Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises commitment shown by Universities and their individual Schools and Departments to advancing women’s careers in STEM education and research. Awards can be awarded at Bronze, Silver or Gold level, indicative of the commitment and progress made in supporting women in their career.

Queen’s University Belfast was the first UK Institution to be awarded an Institutional Silver Award in 2012. Eleven of its Schools and Departments now hold an individual award with two Schools achieving gold status, an outstanding achievement in recognition of Queen’s leading role in promoting women in science.

The School of Nursing and Midwifery is one of a very few Nursing and Midwifery Schools in the country to be awarded a Silver Athena SWAN Award, an accolade which they achieved  in 2012 in recognition of good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in Science and higher education. The SWAN Self Assessment Team (SAT) in the School meets six-weekly to implement the Silver Action plan and is making plans to apply for the Gold Award.

SWAN supports a number of activities including the Research Internship Programme for students who may be interested in the opportunity to work alongside a nursing or midwifery researcher as they carry out research activities or to complete an MSc or PhD in the future. For further details contact Dr. Susan Clarke by email at: Regular events are offered to staff including a Professoriate lunch and a Careers Seminar to discuss career pathways, and a high achievers event to help students explore the idea of an academic career. Regular Academic Promotion Seminars are hosted by Head of School, to assist staff in preparing applications for promotion. The team also continues to develop recruitment strategies targeted at men interested in nursing.

Recent Athena SWAN Application Submission

School SWAN Committee

Terms of Reference


The Committee's remint is to:

  • contribute to School's Athena SWAN Award submissions
  • to develop and deliver the School SWAN Action Plan
  • to promote gender equality and best practice
  • to generate ideas to ensure equality and diversity in the School
  • to promote and educate staff and students on Athena SWAN agenda


Membership of the School's Athena SWAN SAT:

Dr Susan Clarke Co-Chair of SWAN SAT; Lecturer
Dr Mark Linden Co-Chair of SWAN SAT; Lecturer
Dr Deborah Coleman Lecturer (Education)
Carolyn Crawford Clerical Officer
Gillian Shannon Administrator
Dr David Scott Research Fellow
Dr Claire Kerr Lecturer
Shane O'Donnell Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher (Named); PhD Student
Dr Gary Mitchell Lecturer (Education)
Dr Chantal Ski Reader
Dr Kyrsten Corbijn van Willenswaard Research Fellow
Hannah Hewitt Clerical Officer
Dr Dale Spence Senior Lecturer (Education)
Niall McKenna Lecturer (Education)
Conor O'Neill School Manager
Professor Michael Brown Professor
Debbie Duncan Lecturer (Education)
Matt Carson Research Fellow
Rachel Leonard PhD Student

Mentoring Schemes

Mentoring is an effective and important method of providing support for all staff and students as they develop in their career. The School has an active mentoring programme for several categories of staff including a Buddy Scheme pairing first year PhD students with 2nd and 3rd years, a mentor scheme for 2nd and 3rd students with early career researchers, staff on probation are assigned a mentor who is a senior member of staff and all female staff are encouraged to participate in the University mentoring scheme run by the Queen’s Gender Initiative. The SWAN team are also consulting with staff about the development of a mentoring scheme that would be widely available to all staff groups.

Support for Early Career Researchers

The School recognizes the importance of establishing an independent research profile for early career researchers and provides support for this staff group in a number of ways including provision of a School-funded PhD student; connections with other Universities around the world which provides opportunities for teaching exchanges in places such as Canada, China, Australia and Brazil; and mentoring support.

Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.

Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11