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Athena Swan FAQs: Word limits and URLs

The answers to some frequently asked questions word limits and URLs in Athena Swan charter applications.

What is the word limit for submissions?

Bronze Silver Gold
Institution 10,500 12,500 13,500
Department 10,500 12,000 13,000
Research Institutes 12,500 15,000 16,250

Details of what should and should not be included in the word count are outlined in the relevant Athena Swan handbooks, which can be downloaded through the information packs.

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Can we request an extension to the word count?

You may request to extend your word limit up to a maximum of 1,000 additional words, depending on your specific circumstances:

  • Exceptional circumstances (for example, a recent restructure)
  • Large faculties
  • Research institutes with clinical and non-clinical staff

Further information can be found in the relevant award handbooks (downloadable through Information Packs). In any circumstance applicants who wish to extend their word limit on these grounds should contact Advance HE’s Equality Charters Team for approval at least two months in advance of the submission deadline.

Are we allowed to include URLs in submissions?

Applicants should be aware that all the information considered necessary for an award must be included in the submission. For consistency and fairness, panellists are specifically instructed not to visit websites or any additional sources of information that are mentioned in submissions in order to undertake their review. If you wish panellists to see the content of a webpage, a screenshot may be used. However, application word counts include legible words in screenshots, so you may wish to blur or block certain parts of such images, as this is unlikely to be an economic use of the available word count. Advance HE understands that applicants see value in the inclusion of web-links, particularly in shared or published versions of submissions, therefore, including URLs is permitted under the understanding that they cannot be used by panellists as part of the peer-review process.