This page summaries the key elements of how the University of East Anglia is meeting the specific requirements under the Gender Equality Plan for funding by the Horizon Europe programme.

This information is intended to be a reference page for external organisations and provides a resource that researchers can refer to for relevant funding applications.

Staff can contact the Equality Diversity and Inclusion Team if they require further information about any of these initiatives. Alternative information about our research and innovation activity, can be found on the Research and Innovation Service webpages*.

The University of East Anglia is committed to ensuring and promoting gender equality. Our gender equality plan is predominantly set out in our Athena Swan submissions. We align with the Horizon Europe Gender Equality Plan (GEP) requirements as follows:

*Some of the links within this page accesses content not on our public facing webpages, and thus limits its access to staff and students.


University of East Anglia fulfilment

Be a public document

The GEP should be a formal document signed by the top management and disseminated within the institution. It should demonstrate a  commitment to gender equality, set clear goals and detailed actions and measures to achieve them.

The University of East Anglia signs up to the Advance HE Athena Swan Charter and has held a Silver Award since April 2019. Previously, we have held both Bronze and Bronze Renewal Awards in 2012 and 2015 respectively.

Our institutional Athena Swan application and action plan is available online which has been signed by our Vice-Chancellor.

Department applications and action plans are signed by the Head of School and are disseminated to all staff. 

These plans demonstrate a commitment to gender equality and set out clear goals using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound) actions.

We currently hold 19 Department Awards (6 Silver and 13 Bronze), with all Schools expected to hold awards by the end of the academic year 2022-23.

Have dedicated resources

Resources for the design, implementation, and monitoring of GEPs may include funding for specific positions such as Equality Officers or Gender Equality Teams as well as earmarked working time for academic, management and administrative staff.

We have an Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing (EDI) Team, with skilled EDI practitioners headed up by a Head of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion to manage the overall gender equality work at the University. Their webpage includes useful resources.

The University has a range of EDI policies, which can be accessed here.

The Executive Team has an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead who is a Pro-Vice Chancellor (currently from the Arts and Humanities faculty) and Chairs our University Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee which reports directly to the University Executive Team. This Lead works closely with the Head of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. The University’s Athena Swan work reports to this Committee.

Each School at the University has an Athena Swan/Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee embedded into the structure of the Department. Each School has an academic Athena Swan Lead whose role is included as part of the School’s Workload Allocation Model, with designated time included as part of the EDI Frameworks Core Principles approved by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Executive Team. School level Athena Swan action plans are led by the academic lead to ensure they are implemented. Each Faulty Pro Vice-Chancellor sits on the University Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.

All Athena Swan Leads attend a University Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Frameworks Group to ensure best practice is shared across the University.

Include arrangements for data collection and monitoring

GEPs must be evidence-based and founded on sex or gender-disaggregated baseline data collected across all staff categories. This data should inform the GEP’s objectives and targets, indicators, and ongoing evaluation of progress.

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

Annual Gender Pay Gap Report

Equal Pay Reviews

Institutional and Departmental Data Dashboards with disaggregated data on headcounts, professional staff groups, recruitment, promotions, and parental leave.

University of East Anglia’s Access and Participation Plan

Student and staff statistics are collated annually and accessible through HESA.

We also have Report and Support which is intended to be used to gather information on incidents of assault, harassment and hate that is experienced by staff, students and visitors.  The information is used to offer support, guidance and identify preventative measures to reduce incidents. The platform also provides access to support and resources. Data is reported at the Changing the Culture Working Group.

The Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion undertook Equality Impact Assessments (EIA) for specific exercises such as the University’s submission to REF21 and COA fund allocation. These EIAs inform future activities, raise awareness, and highlight training needs.

Be supported by training and capacity-building

Actions may include developing gender competence and tackling unconscious gender bias among staff, leaders, and decision-makers, establishing working groups dedicated to specific topics, and raising awareness through workshops and communication activities.

The University’s Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Team maintain our EDI webpages, which includes our policies and guidance.

All staff complete mandatory EDI training upon commencement of employment and repeated every 2 years thereafter. Staff involved in recruitment also complete recruitment and selection training every 2 years which includes aspects of unconscious bias.

All staff and students have access to LinkedIn Learning where a range of wellbeing and EDI pathways have been created.

We have an Organisational Development and Professional Learning Team with skilled trainers headed up by a Head of Organisational Development and Professional Learning who have created toolkits to support professional development and administer our participation in the Advance HE Aurora Leadership and the 100 Black Professors Now Programmes. 

