UCL Cancer Institute

Athena SWAN at the UCL Cancer Institute


At UCL Cancer Institute we are committed to delivering the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter and to actively fostering the skills, talent and professional development of women in science .

Your Athena SWAN 'Self Assessment Team' (SAT) is responsible for overseeing this at UCL Cancer Institute (read here).


7-11 April 2014 - UCL Cancer Institute Athena SWAN Week

Download the program poster here.

Inspiring Excellence - Lessons from Successful Women' Speaker Programme

As part of the Athena SWAN Initiative, Dr. Suzana Hadjur has organised a speaker program on behalf of the Cancer Institute and UCL called ‘Inspiring Excellence – Lessons from Successful Women’. A number of very influential and successful women from a variety of disciplines have accepted her invitation to come and speak about the skills they felt were important to achieve success and the difficulties they experienced along the way.

A disproportionate number of women leave academia prematurely. Our aim for this programme is to inspire young women at UCL to achieve excellence and confidence, drawing on the fundamental skills that would be required for success in any discipline.

Importantly – we encourage both men and women to attend. Afterall, many of the issues discussed will be useful for men as well as women, and part of the secret to retaining women in science is through the support and understanding of male colleagues.

Posters outlining the details of the events will be displayed around the Cancer Institute and UCL. Please come along and tell your friends as well! The speakers are truly world-class women and their stories are sure to inspire, no matter what stage of your career!

Download the program poster here.

To contact Dr. Suzana Hadjur, please mail her on s.hadjur{at}ucl.ac.uk.

Recent Activities

13 September 2013 - UCL Cancer Institute Academic Careers Day

The Institute’s Academic Careers Day: The Academic Career Day workshop, held on Friday the 13th of September 2013, was attended by 32 students and staff (6 male and 26 female) interested in Academic career progression. The aim of the workshop was to provide a forum for students and staff to obtain information about academic careers, hear about personal experiences from academics (from senior research fellows through to Professors), and to ask questions or voice concerns that they may have regarding this competitive career choice. The morning session had invited speakers discuss the various academic and clinical academic career pathways available to researchers and what it takes to reach each career stage (for program click here). The afternoon session centred on the support mechanisms, available from the Institute and UCL more widely, to aid in career progression and to help individuals establish a work-life balance that works for them. This included information on UCL practices regarding maternity/paternity leave and flexible working arrangements, opportunities to be mentored by Institute academic staff, services offered by the UCL Careers Service, and UCL academic promotion. The day concluded with SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding and Timely) guidelines to help attendees make an action plan to help them work towards their more immediate, as well as longer-term, career goals. The feedback from the event was positive and we plan to make this an annual event.

Some of the feedback:

”lot to take in, but very comprehensive, really useful resource, thank you it was a really helpful day”

”Very good - learnt new things that would be investigated e.g. Research Professional website”

”Friendly speakers, not too formal - broad range of academic people with different pathways, background, and opinion”

”Would be good to have speakers from outside UCL”

”'Would like' (Ed) More information on alternative careers or pathways”

”Very helpful, very practical, and insightful, thank you”

”How favourable is it for PhD graduate to go into medicine”

25 March 2013 - Athena SWAN Mentoring Course

The UCL Cancer Institute (UCL-CI) has set up a mentoring scheme to target women at senior postdoctoral and junior group leader levels and provide them with the support of a mentor in these crucial phases of their career. To this end, we have established a pool of mentors at different career stages, males and females.
In order to provide the mentors with the necessary skills, we decided to organise a mentoring course. This was given by Jonathan Gravels from Fargo Associates, which provides tailored mentoring courses to both the public and private sector. The one-day course was held on 25th March 2013 and was attended by a large number of senior and junior members of staff who had signed up to act as official UCL-CI mentors. The course was a success and provided the foundations for the UCL-CI mentoring scheme, which is will start operating very soon.

25 February 2013 - Fri 1 March Athena SWAN Awareness Week

The aims of the week were:        (Download Brochure: Gender Equality Policies at UCL)

•  Raising awareness

•  Analysis of the SWAN survey results: find survey results here

•  Information about Athena SWAN and how it will affect you

•  Introduction to Cancer Institute SWAN ambassadors