Skip to main content
Group work

Athena Swan Frequently Asked Questions

The answers to some frequently asked questions about various aspects of the Athena Swan charter.

Application Process


- When do we need to notify you of our intention to submit?
- When is the deadline for submitting applications?
- Can we request an extension to the deadline?
- Do we need to submit hardcopies of the applications?
- Is a fee charged for submissions?
- Where can I find more information on gold award applications?
Read more


- When will the results be announced?
- Will our submission be published online?

Read more

Appeals and Objections

- Is there an appeals process?
- Is there a way for an individual to challenge or object to an award?

Read more

Grace period

- What happens if an applicant is unsuccessful at renewing an award or applying for an award of a higher level?
- Does a department lose its award during a University-level grace period?

Read more

Support from Advance HE

- What support can we expect from Advance HE?
- What training does Advance HE provide panellists for peer review panels?

Read more

Application Guidance

General guidance

- How are AHSSBL and STEMM defined?
- Should we apply for a Bronze or Silver department award?
- How do we decide whether to submit as a department, school or faculty?
- What happens if two departments merge?
- How should we include clinical and/or allied health professionals in our staffing data?
- If we already hold an award, do we need to complete the full application again?
Read more

Word limits and URLs

- What is the word limit for submissions?
- Can we request an extension to the word count?
- Are we allowed to include URLs in submissions?

Read more


- Where can I find information and guidance about working with data?
- How recent does the data presented have to be for November and April submission rounds?
- Under the new GDPR guidelines, can we collect, store and monitor personal information, including around recruitment activities?
- Where can our institution or department collect data to inform our work supporting trans people?
Read more


- Why benchmark your data?
- When should we use benchmarking data and what should we consider?
- Where can we find external benchmarking data?

Read more

Professional and support staff

- What is Advance HE's definition of professional and support staff (PSS) and which staff should we include in our submission?
- How do we include professional and support staff (PSS) in Departmental submissions if our staff are centralised/ consolidated or Faculty managed?
- Where should professional and support staff be included in the application?
Read more


- What do we mean by ‘intersectionality’?
- Why are we asking institutions to consider intersectionality in their Athena Swan application?

Read more

Self-Assessment Process

- What is a self-assessment team?
- Where can I find out more?

Read more

Including previous action plans in applications and Project Juno

- How should we include previous plans in our application?
- How do we apply if we are a physics department with Juno Champion status?

Read more


FAQS regarding timings and extensions, submissions and Advance HE support

- Due to the impact of Covid-19, we don’t think we’re going to be ready to submit in time, what can we do?
- Do we need to address Covid-19 in our submission?
- What support is Advance HE offering Athena Swan applicants during Covid-19 restrictions?
Read more
3px purple line

Further guidance

Further guidance can also be found in the documentation provided in our Athena Swan resources information pack.  

Request an Athena Swan information pack

Whether you are ready to apply or would just like to find out more about applying for an Athena Swan award, complete the form below and we will email you an information pack with links to guidance documents and application forms.


Keep up-to-date with the latest from Advance HE
Let us do the hard work for you and keep you updated with services such as: the latest news, reports and research from around the sector, information on Advance HE services and awards that can support you in your role.

I agree to Advance HE contacting me via: