Nov. 20, 2017

York Chemistry celebrates 10 Years as holders of Athena SWAN Gold Award

The Department of Chemistry at the University of York is celebrating its 10th anniversary as holder of the Athena SWAN gold award in recognition of its commitment and achievements in promoting equality. First awarded in 2007, Chemistry at York was the first department to hold the gold award which has since been renewed in 2010 and 2015.

Although the original remit of the Athena SWAN Charter focused on women in science and was an initiative to advance the careers of women STEMM subjects, the ethos of equality and fairness now embraces all students and staff within the department. Initiatives implemented by the Department of Chemistry aim to develop working practices that are beneficial to all and emphasises the importance of providing a supportive and welcoming environment for everyone, irrespective of gender, sexuality, disability, ethnicity or background.

One such development over the last 10 years has been the increasing number of staff now working part-time and flexibly to establish a healthy work-life balance – an option we are pleased to say is also available to PhD students. Research Councils have confirmed that their funded studentships are all available on a part time basis, and the Department of Chemistry has echoed this sentiment by making all departmentally funded studentships available part time to allow students to carry out their studies alongside other commitments.

Examples of other initiatives include:

  • Appointment of an Employability and Diversity Officer offering support to students and staff
  • Equality and Diversity training for all our postgraduate students
  • Unconscious bias awareness training for those involved with interviews and recruitment
  • Mentoring scheme for all postgraduate research students
  • Advice available on appropriate use of personal gender pronouns
  • Training on mental health awareness and encouragement to look after your own mental wellbeing
  • English language courses, support and social events for international postgraduate students

    Although great progress has been made, the Department of Chemistry remains keen to maintain and develop that momentum. Ongoing challenges in higher education are a reality for a number of different groups and the department strives to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel.

To celebrate the 10 year anniversary, a number of events will be taking place:

  • In November 2017, members of the departmental Equality and Diversity Committee attend a beacon event hosted by the RSC
  • York will host the next LGBT+ STEMinar on 12 January 2018. The one day event is free to register with two key note speakers confirmed: Dr Beth Montague-Hellen and Professor Tom Welton FRSC
  • Professor Carolyn Bertozzi, Stanford University will be keynote lecturer at a scientific symposium at York celebrating excellence and diversity in science in May 2018.

Find out more about PhD opportunities and funded studentships available at York.

Looking for funding for postgraduate studies? Check out the exclusive bursaries on offer from Postgrad Solutions.  

Content added on 20th November 2017. 

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