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Athena SWAN

It is my personal mission to ensure NDS is a place where everyone is given the support and opportunity to achieve their full potential and I am grateful that the Athena SWAN Charter spurs us on our journey to ensure we provide an inclusive, diverse and world-class department.

 - Professor Freddie Hamdy, Head of Department

The Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences provides an engaging and vibrant environment for staff and students and a haven for academic surgical trainees. We received an Athena SWAN Silver award in October 2016. The award recognises and celebrates good practice on recruiting, retaining and promoting women in science, education and technology in higher education.


Athena SWAN Silver award© NDSOn 12 December 2016, Associate Professor Claire Edwards (pictured left) and Ms Katherine Corr attended the Athena SWAN awards ceremony in Liverpool to collect our Athena SWAN Silver award from the Equality Challenge Unit. 



What is Athena Swan?

Athena SWAN is a national scheme which recognises a commitment to supporting and advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research.

Athena comes from the Athena Project (a project established in 1999 to reverse the loss of women in science, engineering and technology) and SWAN is the Scientific Women's Academic Network.

Launched in 2005, The Athena SWAN Charter has been developed to support a commitment to addressing the underrepresentation of women in STEMM, and advancing the careers of women in STEMM research and academia. The charter covers academic roles, progression of students into academia and the working environment for all staff.

Why Athena SWAN is important to NDS

Athena SWAN is a positive initiative for the benefit of all staff and the department is committed to making meaningful changes. Athena SWAN accreditation at Silver award level is necessary when making funding applications to the NIHR and BRC, and it is expected other funding bodies will follow suit.

Find out more

Learn about the Charter on the Athena Swan website

Visit the University’s Athena SWAN web pages

Visit the University's Women in Science website

Women at Oxford


NDS actively promotes the provision of a family friendly working environment, equal opportunities and career development. For information of the support available for NDS staff, please visit our Supporting our staff webpage.