Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences

ICaMB Principles

Principles of the Athena SWAN Charter

We've identified areas of the Athena SWAN charter in which we do well, in addition to areas that need improvement.

What we do well

We support individuals and offer staff and research students a mentorship scheme. We provide funds to bridge research staff between contracts and have retained more women then men through this scheme.

We invest resource to provide developmental training please see further information about personal development through the The Realising Potential Programme.

We have raised awareness of the equality agenda among our postgraduate student group. Female membership of our postgraduate staff-student committee has increased dramatically.

We moved our seminar series from 4pm to 1pm to make it easier for our members with family and other commitments to attend. We also increased the number of presentations by female speakers. We took action to change a bias towards more men than women speakers at our annual research day. Over the last two years we have moved towards gender balance.

We initiated the University's flexible working policy, by running a pilot in ICaMB. We now encourage our staff to manage their life-work balance by working flexibly, where this is practical.

We co-ordinated the first of the SoapBox Science events which promotes women scientists and the science they do to be held in Newcastle.

What we need to improve

Women are under represented among our research and academic staff and the bias increases with grade seniority. Over the last three years, fewer women than men applied for research and academic posts (however, success rates were generally higher for women).

To combat this, we are taking targeted action to recruit more women, for example by:

  • making clear our commitment to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter
  • using fellowship schemes to recruit women 
  • having women on all appointment panels

We are providing better support, such as training and mentoring, for our existing staff.

We have more men than women on our executive and research strategy committees, but are taking positive action to redress this imbalance.