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Gender Equality Plan Requirements for Researchers:

Horizon Europe LogoThis page summarises some key elements of Durham University’s Gender Equality Action Plan. It is intended to be a reference page for external organisations and provides a resource that researchers can refer to for relevant funding applications. It addresses the elements of a Gender Equality Plan such as identified as a requirement for funding by the Horizon Europe programme. Durham staff can find more information on our internal pages or by contacting the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Team.



Durham University fulfilment

Relevant links

Formal document published on the institution’s website and signed by the top management

Durham University is signed up to the Athena SWAN charter and holds a Bronze Award granted in 2018. The work is led by a dedicated Athena SWAN Self-Assessment team and entails the implementation of a comprehensive Gender Equality Action Plan.

Athena SWAN Webpage 

Dedicated resources: commitment of human resources and gender expertise to implement it.

We have an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Unit, with skilled diversity and inclusion practitioners and a dedicated Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead to manage overall gender equality work.


The Institutional lead for the EDI Unit is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, who is a member of the University’s executive committee.  Each Faculty has a designated EDI Lead (such as a Deputy Dean People and Culture or equivalent role) which supports gender equality work on faculty level.


Each department has an Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team who lead this work on a local level and implement Departmental Gender Equality Action Plans. The Diversity and Equality Action Group oversees gender equality work at an institutional level.

EDI Unit Webpage 


Department Athena SWAN example

Data collection and monitoring: sex/gender disaggregated data on personnel and students and annual reporting based on indicators.

Sex/gender disaggregated data on staff and students is collated and reported each year through various channels:

  • Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Annual Report
  • Annual Gender Pay Gap Report
  • Institutional and Departmental Data Dashboards with disaggregated data on headcounts, professional staff groups, recruitment, promotions, and parental leave
  • Durham University Access and Participation Plans
  • Student and staff statistics are collated annually and accessible through HESA

Access and Participation Plan 2020-2027  


Student Statistics Summaries  


HESA Higher Education Sector Statistics 

Training: Awareness raising/trainings on gender equality and unconscious gender biases for staff and decision-makers.

Training is available for all staff and students on unconscious bias and equality, diversity, and inclusion training is required learning for all staff. Some of the available trainings and initiatives include:

  • Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Training online
  • Respect, Values & Behaviours Training for students (October 2021-November 2021) and staff (January 2022)
  • Inclusive Culture & Leadership Behaviours Programme (Advance HE) for all managers from January 2022
  • Sexual misconduct and training

EDI Training at Durham University


Sexual Misconduct and Violence training at Durham University  

Minimum areas to be covered and addressed via concrete measures and targets:

  • Work-life balance and organisational culture;
  • Promote policies around parental leave and shared parental leave through bespoke policy webpage (3.3.d).
  • Review the eligibility criteria for maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental leave and research leave on return with aim to eliminate time employed with University as a criterion (3.1.d).

GEAP 2018 3.3.d; 3.1.d

Our current Gender Equality action plan includes actions to:

Gender Equality Action Plan

  • Gender balance in leadership and decision-making;

GEAP 2018 5.7; 3.2; 3.3.c; 7.2; 5.5.a; 6.7

Our current Gender Equality action plan includes actions to:

  • Build female leadership capacity through engagement with the Aurora programme for leadership development (5.7).
  • Establish and deliver a cross-institutional reverse mentoring scheme in STEM specific disciplines for women and other under representative groups and senior leaders within the North East at both HEI’s and industry (7.2).
  • Provide opportunities for leadership development for female staff in those Academic Departments where it is difficult to recruit female Heads of Department (5.5a).
  • Develop resources to support/assist female academics to undertake PI role with projects seeking external funding (6.7). Success indicators: Resources developed and utilised.
  • Develop training on effective people management for those with line management responsibilities (3.3c).

Gender Equality Action Plan

  • Gender equality in recruitment and career progression

GEAP 2018 3.1.e.i; 3.2.b; 7.3; 3.2; 4.1

Our current Gender Equality action plan includes actions to:

  • Monitor the effectiveness (more women in senior roles) of the new promotions scheme (3.1g).
  • Implement Job Families for Professional Staff to provide clear routes for progression via the identification of core skills (3.2)
  • Within professional services, create a scheme to allow for increased opportunities for female staff to work across or within job families on a temporary basis (3.2.b).
  • Engage with cross-institutional mentoring scheme for early career women and other underrepresented academics from STEM disciplines (7.3).
  • Train and support a community of mentors for all staff to ensure consistent support (4.1).

Gender Equality Action Plan

  • Integration of the gender dimension into research and teaching content

Durham has a Research Culture Committee which reviews equality monitoring data on applications, awards, income, supervision and publications. RCC explores implications for EDI policies and practices related to research and research practices.  


Our Gender Equality Action Plan includes an action to:

  • Review current methods of assessment and ways to remove bias (6.3).

Gender Equality Action Plan

  • Measures against gender-based violence including sexual harassment

Durham University has a programme of activity to prevent and respond to gender-based violence which is overseen by the Sexual Misconduct & Violence Operations Group. There is a designated Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Manger who carries out activities across the University and a Senior Case Management Officer (SMV), both roles respond to cases of sexual misconduct and violence.


Durham University has an online platform Report and Support which allows staff and students to report any unwanted behaviour including gender-based violence. The platform provides access to support and resources.

Sexual Misconduct and Violence prevention and response at Durham University  


EDI Policies at Durham University


Durham University Report and Support tool