Athena SWAN at the Penryn Campus

Athena SWAN Penryn Campus

The College of Life and Environmental Sciences – Cornwall has made a commitment to gender equality for all our staff and students. We have recently been awarded a Silver Athena SWAN department award, recognising the many initiatives we have put in place.

Our goal is to attract, retain and promote women throughout our pipeline.

Here are a few of our forward-thinking policies designed to promote an inclusive Department in which world class research and teaching can thrive:

  • A transparent promotional process
  • Mentoring for staff and students
  • Training and workshops
  • Gender balance on interview panels and decision making committees
  • A dedicated outreach officer

We have set out an action plan to overcome the obstacles that are in the way of female scientists progressing into successful academic careers. These include ensuring that all of our staff have the ability to work flexibly around caring for their children or other family commitment, giving female academics more time to focus on research after maternity leave and making sure that our department is transparent and accessible.

We believe that a fair and balanced workforce will benefit everyone in our Department and attract the very best students and academics from our rich and diverse society.

This Penryn-based group is dedicated to progressing equality and diversity related issues and promoting best practice. Our aims are to increase awareness and communication of the Athena SWAN Charter and to make changes to improve the CLES Cornwall working environment.

The group meets once a month to discuss Athena SWAN related issues, as well as creating our own initiatives. Our meetings are open, so if you would like to attend please get in touch, we also provide a friendly first point of contact for anyone wishing to know more or to raise any issues.

Current working initiatives include

  • Monthly coffee mornings to provide a time to socialise during core hours, to disseminate information and to provide a more informal forum to discuss ideas and issues. Everyone is welcome (and actively encouraged) to attend coffee mornings.
  • Creating a starter pack and developing a welcoming system for new members of the department. 
    Download the Welcome pack (.pdf).
  • Bridging the gap between the department and the Athena SWAN Panel

If you want to get in touch please feel free to contact the group directly or view our members’ list below if you’d prefer to contact a specific individual.

EDWG Members

NameEmailJob Title
Ruth Archer Associate Research Fellow
Thomas Bodey Research Fellow
Daniela Farina Research Technician
Nicole Goodey Associate Research Fellow
Cecily Goodwin PhD Researcher
Jenni McDonald Associate Research Fellow
Chloe Mnatzaganian MRes student
Elisa Schaum Associate Research Fellow
MD Sharma Research Fellow

WiSTEMM stands for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine. The network’s core aim is to encourage more women to enter and develop careers in science, engineering, and medicine. The network is directly linked to the Athena SWAN Charter, which aims to advance the careers of women in STEMM academia and beyond; CLES Cornwall was awarded a Silver award in April 2015.

Who is it for?

Although the network was originally designed primarily to support women, it aims to facilitate equality and diversity in general. It is, therefore open to all students from CLES, CEMPS and UEMS based at the University of Exeter in Cornwall (Penryn and Truro). Monthly guest speakers will be arranged for the third Wednesday of every month at the Penryn Campus.

How do I get involved? 

The Network meets regularly so that members can hear from each other, participate in tutorials and workshops, and hear from inspiring visiting speakers. Our most recent guest was the Marshall Scholar Ophelia Jackson, who celebrated International Women's Day with us by discussing her interdisciplinary STEMM work, her outreach activities, and her experiences with equality and diversity in STEMM. If you are interested in finding out about future activities, or would like to propose an event, please contact Sophie Sinclair-Brown and make sure to join the WiSTEMM Facebook page.

WiSTEMM Network Scholarship

The WiSTEMM Network is pleased to announce the availability of merit-based funding designed to support applicants' efforts to further their careers in STEMM. You can apply for the scholarship if you are pursuing a STEMM-focused University of Exeter degree and would like to engage in a developmental activity (e.g., conference attendence, networking opportunity, visit to industry parter) that cannot be funded by other University means. There is a rolling deadline, so you can apply at any time, but keep in mind that the funding is finite.

To apply for a WiSTEMM Network Scholarship, please email Dr Caitlin Kight with the following details:

  • Your name, degree programme, and year of study
  • Information on how much funding you need, what you plan to use it for, and why you cannot find alternative funding elsewhere
  • Details on how/why the activity you're pursuing will advance your STEMM goals
  • A description of how your experience can be used to help others (e.g., Will you give a presentation to the WiSTEMM Network once you return? Will you write up the experience in a student blog? Will you live tweet the event? Will you apply the knowledge gained during student society activities?)

We look forward to receiving your applications and helping you further your STEMM goals!

Mailing lists

Signing up to the following mailing lists is useful for keeping up to date with current research, events, best practice and policies relating to Equality and Diversity and Athena SWAN.

Athena SWAN JISC mailing list

The Athena SWAN’s JISC mailing list is useful for both learning from and informing individuals and institutions involved in the Athena SWAN Process about the research, events, and initiatives your Department and/or your Institution has been involved in. You can subscribe via emailing the Athena SWAN team.

Equality Link 

The Equality Challenge Unit’s Equality Link newsletter: Equalitylink - This is a monthly round-up of equality and diversity news, resources and ECU’s work with the sector. You can subscribe here

Geography specific

For Geographers, you can also sign up to the Geographer’s Athena SWAN Jisc mailing list. You can subscribe here

Equality: Government

Subscribing to the Gov.UK Equality Policy email alerts gives you regular updates to national changes in policy and information on ‘what the government’s doing about equality’. You can subscribe here.

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE):

Sign up to getSET, the monthly newsletter from WISE.

Newsletters and Blogs

Athena SWAN

CLES guidelines for the support of staff taking maternity, maternity support/paternity, adoption, parental or carer related leave:

Psychology Athena SWAN Guidelines for the arrangement of pop-up nurseries for events outside of core hours

Outreach Activities

Creating Cultural Change


Gender equality in STEM articles

Rethinking Language and Visual Representations

Gender in Recruitment

Unconscious bias: