer survey focussing on ‘Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), Science and Technology’ builds on a previous survey in 2010 on EU citizens’ views on science, technology and research. It is based on interviews of 27,563 respondents across the EU who were asked about their level of interest and knowledge of science and technology and about the influence of science and technology on society and quality of life. The respondents were also asked to give their views on the role of ethics and ethical behaviour in research, the involvement of young people in science, and gender issues. 

The survey reveals that the vast majority of Europeans (77%) think that science and technology has a positive influence on society, but they want research and innovation to be carried out with due attention to ethical principles (76%) and gender balance (84%). The survey also shows considerable levels of concern over unforeseen negative side-effects of science and technology on health, environment and security.

A vast majority of respondents (84%) think that scientific education is important in stimulating creative thinking in young people, although the majority (65%) also think that governments are not doing enough to get young people interested in science.

The findings of the survey are of relevance to Horizon 2020 in that ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ (RRI) is a cross-cutting aspect of the new programme. Horizon 2020 has a dedicated budget for ‘Science with and for Society’ activities but projects in other areas are also expected to demonstrate that the values and concerns of EU citizens are appropriately addressed throughout the research and innovation process.

Funding news: Grantfinder report survey