EDI and Unconscious Bias Training was undertaken for researchers involved in REF21 and for those with managerial and decision-making roles.


Requirement University of East Anglia fulfilment

Work-life balance and organisational culture

This is covered in the Departmental Athena Swan application under 5.6 Organisation and Culture and the same section within the Institutional application.

Gender balance in leadership and decision-making

This is covered in the Departmental Athena Swan application under 5.6 Organisation and Culture and the same section within the Institutional application.

Gender equality in recruitment and career progression

This is covered in the Departmental Athena Swan application under 4.2 Academic and Research Staff Data, 5.1 Key Career Transition Points: Academic Staff and 5.3 Career Development: Academic Staff.

The Institutional application is covered under 4.1 Academic and Research Staff Data, 5.1 Key Career Transition Points: Academic Staff and 5.3 Career Development: Academic Staff.

Gender Equality is also promoted throughout the recruitment process as reflected in our recruitment documents including Recruitment and Selection Guidance which can be found on our internal Managers Toolkit.

Integration of the gender dimension into research and teaching content

This is covered in the Departmental Athena Swan application under 5.6 Organisation and Culture and the same section within the Institutional application.

Measures against gender-based violence including sexual harassment

We have Report and Support which is intended to be used to gather information on incidents of assault, harassment and hate that is experienced by staff, students and visitors. The information is used to offer support, guidance and identify preventative measures to reduce incidents. The platform also provides access to support and resources. Data is reported at the Changing the Culture Working Group. 

The University also has a Dignity and Respect in the Workplace policy with accompanying Briefing Notes which are made available online which covers harassment.


  • UEA has focused on creating a vibrant and supportive environment for all staff as part of the Staff Success strand of the UEA Vision and Plan. During 2019, digital platforms and focus groups enabled staff to shape UEA’s values (Collaboration, Empowerment, Respect and Ambition) and a core set of standards for how we behave; drive excellence in teaching, learning, and research; and collaborate as an anchor institution within our community. The UEA Research Culture Group, established in 2022 and Chaired by the PVC R&I, works on initiatives to promote and facilitate a productive and vibrant research environment, closely underpinned by EDI principles.

  • UEA’s Flexible Working Guidelines, based on good practice within the sector, set out the right for all employees to request flexible working or periods of unpaid leave. We are committed to ensuring that these are not detrimental to career development or progression.

  • For staff with caring responsibilities, shared parental/dependents leave* is available. UEA has a multi-cultural nursery* on campus, caring for children from six weeks old; a salary-sacrifice scheme* helps with the cost of places. 

  • Launched initially in 2013 by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences*, all Faculties now have Return to Work Funds to provide financial support for those with caring responsibilities or returning from long absences, as well as funds to support academic staff with the additional (child)care costs associated with conferences or fieldwork.

  • ‘Moving On in your Academic Career’ is a workshop specifically for female researchers and returners from career breaks, which receives consistently positive feedback.

  • The Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation has lead responsibility for ensuring that UEA meets the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Research Staff*. UEA has developed a Concordat Implementation Plan*, which details the support for the personal, professional, and career development of our research staff. 

  • In September 2012, UEA achieved the HR Excellence in Research' Award* ‘in recognition of our commitment to implementing the principles of the Concordat. From May 2018, UEA more closely integrated these initiatives with Athena Swan, to enhance synergistic positive action and change. 

  • UEA has also signed the Technician Commitment (2018) to further ensure the visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability of research technicians as a vital element of our research environment.

  • Feedback from the Research Excellence Framework (REF21) panels received in 2022, praised UEA for proactive support for PGR students and staff at all stages in terms of EDI, especially for gender, across multiple units of assessment. 

  • The University introduced a range of additional guidance to support staff as a result of the pandemic. This included Working from Home Guidance*, Remote Working Inductions, Workload Reduction Toolkit, Return to Campus Toolkit, Face Covering Policy*. Flexible working arrangements became the norm for everyone, but particularly benefited staff who needed to accommodate childcare and other challenges around their work.

  • All grades of staff received six additional rest days in 2020 (annual leave) in recognition of the pressures of working through the pandemic.

  • Most UEA staff began working from home in March 2020, and many continue to do so as part of a hybrid working pilot* as we emerge from the pandemic. A range of additional resources to support this pilot include, a Manager’s Toolkit*, a new Skills Development Guide – Building Hybrid Success*.

  • An Addendum to the Academic Progressions Handbook* was produced to address the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic towards academic promotions.

