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Women in HE Conference 2021

Panellists and observers

Panellists and observers are central to the peer review assessment process of Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter.

What do panellists and observers do?

Every Race Equality Charter application is reviewed by a panel.

Panellists read the applications, assess them against criteria and then meet to discuss their assessments and agree whether to recommend that an award is conferred and at what level. 

Observers can witness the panel process. This role can be especially helpful for those working towards a Race Equality Charter. Observers do not take part in the decision-making process and do not vote, though may be asked for their opinions on submissions after decisions have been made.

If you are interested in becoming an Athena Swan panellist and/or observers, you can register your interest via the below link.

Find out more about UK Athena Swan review panel roles

Who can be a panellist and/or observer?

Awards panels will usually be made up of five people, and review up to five applications per sitting.

To qualify as a panellist you need to work or have recently worked in the higher education (HE) sector. Depending on the role, consultants that work in HE sector may not qualify to become a panellist. 

Anyone eligible to become a panellist can be an observer.

In constructing the panel Advance HE seek to achieve appropriate representation, considering the gender and ethnicity of panellists for Athena Swan and Race Equality Charter respectively, and ensuring we have representation of experienced and new panellists. Advance HE draws panellists from the following groups of people:

  • academics and technical services staff
  • human resources or equality and diversity practitioners with experience of higher education
  • other professional services staff with experience of higher education
  • specialists (for example industry and research institute representatives, members or employees of learned and professional societies, gender equality and race equality specialists as appropriate)
  • students.
Becoming a Panellist

Becoming a panellist

Further information on what being a panellist involves and how to become one.
Find out more
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Becoming a observer

Further information on what being an observer involves and how to become one.
Find out more