Skip to main content
Collaborative Projects EDI image

Athena Swan FAQs: Grace Period

The answers to some frequently asked questions about the Athena Swan charter grace period.

What happens if an applicant is unsuccessful at renewing an award or applying for an award of a higher level?

If an award holder is unsuccessful in achieving an award at the same level as their existing award[LA1] , they are offered a grace period. This grace period extends their previous award from the date of the results letter until the assessment round that falls one year after the results communication, or until the end date of their award validity (whichever is later).

Applicants can submit a revised application at any time during this period and their previous award remains valid throughout the grace period and assessment of the revised application. Only one grace period is offered per award; if the applicant submits a revised application and is again unsuccessful, their award may be removed or lowered. If an extension has previously been made to the award validity for another reason, the grace period following an unsuccessful renewal may be shortened or unavailable.

Example 1: A university receives their bronze award in the April 2017 round, which is valid until April 2021. The university applies for a renewal of their bronze award in April 2021 and are notified of their unsuccessful result in September 2021. They are offered a grace period of one year and must resubmit in or before the November 2022 assessment round.

Example 2: A department receives their bronze award in November 2016, which is valid until November 2020. The department applies for an early renewal of their bronze award in November 2019 and are notified of their unsuccessful result in April 2020. They are offered a grace period of one year and must resubmit in or before the April 2021 assessment round.

Example 3: A university receives their bronze award in April 2017, which is valid until April 2021. The university applies for an early renewal of their bronze award in April 2019 and are notified of their unsuccessful result in September 2019. Their original award remains valid until April 2021, by which time they must reapply. No additional grace period is offered.

Does a department lose its award during a University-level grace period?

Throughout the grace period following an unsuccessful renewal of a university-level award, departments from that university may continue to apply for awards. Any awards conferred during the university’s grace period will remain valid for the standard validity period, regardless of the outcome of the university’s application. Applicants should note that a university-level award is an eligibility requirement for departmental submissions. If a university no longer holds an award, no new departmental submissions can be accepted. If a university-level application is unsuccessful, resulting in the university-level award being removed, awards cannot be conferred to departments whose applications were submitted in the same assessment round. Any award-holding departments submitting in the same round as the unsuccessful university-level application will be offered a grace period on their current award.

Example 1: A university is unsuccessful at renewing their Bronze award during their grace period resulting in their current award being removed. A department applies in the same round for their first bronze award and is found to meet the criteria. The bronze departmental award cannot be conferred.

Example 2: A university is unsuccessful at renewing their Bronze award during their grace period, resulting in their award being removed. A bronze award-holding department applies in the same round to upgrade to a silver award and is found to meet the criteria. A new silver award cannot be conferred, but the department is offered a grace period to their current bronze award.

Example 3: A university is unsuccessful at renewing their Bronze award during their grace period, resulting in their award being removed. A bronze award-holding department applies in the same round to renew their bronze award and is found to not meet the criteria. They are offered a grace period to their current bronze award.