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Application toolkit

Preparing for your application - a starter guide

MSD have curated an overview guide with suggested 12 month timetable for an Athena Swan application to support departments to understand what elements happen when, and offer some tips. MSD Preparing for an Athena Swan Application

The transformed Charter

In 2021 and 2022, divisional and institutional colleagues held a series of webinars on the Transformed charter, including a session with an overview of the new charter, a session on what departments can do to prepare for the transformed charter, and one on monitoring, evaluation and designing good action plans. You can find recordings of these here: Athena Swan Transformed Charter guidance.

Advance HE also held a series of webinars you may find useful which can be found here: Advance HE Guidance.

Selecting your award level

The first decision applying departments need to make is what level of award. We have prepared a briefing document on the main difference in expectation between silver renewal and gold full application which can be found here: Silver Renewal vs. Gold application

Successful TransFOrmed Charter Applications

We have had several successful transformed Charter Applications since 2021, and familiarising yourself with a transformed charter application from within the Oxford ecosystem will help you to write a better application.

Department Award Level Application Feedback
Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences Silver renewal Final application and action plan Application feedback
Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences Gold full Final application Application feedback
Nuffield Department of Medicine (coming soon) Silver renewal

Final application


Application feedback

Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences

Silver Renewal

Final application

(coming soon!)

Application Feedback

(Coming soon!)



NB: All panels assessing an application from Oxford will be given the ‘Oxford Briefing Note’ – this offers the panel guidance on various unique aspects of Oxford University and the staff/student life cycle including:

  • The collegiate system
  • Undergraduate admissions
  • Academic staffing structure
  • Promotion and progression

Please review this and bear in mind the information already imparted to panels when writing your staff data narrative.

A copy of the briefing can be found here: Oxford Briefing Note.

Annotated application forms with guidance

MSD have annotated the application form with the Advance HE guidance from our experience of applying for Athena Swan awards, condensed learning from Athena Swan Transformation webinars as well as the criteria for success in each section of the form. Each section includes prompts to help you draw together your application. Please feel free to download a copy to aid you in drawing together your narrative.

Silver full award application form

All levels renewal application form

Gold full award application form

Transformed Charter Action Plan Template

Using guidance from the Athena Swan webinar MSD has created an action plan template to:

  • Help you to manage the roll out of your actions
  • Annotate information as you progress through to action plan period
  • Record barriers, facilitators and changes and other contextual information to support you to write your progress and success narratives
  • Undertake a periodic RAG rating to support a future application

Transformed Charter Action Plan Template

Support sourcing and analysing data for an application

We have a comprehensive guide to Sourcing Student Data, and Sourcing general data for an Athena Swan application, as well as several workbooks to aide you in sorting and analysing your data as a part of self assessment.

Details can be found here:

Sourcing Data for Athena Swan and EDI

Analysing Data for Athena Swan and EDI