UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK Minutes from the Athena Steering Group Meeting Held on

Minutes from the Athena Steering Group Meeting
Held on
Tuesday 18th December 2012
Professor T Jones (Chair), Mr M Blair, Dr P Hedges, Mrs C Peck, Professor A Rodger,
Professor P Thomas, Mrs L Walls, Professor P Winstanley
Mrs S Beaufoy
In Attendance: Learning and Development Manager (item 14/12-13)
Matters Arising
(a) Conference Attendance Fund
REPORTED: (by C Peck)
The Expenses Manager confirmed that there has been no change to the statement on the
Athena SWAN website which states the childcare costs can be reimbursed tax and NI-free if
they are connected with ‘work-related training’.
(by L Walls)
The Registrar is willing to consider expanding the conference attendance fund to all staff but
would want to understand the criteria uptake and restrictions in more detail prior to making
a decision.
P Thomas will follow up with Faculty Chairs regarding Faculties providing funding for the
Conference Attendance Fund.
(b) Athena Logo on Front Page of Website
T Jones will talk to the Communications Office to further investigate the possibility of the
Athena SWAN logo appearing on Warwick’s homepage.
REPORTED: (by the Learning and Development Manager)
(a) The Learning and Development Manager reported that Vitae have produced an online eportfolio and that Warwick Medical School is hoping to pilot it in the New Year.
(b) There was concern that the Vitae version was too detailed and complicated.
(c) P Thomas pointed out that it was essential that any e-portfolio mapped into promotion
(d) The Learning and Development Manager suggested an option would be to design a
proforma for researchers to use in their Annual Reviews which asks specific questions
regarding personal development. Copies of these completed proformas would be kept
by each of the Reviewee and Reviewer.
(a) T Jones will check recent emails received from other Russell Group University’s
regarding this issue before a decision is made as to whether WMS should pilot the eportfolio for three months in the New Year.
(b) The Learning and Development Manager will send the group login details for the Vitae eportfolio so that members of the group can look at the Vitae version.
Update on Submissions
REPORTED: (by C Peck)
(a) The following departments had submitted in November 2012:
Life Sciences
(b) It is anticipated that the following departments will submit for a Bronze Award in April
Computer Science
(c) That the review of the progress on the Bronze Action plan is being undertaken for the
Silver submission.
(d) That S Beaufoy has produced a paper detailing possible initiatives. New initiatives are
essential for the University to be successful in their Silver application.
(e) A Rodger reported that sixteen universities are attending the Communication and
Impact for Female Early Career Researchers Course, 4 - 6 January 2013 and that this type
of event will enhance the University Silver submission.
(f) P Winstanley stated that the perception of gender equality within WMS is still negative
even though a number of good initiatives are already in place. Communication of
positive initiatives and changes happening within WMS is the key to changing this
(g) P Winstanley commented that the PULSE Survey is a very useful resource for
(a) P Thomas to discover the status of Physics’ Gold submission
(b) C Peck to investigate whether Physics needs to resubmit an application to renew their
Silver Award or whether their recent renewal of the Juno Award qualifies them to
automatically retain their Silver Award status.
(c) C Peck will forward an initial draft University submission to A Rodger and S Beaufoy by
Friday 21st December 2012.
(d) S Beaufoy and C Peck to schedule the dates for receipt of draft submission to
correspond with the date of submission of papers for Senate.
Funding Councils – Maternity Costs/Leave for Fixed Term Contracts
REPORTED: (by L Walls)
(a) The approach to providing for maternity costs was not consistent between the funding
(b) A number of departments have fixed term contract research staff requiring maternity
leave, and therefore require the University to produce a clear policy.
(c) The University needs to understand whether there are significant numbers for this issue
to make a major impact.
(a) L Walls and S Beaufoy to raise it at the next Russell Group Meeting at the end of January
2013 for feedback.
(b) P Winstanley will write to the Association of Medical Research Charities to discover their
(c) P Hedges to raise it at the next meeting of the Research Organisation Consultation
(d) M Blair will carry out some modelling, hopefully in early January 2013, to discover the
extent of the problem.
Collegiality in Annual Reviews
REPORTED: (by L Walls)
That a statement has been added to the Annual Review form as follows:
“You may wish to include an additional summary of various activities that would not normally
feature on your CV, e.g. academic visits, grants applied for (even if not awarded – you can
access this information from RSS) administrative duties, new collaborations that have not yet
resulted in publications, particular examples of successful teamwork, etc. This is your
opportunity to inform your head of department (via your reviewer) about all aspects of your
work over the past year. “
Annual Athena SWAN, Women in Academia, Promotion Event
REPORTED: (by A Rodger)
(a) A proposal for the University to run events prior to the promotion rounds to ensure
women are informed with regard to promotion criteria.
(b) P Hedges suggested that such an event would be useful before the end of March and
could be used when completing Annual Review forms
(c) P Thomas suggested that the focus of these events should not focus only on early career
researchers but also mid-career researchers and should be consistent with what is likely
to happen at promotion.
(d) Separate events for teaching only staff and teaching and research staff are necessary.
Possible events could be targeted at grades 6-7 and grades 7-8 and therefore are
specific to both early career and mid-career.
(e) P Winstanley suggested that this type of initiative could be used as a way of advertising
‘people achieving their potential’ in the context of Warwick’s 2015 strategic plan.
T Jones to speak to the Deputy Vice Chancellor and report back to the group at the next
meeting in January 2013.
List of Mentors/Champions for Consultation
REPORTED: (by A Rodger)
(a) That Imperial College London had produced a list of staff with particular
experience/knowledge who can be contacted if other staff require information on
particular issues instead of one-to-one mentoring.
(b) Departmental Administrators should be the point of contact to interface with central
(a) P Winstanley will contact S Bloom at Imperial to find out more about the scheme.
(b) T Jones will talk to his contacts at Imperial for more information and to understand its
applicability for Warwick.
List of What Departments and Universities do for Families
REPORTED: (by A Rodger)
A list should be produced on what initiative for families are available, both at departmental
and University level.
(a) All members of the group to send any initiatives within departments to C Peck.
(b) C Peck to produce a complete list of initiatives and upload onto the Athena Webpages.
Any Other Business
(a) Summer Holiday Scheme
An example of a possible budget for a summer holiday scheme was tabled along with a
typical weekly programme for a holiday scheme.
C Peck to produce a short summary of possible options and associated costs of a
summer scheme
(ii) T Jones and L Walls to talk to the Registrar regarding the Summer Scheme proposal.
(b) Faculty Athena SWAN lunch
REPORTED: (by P Thomas)
That a request has been made for a Faculty Athena SWAN informal meeting/lunch be held.
This was viewed as a positive way for women in SET departments to meet and share
P Thomas to co-ordinate possible meetings.
Date of Next Meeting
Wednesday 9th January 2013, 12.30 – 2.00 pm in CMR1.2