Athena SWAN Silver Award Logo

The Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care holds an Athena SWAN Charter Silver Award in recognition of its commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in academia. 

Athena Swan at UCL

To view UCL's main Athena SWAN homepage, click here

IEHC Athena Swan Silver Application & Action Plan

The Institutes Athena SWAN Silver application and action plan can be found here

Self Assessment Team


Family Support

The below information is not exhaustive, so if you cannot find what you are looking for please email Terri Goody for further information. 

Maternity and Paternity Leave:

Useful information and advice for new parents including the full Maternity and Paternity leave policies, an online maternity leave calculator, support helpline and details on the UCL rest room for new mothers.

A comprehensive set of FAQs in relation to maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave can be found here.

You are advised to make an appointment with your Department Manager as soon as possible so that they can assist you with completion of your maternity / paternity leave application and answer any queries you may have.  If your Department Manager is not available please contact Terri Goody, HR Lead for the Institute who may be able to assist you instead.

Breastfeeding on Return to Work:

Useful information for those contemplating breastfeeding at work (including breast milk storage, private accommodation and flexible working options).

Maternity Rest Rooms

Rest rooms for New and Expectant Mothers can be found here

Childcare Facilities at UCL:

See here for information on the UCL tax efficient ‘salary sacrifice’ scheme for members of staff with children at the UCL Daytime Nursery (contact details for the Day Nursery can be found here).

Childcare Voucher Scheme:

Childcare vouchers are a Government scheme designed to help parents afford high quality childcare. UCL operates a Childcare Voucher scheme with Kiddivouchers Ltd. This is a benefit that lets parents make substantial savings against the cost of their childcare. You can use childcare vouchers for many different kinds of childcare, ranging from nurseries and childminders through to out-of-school activities, breakfast clubs and afterschool care for older children.

UCL Financial Support for Students with Dependents

There are a number of sources of financial support available for students with dependants. The type of support relevant to you can depend on a number of factors such as your status as a student, your nationality, your course and your financial status.

Leave for Domestic and Personal Reasons:

This policy covers all types of leave ranging from Bereavement Leave to Carers Leave (which can apply to an employees own children, next of kin, partners and parents/parents of partners).

UCL Sabbatical Leave Policy and Guidance

This policy defines sabbatical leave, the parameters within which academic staff may access this leave and the process to be followed when applying for sabbatical leave.

Unpaid Leave of Absence:

The procedure to follow when planning Career Breaks, Unpaid Carers Leave and Unpaid Parental Leave.

Work Life Balance Policy:

UCL acknowledges that its staff are most productive when they have achieved a work-life balance that enables them to meet their responsibilities outside work. This policy provides a framework within which departments can consider how best to enable staff to achieve an effective balance between work and life outside the workplace. This framework incorporates UCL's statutory responsibility to consider requests for flexible working to enable staff to care for young children or dependent adults.

Guidance on supporting working parents and carers

3 million people in the UK juggle paid work with unpaid caring responsibilities: 1 in 7 people in any workforce. Looking after dependants is an issue that is likely to affect the majority of the workforce at some point in their working lives, particularly as people are living longer.

UCL has a long history of being inclusive. For this value to have meaning today it is crucial that it is translated into the 21st century working environment. What this means in this context is that every effort should be made to support those with responsibilities outside work to achieve a sustainable work-life balance.

As a forward-looking institution UCL has a role to play in transforming traditional gender roles so that men feel empowered to play an active role in supporting their partners by looking after their young families and other dependants. We recognise that the family unit is very different from twenty or thirty years ago and that there are more lone parents, gay parents, step families and other non-traditional arrangements.

This new guidance looks at the working rights and entitlements for staff with dependants, specific UCL policies to aid staff to work flexibly as well as a number of case studies and suggestions to help managers to support staff with dependants. 

Additional Support for Employees:

Here you will find details relating to the UCL Careers Service for Research Staff, the UCL Employee Assistance Scheme (this is a free confidential advice service for both yourself and your family) and UCL Occupational Health which is also a free service that helps to promote physical and psychological well being and prevent illness and injury arising from work activity.

UCL PACT (Parents and Carers Together) Network

Parents and Carers Together (PACT) is a social network that aims to support UCL staff members who are balancing ongoing caring responsibilities with work.It is a peer support group led by network members for members so new ideas and activities are always welcomed and encouraged.

Careers Advice Surgery

The Careers Advice Surgery is an opportunity for early career research/teaching staff (including postdoctoral fellows, RA's and PhD students etc.) to obtain advice about career development in an informal and confidential setting from two senior staff. To find out more information, visit the IEHC Careers Advice Surgeries webpage

Appraisal Aide Memoir

The Appraisal Aide Memoir can be downloaded here.


The Institute have launched a Mentoring Programme for all groups of staff utilising the UCL uMentor platform – please click here to register: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/osd/coaching/mentoring.php

Please feel free to contact Terri Charrier (t.charrier@ucl.ac.uk) should you require further information about this or any other Institute Athena Swan initiative.

Early Career Forum

The Early Career Forum (ECF) is an ongoing and expanding programme of regular seminars for postdoctoral researchers and PhD students across the IEHC Departments. The ECF events provide educational and networking opportunities to a wide audience of IEHC staff and students (both women and men) and encourage interdisciplinary interaction.

The aim of the ECF is to integrate the existing and emerging Institute activities for early career researchers.

One of the examples is a series of monthly talks for postdoctoral researchers and PhD students, which was launched at the Epidemiology and Public Health Department in July 2013, with the support of colleagues from the Departments of Applied Health Research, Infection and Population Health, and Primary Care and Population Health. These seminars are currently run by the members of the Institute’s Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team – a PhD student (Lauren Bird) and two Research Associates (Bernardine Stegeman and Olga Vikhireva). The talks in 2013 focused on academic job search, authorship and publishing, and oral and poster presentations. Forthcoming events will address academic career planning and development, funding initiatives by the European Union such as Horizon 2020, and other topics which are highly relevant for students and individuals early in their career.

Another example is a fortnightly journal club in the Department of Infection and Population Health, organised by Jemma O’Connor, Research Assistant, a part-time PhD student, and a member of the IEHC Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team. In the Department of Primary Care and Population Health, Kethakie Sumathipala, a PhD student, runs a monthly journal club for PhD students and early career researchers.

If you would like to participate in the ECF activities, share the information about the events at your Department, or suggest topics for future seminars, please get in touch via email (iehc-ecf@ucl.ac.uk).

Athena Swan Flyer

To view the flyer, click here

Page last modified on 22 jan 15 15:38