How your application is assessed
Your Athena Swan application will be assessed by a peer-review panel made up of academics and professionals who have significant experience of gender equality work in the higher education and research sector. Each panel normally consists of five Reviewers and one Chair. At least one panel member will have strong statistical analysis skills, and panels are gender balanced as far as possible.
All panel members are required to attend formal training when they are appointed, as well as yearly standardisation training to enable consistency of approach and decision-making.
The review process and outcomes
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.
During the review meeting, 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.
Scoring rubric and major and minor revisions
The panel assessing your application will agree on a score from 1 to 4 for each criterion, where 1 is inadequate, 2 is narrowly missed, 3 is satisfactory and 4 is good. Your scores will be fed back to you along with the 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.
Your application must receive a score of 3 or more for each criterion if an award is to be recommended immediately.
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 (scoring at least 2 for up to 3 award criteria) to revise the application within eight weeks and return for approval by Chair's action.
If an application requires more significant improvement (it has received a score of 1 for any criterion), major revisions will enable applicants to revise and resubmit within six months for assessment by the same panel.