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Athena Swan SAT

We take diversity seriously. We understand the intersectional disadvantage and while our focus is on gender equality we are committed to improving representation from minoritised and currently underrepresented groups
- Statement from the Athena Swan SAT Members

The NDPCHS Athena Swan SAT work as a group to drive forward the development and improvement of practical steps towards the advancement of equality.  They will be responsible for substantial self-analysis, and will strive to ensure that the principles of Athena Swan are embedded throughout the culture of the Department.

The SAT works together with the working groups to enhance working life for all staff and students and to encourage engagement and inclusion. It will meet at least 4 times per year and will report to the Department People and EDI Committee via the Deputy Head for People, EDI. All members of the SAT are expected to uphold the Athena Swan principles in the department and champion equality, diversity and inclusion by contributing to the working groups.

Membership is provided below and a link to Terms of Reference for the SAT under further reading above.


Ph.D. BSc(Hons), PGCert James Sheppard - Associate Professor

 BSc MSc DPhil Jennifer Hirst - Senior Research Fellow

Catherine Pope - Professor of Medical Sociology

CBE, FMedSci, FRCGP, FRCP (London), FESC, FRCP (Edin), MA (Ox) Richard Hobbs - Head of Department

James Sheppard 
Chair of Athena Swan SAT and Data Monitoring Group

Jennifer Hirst Athena Swan Deputy

Catherine Pope Associate Head for People, Equality,
Diversity and Inclusion
Richard Hobbs Head of Department
Nicola Small - Head of Administration Clare Wickings - Head of Human Resources and Deputy to the Head of Administration Nicola Webb - HR Operations Manager Jo Gearing - Head of Communications
Nicola Small Head of Administration Clare Wickings Head
of HR
Nicola Webb HR
Jo Gearing Head of Communications
BSc PhD MBBS PGDip FRCGP Kamal R. Mahtani - GP & Professor of Evidence Based Healthcare Lucy Cureton - Senior Trial Manager BA, MSc, AFHEA, PGCert, D.Phil Charlotte Albury - Associate Professor BSc, DPhil Asha Kaur - Senior Researcher
Kamal Mahtani chair Personal Development working group Lucy Cureton
representative of the
Clinical Trials Unit
Charlotte Albury 
representative of the E&MCR
Asha Kaur representative of the E&MCR
MSc, DPhil Claire Friedemann Smith - Researcher BHSc(Hons), MSc, MPhil Michelle Yeung - DPhil Candidate MSc BSc Ruya Abdulsalam - DPhil Candidate Kathryn Ungerer - Head of Organisational Development
Claire Friedemann Smith 
representative of the E&MCR

Michelle Yeung a DPhil

Ruya Abdulsalam a DPhil

Kathryn Ungerer 
Head of Organisational Development and SAT Secretary


SAT membership comprises of a chair and deputy, working group leads, staff representatives and key staff members. Chair, deputy and working group leads will serve a term of five years to ensure continuity throughout the duration of an Athena Swan award. If at the end of the term they wish to be re-appointed they may only do so after the post has been opened to all department members and the SAT agrees their re-appointment. Where a deputy has been appointed it is expected that they will lead the next round once the current member has stepped down.  

The role of representative is appointed by those they represent and may hold a shorter term depending on the group’s wish. This is to be reviewed a minimum of every five years. Roles held due to job role are to be reconfirmed in SAT membership each application round they currently include: 

  • Head of Department 
  • Head of Administration 
  • Head of HR 
  • HR Operations Manager
  • Head of Communications 
  • Head of Organisational Development (Secretary)  

The Medical Sciences Division Athena SWAN Advisor will also be invited to attend SAT meetings. 

Among the SAT membership will be a balance of clinical and research specialist (non-clinical) researchers; professional and support staff including the Clinical Trials Unit; early and mid-career researchers; senior academic colleagues; and an appropriate gender balance. It is the responsibility of the Athena SWAN lead and Deputy Lead(s) to ensure that this balance is appropriate in the context of the Department’s overall staffing. 

Agenda Item: if you wish to raise an agenda item please contact the appropriate rep listed above (CTU, DPhil, E&MCR or P&SS member) or get in touch with the committee secretary.

Observe: Observers are welcome at SAT meetings, please get in touch with the committee secretary to arrange this.

Recruitment: Most SAT members sit on the committee for the duration of an Athena Swan award (five years). The representatives may rotate more frequently. When a position is vacant a call will be put out to all eligible department members and advertised in the weekly newsletter. 

 Visual showing the Athena swan working groups

‘Core’ working groups

To support its work, the SAT will work through a small number of ‘core’ groups. These are:

  • Bullying and Harassment (Kathryn Ungerer)
  • Data monitoring (led by James Sheppard)
  • DPhil Group (reps Michelle Yeung and Lucy Goddard)
  • Early and Mid-Career Researchers (reps Charlotte Albury and Claire Friedemann Smith)
  • Personal Development (led by Kamal Mahtani)
  • Communications and Engagement, which will be a cross-cutting group, supporting each of the working groups listed above. (Jo Gearing and Kathryn Ungerer)

 ‘Core’ groups will:

  • Be supported by the Departmental Engagement and Projects Manager.
  • Meet termly.
  • Ensure effective monitoring and measurement against agreed actions.
  • Report progress, successes and challenges to each meeting of the SAT.

Where a ‘core’ group is not already in existence, it is the role of the lead, supported by the Engagement and Projects Manager, to consider how best to consult and engage colleagues.

Equality & Diversity and Better Workplace Working Groups

The Department will have other working groups whose work supports the broad aims of a ‘better workplace’ but may not be strictly limited to the remit of the Athena Swan Charter. The Department takes a ‘bottom up’ approach to these groups, allowing and encouraging colleagues to identify areas of need and create and run working groups to tackle those areas as needed.

The working groups will:

  • Meet on a cycle determined by their membership.
  • Report membership and achievements via the Department newsletter.
  • Report annually to the SAT on progress, successes and challenges.
  • Liaise informally with the Head of Administration, the Athena Swan Lead and Deputy Leads and the Engagement and Projects Manager as appropriate, for advice on how best to share those successes or overcome any challenges faced.