Skip to main content

How your Athena Swan application is assessed

On this page you will find out information on how your Athena Swan application will be assessed.

How your Athena Swan application is assessed

Your Athena Swan application will be assessed by a peer-review panel made up of academics and professionals who are experts in gender equality in the higher education and research sector.

You can see who our current Chairs and Reviewers are here.

Lead reviewers undertake an independent assessment of your application in advance of the panel meeting, assessing it against the published Athena Swan criteria and recommending scores from ‘Poor’ to ‘Good’ for each criterion.

The panel discuss the application and independent assessments and finalise scores against each criterion, an outcome for the application and key feedback points.

The panel will recommend one of the following outcomes:

  • The applicant has satisfied all the criteria and an award is conferred;
  • The applicant has narrowly missed one or more criteria and will be offered the chance to address the panel’s feedback through a process of minor revisions;
  • The applicant has not satisfied one or more criteria and will be offered the chance to address the panel’s feedback through a process of major revisions.

Your application is treated as confidential and panel members are assigned to panels to avoid conflicts of interest.

You will receive the outcome of your award within ten working days of the panel meeting – this will be within twelve weeks of your application being submitted.

To find out more about how panels operate, you can read the panel terms of reference here.

Scoring rubric and major and minor revisions 

The panel assessing your application will agree on a score for each criterion. Your scores will be fed back to you along with application outcome and detailed feedback to support your ongoing gender equality work. 

The scores will give you an indication of the relative strength of your application against each of the criteria and will help panels to ensure consistent outcomes. 

If you score below ‘Satisfactory’ for any criterion, you will be invited to address the panel’s feedback through a revisions process. This means that no application will be unsuccessful without being offered the opportunity to revise the application and address the panel's feedback.

Minor revisions will enable unsuccessful applicants who have only narrowly missed the criteria to revise the application within eight weeks and return for approval by Chair's action.

If an application requires more significant improvement, major revisions will enable applicants to revise and resubmit within six months for assessment by the same panel.

You can see the scoring rubric used by Athena Swan panels here.