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Athena Swan: IAT



Academic settings, where the IAT posts are to be based, which either currently hold an Athena SWAN Silver or have held a Silver Award but awarded Bronze after 1st April 2018, will be eligible for the IAT competition. They will therefore be able to recruit ACFs and CLs to take up posts.

Download the Position statement regarding eligibility for 2020 NIHR ACFs and CLs.

Download Athena SWAN statuses of IAT partnerships.

IAT Partnerships that have been awarded IAT posts in any allocation round that now only have an Athena SWAN Bronze Award are permitted to continue to host the ACFs and CLs for the duration of the posts.

The NIHR Academy will not allocate IAT posts (via formula or through competition) to an IAT Partnership where the academic setting in which the post is to be based does not hold at least the Silver Award of the Athena SWAN Charter for Women in Science.

In addition, the academic setting partner will be expected to maintain at least the Silver Award of Athena SWAN for the duration of the 2020 IAT allocation period, i.e. from when the NIHR allocates the posts in January 2019 until October 2019 when the ACF posts are advertised. 

Any IAT Partnership that does not hold at least a Silver Award of Athena SWAN when the IAT formula-based allocations are announced in January 2019, will be eligible to receive a provisional allocation of ACF and CL posts. In addition, Partnerships that do not hold at least a Silver Award of Athena SWAN may bid for ACF and CL posts through the IAT competition.  However, any posts awarded through the competition will be offered on a provisional basis.

In cases where the academic setting partner does not hold at least a Silver Award of Athena SWAN, the IAT Partnership should provide an outline of their engagement with the Equalities Challenge Unit, providing details of any application in process (including the date of submission). In all cases, academic partners will be expected to have secured the Silver Award prior to the launch of ACF recruitment in October 2019 to be eligible to host competition and/or formula NIHR ACF and CL posts from the 2020 allocation.

It is the responsibility of the IAT partnership to notify the NIHR Academy in a timely fashion of any change in Athena SWAN status where this is anticipated to impact ACF and CL appointments.

Further details of Athena SWAN can be found at

Athena SWAN Eligibility FAQs

Q - In the context of hosting NIHR ACF and CL posts, what is the definition of the academic “setting”?

A – The definitions are: medical school, school, college, faculty, department, division, or institute. If the university has a Silver Award but the academic setting where the post will be based only holds a Bronze Award, the provisionally allocated post will be withdrawn.


Q - What happens to provisionally allocated posts if the academic setting partner in the IAT partnership does not hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award?

A - Provisionally allocated posts that cannot be taken up by the IAT Partnership will be withdrawn by the NIHR. The NIHR will re-allocate the funding associated with these posts to other NIHR training programmes.


Q – Regarding the allocation period for 2020 IAT posts, if the academic setting within the IAT Partnership achieves the Silver Award after ACF recruitment opens in October 2019, will the partnership be allowed to accept the provisional allocation of CL posts that would be advertised in March 2020?

A – The NIHR requirement is that the IAT Partnership must have achieved the Athena SWAN Silver Award by the launch of ACF recruitment in October 2019 to accept their provisional allocation of CL posts. Should the academic setting partner not achieve the Silver Award by October 2019, the provisionally allocated posts will be withdrawn.


Q – If a department has an Athena SWAN Silver Award, but not the institute or medical school, do all formula-allocated and/or competition posts need to be supervised by people only from the department with the Silver Award?

A – Yes, the post must be based in a setting with the Silver Award, and the trainee supervised by staff from a setting that has an Athena SWAN Silver Award.


Q – Regarding locally-funded NIHR recognised posts at institutions that do not have an Athena SWAN Silver Award, will NIHR withdraw the recognition of the locally-funded posts?

A – No. NIHR will continue to recognise and badge the locally-funded posts, as per the standard process. Posts that have already been badged will retain their status.