Athena SWAN

athena swan logoThe school is committed to the ethos of the Athena SWAN and is actively seeking ways to support staff in their working lives and students in their studies. SCFP has an Athena SWAN committee made up of representatives from across the school. Chaired by Professor Helen Osborn, the committee meets every six weeks.

Please feel free to get in touch with the Committee, or with your Departmental Representatives, to make your views on current activities known; ideas for new initiatives are also welcomed.

More information about Athena SWAN can be found here. The basic principles of the Athena SWAN Charter are:

  • To address gender inequalities requires commitment and action from everyone, at all levels of the organisation;
  • To tackle the unequal representation of women in science requires changing cultures and attitudes across the organisation;
  • The absence of diversity at management and policy-making levels has broad implications which the organisation will examine;
  • The high loss rate of women in science is an urgent concern which the organisation will address
  • The system of short-term contracts has particularly negative consequences for the retention and progression of women in science, which the organisation recognises;
  • There are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career in science, which require the active consideration of the organisation.

Committee Member Profiles 

Parents and Carers

We are keen to support staff and students with issues relating to maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave plus other caring responsibilities.

SCFP have developed specific guidance notes to support staff and students through maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave.

Links to a variety of funders detailing their maternity, paternity and adoption leave policies may also be found below.

Useful information - External Web Links


The Royal Society

Mothers in Science: 64 ways to have it all (published by the Royal Society)

Faculty for the Future Program

The Faculty for the Future program awards fellowships to women from developing and emerging economies to pursue PhD or Post-doctorate studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at leading universities worldwide. The Schlumberger Foundation accepts applications for this program and further information is available via the link below:

Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship

The Royal Society runs this scheme for outstanding scientists in the UK at an early stage of their research career who require a flexible working pattern due to personal circumstances. Further information is available via the link below:

L'Oréal-UNESCO UK & Ireland Fellowships For Women In Science

These fellowships represent a great opportunity for female post-doctoral researchers as they are designed to promote, enhance and encourage the contribution of women in the fields of life and physical sciences. Further details may be found at the the following web page:

Daphne Jackson Trust

Daphne Jackson fellowships help scientists return to their work following a career break. More information can be found here:


Athena Swan Bronze AwardOur School recently gained an Athena SWAN Bronze award. SWAN stands for Scientific Women's Academic Network and the awards are given to Departments, Schools and Institutions in recognition of excellence in SET employment; for example where family friendly working, transparent recruitment processes and clear promotion policies are evident.

The award was collected on behalf of the School at a celebration lunch held on 30 June 2016 by Dr Joanne Elliott.


Further Information


Professor Helen Osborn

Reading School of Pharmacy, Whiteknights, PO Box 224, Reading, RG6 6AD

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