Technician Commitment

MRC Harwell Institute's commitment to Valuing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Athena SWAN initiative

MRC Harwell is proud to be an Athena SWAN Charter member and is working towards a Bronze award (includes assessment, plan, and organisation to implement robust action plan).

In May 2015, it was announced by the Equality Challenge Unit, that the charter was now expanded to recognise work undertaken to address gender equality in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

Athena SWAN Project: Remit and Constitution

The Athena SWAN Project Team is undertaking a review of gender diversity and inclusivity, and developing an action plan. MRC Harwell plans to apply for the Athena SWAN Bronze Award in April 2018. Athena SWAN award is awarded for the whole institution recognising that it has a solid foundation for eliminating discrimination and developing an inclusive culture built on the values of respect, fairness and professionalism.

The purpose of the Athena SWAN Project Team at Harwell is for MRC Harwell to be considered as a truly outstanding, secure and inspiring research environment in which everyone’s career ambitions can be realised.

The Athena SWAN Project Team meet monthly and comprise staff with a legitimate interest in the project.


  • Award is to the whole Research Institute
  • Data includes all staff and students and is not limited to those working in involved in research and academia
  • Organisation wide staff survey
  • Consideration of the organisation as a whole

Technician Commitment

The MRC Harwell is a proud supporter of the Technicians Commitment and became a signatory in February 2018.

The Technician Commitment is a university and research institution initiative, led by a steering group of sector bodies, with support from the Science Council and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Technicians Make It Happen campaign. The Commitment aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research, across all disciplines. Universities and research institutes are invited to become signatories of the Technician Commitment and pledge action against the key challenges affecting their technical staff.

The themes of the Technician Commitment are: Visibility, Recognition, Career Development, Sustainability and Evaluating Impact. The fifth theme of Evaluating Impact takes the form of a self-assessment process, to be undertaken one year after an organisation becomes a signatory and biennially thereafter.

The self-assessment process enables the Technician Commitment Steering Group to gain an understanding of the position of each signatory organisation and the measures to be put in place to ensure that signatories are making progress against the themes outlined in the Commitment. The self-assessment process asks for contextual information, progress to date and a detailed 24-month future action plan.

Our institutional self-assessment and action plan was submitted in May 2019 and can be found below.