  • The health and wellbeing of our community remain the highest priority, and the University is continuing to follow all advice given by the UK Government to keep our community safe. A new Employee Wellbeing Partner was introduced in 2021 to further embed wellbeing into our culture. Activities have included relaunching our Employee Assistance Programme*, which offers 24/7 support to our community on a range of personal and professional issues which includes virtual counselling; producing a range of additional staff resources* including a practical wellbeing LinkedIn Learning pathway* and a Supporting Wellbeing toolkit*; promoting our in-house staff counselling service*.

  • In December 2021, the People and Culture Division launched the first all staff Pulse Survey, which included questions around wellbeing. These will run periodically throughout the year and enable us to measure staff wellbeing and engagement with our planned initiatives, whilst providing evidence of where continued action is required. 

  • Attractive and vibrant Candidate Brochures have been created to engage candidates and encourage individuals to apply for roles. The language and images used within these have been carefully considered to promote diversity and inclusion.

  • The Resourcing Team has incorporated a “Check my Job Tool” into the recruitment process. This identifies gender bias in text which can then be amended to encourage gender neutrality. 

  • A variety of advertising platforms including social media are now being used to widen the applicant pool and target specific audiences where positive action is required.

  • Several guidance documents have been written for both managers and candidates to help them through the recruitment process. This includes Guidance for Applicants on how to complete the application form, Guidance for Shortlisted Applicants which provides useful tips on how to prepare for an interview and specific information on what to consider for virtual and in-person interviews. The imagery and language in all recruitment documentation has been carefully considered to promote diversity and inclusion. The guidance for virtual interviews also encourages managers to consider an online interview for candidates who declare a disability as they are likely to feel more comfortable in their own surroundings. Recruitment materials can been found in our Managers Toolkit*.

  • A Welcome Brochure has been created for new starters which provides useful information about UEA and the surrounding area. This also includes a section for EDI which highlights the staff networks, the benefits of these and the Awards the University has or is currently working towards, such as Athena Swan and Race Equality Charter. A link is also provided to the Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing pages. 

  • Induction Guidance has been written for managers to advise them on what areas/topics should be covered in the first few days, weeks, and months for new starters and a checklist has also been created for new appointees to set expectations. This helps with their onboarding experience and makes new starters feel welcome. Information about EDI is included which will increase the feeling of inclusion and help with retention. An online induction process has also been created to provide additional resources to help new starters and managers prepare. 

  • Resourcing My UEA Pages have been developed to provide information on the entire recruitment process and a central location for all guidance and resources associated with the recruitment process and links to EDI related resources. 

  • A “Careers at UEA” site has been launched to promote opportunities across the   University and hosts an internal only section for staff opportunities which promotes the development of staff potential, career opportunities and retention of key talent. 

  • To help promote flexible working and attract a wider pool of candidates advert text was updated in August 2022 to include “UEA offers a variety of flexible working options and although this role is advertised on a full-time basis, we encourage applications from individuals who would prefer a flexible working pattern including annualised hours, compressed working hours, part time, job share, term-time only and/or hybrid working. Details of preferred hours should be stated in the personal statement and will be discussed further at interview”. 

  • An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will be implemented in 2023 to provide the University with an automated end to end recruitment process to attract, engage, recruit and onboard the best professional and academic talent. The system will provide an efficient and streamlined process reducing time to hire, cost per hire and improving both user and candidate experience. The ATS will have the ability to cross check text against a wider range of biases and anonymise applications to demonstrate a fairer recruitment process. 

  • We are currently reviewing recruitment practices to identify how we can increase diversity through the various stages of the recruitment process.

  • Equality Impact Assessment Step by Step Guide and Templates have been created which embeds EDI as being everyone’s responsibility. An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is a tool to ensure that a policy, practice, strategy, or project does what they are intended to do and are inclusive for staff, students, or visitors. An EIA can help to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of everything we do.

  • Leadership & Management qualifications/apprenticeships: We have a new provider for these qualifications that are run as apprenticeships. Our provider are EDI specialists who have EDI running as a golden thread throughout the programmes.

  • Your Professional Learning Toolkit and Guide: We have designed a toolkit and accompanying workshop to empower staff with the understanding, skills and resources needed to significantly improve their professional development – whether for the benefit of their work-life balance, current role effectiveness or their next career step. Comprehensive support is provided to support staff in accurately identifying their development priorities, understanding their most effective way to develop, designing an effective PDP, utilising a learning log to support continuous improvement, and evaluating their progress.