Athena Swan and the CS Department

What is Athena SWAN?

The Athena SWAN (Scientific Women's Academic Network) Charter recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in higher education.

Female Academics in  Leicester Cancer Centre

L-R: Prof. Anne Thomas, Hon. Prof. Samreen Ahmed, Dr Nicola Royle, Prof. Catrin Pritchard, Prof. Karen Brown and Prof. Jacqui Shaw.

The University gained the Athena SWAN Bronze Award in September 2008 for its work and proposals to improve the participation of women in STEM within the University.  The University has made a clear commitment to achieving a Silver award through individual Department submissions.

Activities Around International Women's Day 2016

Jacqui's mentor pledge

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Pledge for Parity’. The Leicester Cancer Research Centre (formerly Dept of Cancer Studies) is proud to support this initiative, which aims to help women and men achieve their ambitions. The photo shows Professor Shaw our SAT team lead  presenting her pledge. Please get involved if this is something you think is important. 
You can also make a Pledge to Parity on the IWD website:

Bronze Award

The Centre was granted Bronze Award status in April 2013, the award running until April 2016.

Silver Award

The Centre was granted a Silver Award in September 2016.

Why is this important for Cancer Studies?

Women are under-represented in science, the more senior the role the greater the deficit.  In some disciplines there is significant under-representation of women at all levels.

We want to remove all barriers to achievement in employment for both men and women that may exist as a consequence of gender.  The Athena SWAN program helps to identify best practice for the working environment of all staff, not just for women, working in science disciplines.  Therefore, embracing this Charter will help to support achievement in employment for all staff in the Cancer Research Centre.

Working Group Membership

Prof Jacqui Shaw (Chair)
Prof Catrin Pritchard (Centre Lead)
Mrs Jenny McNair (Lead administrator)
Mrs Steph Moutrey (Centre Operations Manager)
Dr Don JL Jones (Senior Lecturer)
Dr Karen Page (Postdoctoral Fellow)
Dr Lynne Howells (ECMC Translational Research Manager)
Mr Jon Naylor (IT Manager)
Mr Ashley Gamble (CCLG Executive Director)
Mr Luke Martinson (Postgraduate Student)
Mrs Vilas Mistry (Research Technician)
Dr Mark Openshaw (Clinical Research Fellow)

Action Program

Regular two-monthly meetings are now being held to discuss implementation of the 2016 Athena SWAN award.


The committee is committed to a wide debate over Athena Swan issues and will routinely make all meeting minutes and documents available to Centre members.

This link takes you to the appropriate page - you will need to login with your University ITS username/password to proceed.

Available Documentation


Shadowing Initiative

Carer Conference Fund

University of Leicester Policies on Flexible Working

University of Leicester Athena Swan web page

Athena Swan Charter national web site

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Powerful pre-clinical platform for anti-cancer drug and biomarker discovery

Pre-clinical models that can accurately predict outcomes in the clinic are much sort after in the field of cancer drug discovery and development.  Read about how patient derived explants offer many advantages and are the powerful model of choice. A copy of the review, published in the British Journal of Cancer, is available by clicking this link: PDE Platform


SEND Study Success

Congratulations to Chris Avery, who with collaborating colleagues published findings of the SEND study, a multi-centre randomised trial using two different surgical protocols for mouth cancer treatment.  A nationwide first for this type of trial, using real-world data.  The paper, published in the British Journal of Cancer, is available by clicking this link: SEND Paper


Centre Health and Wellbeing Group
Join up for a walk on the park Friday lunchtime - details here.

More information from Jenny McNair

Contact the Athena Group

The group is contactable using the email address

While the group's intends its work to be open for public discussion within the department, the group chair Prof Jacqui Shaw may be contacted on 0116 252 3148, email if you wish to raise matters in confidence.